copy writing

Ad copy, press releases, radio scripts, brochures…if it needs words, I’ve pretty much written it all over my career. Each assignment is another opportunity to voice my writing to suit the client and the work, to sculpt language to meet a specific need. Then there’s writing for the web (which is a whole different animal). Web writing—especially writing search-rich text— has nothing in common with any other kind of copy, other than it uses the English language. But that’s where it ends. The syntax and sentence construction are unique to the web and making the text both search worthy and intelligible can be quite a feat.

Elements of Style. I still have my copy from the early 70s…and I still refer to it on nearly every assignment. There is a timelessness to good copy—whether it’s in an ad, collateral, radio, or the web—and it’s that permanence, the indelibility of the written word, that is so appealing.

My natural style is very conversational, a format the drives English teachers everywhere completely wild. But, with apologies to my high school English teacher—Ms. Lustgarten (no joke)—if the point of writing is to communicate, to be understood, then good writing should be not be constrained but, rather, speak in a voice the intended reader will most identify with. For me, I want my native style to feel like two people, sitting in a room, having a pleasant conversation together.

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