Thursday, November 5, 2009

Back it up

If you are a junior copywriter making the rounds with your portfolio, you'll be asked at some point for long copy samples. Most of you have a book full of work written with a headline and a couple of sentences of body copy. You need to be able to back that up with a few longer pieces that show you can actually write. A paragraph, a story, anything longer than 3 sentences.

This is akin to an art director showing they can design to back up their ability to concept. I don't want to see a book chock full of work that is essentially a photo with a headline. I want to see layouts that show a range of skills. This art director book does just that. I see the evidence that she can design, which backs up her ability to art direct. I need to see similar evidence for a copywriter.

I received a copywriter book a short time ago. The writer had interned at some amazing places: Crispin, Fallon, Energy BBDO. Impressive and obviously his concepts warranted these places being interested in him. Cut to his long copy section.

Let me explain. First, I was a couple classes shy of being an English major. Second, I love to write. Both make me hypersensitive to the correct use of the English language. The proper cadence, sentence structure, grammar and usage are mandatory in my book, lest we not forget spelling. Well, not so much in this one.

Please, please, please elevate your ability to craft a sentence, know the difference between possessive and plural, and master grammar. I'll forgive the occasional typo (although some recruiters don't), but I'm stringent on the others.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Good advice.