copywriting in metal type blocks

Copywriting. That’s law isn’t it? No….

Recently I was asked to go and be a guest speaker at a college for some budding young business entrepreneurs. I was chuffed and, having had to ‘start my career again’ after being involved in a serious road accident while working abroad, I was ready and excited to tell my story. Now completely freelance, my copywriting business is really successful…

What? They want me to talk about patents? Trademarks?

I explained what the difference is between ‘copywriter’ and ‘copyright law’.

Unfortunately for me, I have been involved in both. Which takes a lot of explaining.

Copyright law is actually called Intellectual Property, and after my law degree (my second degree) I chose to work for a sports agency, working with an intellectual property media lawyer – shielding the copyrights, patents and trademarks that belonged to our sports clients. Wimbledon logo being copied? I’ll sort that with a ‘cease and desist’ notice and hope that the matter doesn’t proceed to court.

So let’s sort out CopyWRITING. It’s just that. WRITING.

Wikipedia cites it as:

writing copy for the purpose of advertising or marketing. The copy is meant to persuade someone to buy a product, or influence their beliefs.’

Copy is any form of written material. Its partner is layout (photographs, images, graphs). Copy can be magazines, newspapers, books, advertising, marketing material, social media, emails and even text messages.

You deal with some form of copy every day, from the moment you wake up. Writing a note, texting your friend, a funny post on Facebook – it’s all copy.

The only difference is that I write copy for a living. People pay me to use my ‘wordy-wide knowledge’ (see what I did there!) to sell something to someone.

I am asked to undertake a variety of projects. From reporting at an academic conference, to social media management for a retail boutique and even an article on handbags for a lifestyle magazine – it’s all copy. I enjoy each genre, each challenge – and if I can make it sound good through copy then I will!

Now back to the talk at the college. So no – I’m not a copyright lawyer. I’m there to talk about copywriting. But alas I’m a victim of my own success – or study – and can pretty much talk about both. Which is a challenge in itself, and knowing me, I’ll end up doing just that. sigh!