Working with Your Copywriter

We know that some agencies keep a wall between you and your copywriter. Everything passes through your account exec, with no direct interaction between you and the person banging out your copy. Some clients probably prefer things that way.

That’s not how we work at Wordsmithie, however. Oh, you’ll still have a good deal of contact with your account person (we call them studio heads here). But you’ll also communicate often with your copywriter. We think it’s important. For one thing, it reduces the little misunderstandings that can hamper any project. It also makes the whole process a little quicker. Most important, it strengthens communication, which can only be a good thing.

For your project to go as smoothly as possible—to optimize it, as our tech clients say—we recommend keeping a few important things in mind. Here’s a big one: Copywriting takes longer than you think. Really, it does. You probably think you’re just asking for an extra sentence here, or a new paragraph there. But adding anything, anywhere, can potentially kick everything else out of alignment. So, your little tweak requires two or three others. It all takes time.

Here’s another key thing to remember: You’re not a writer. That’s not a judgment or a criticism, but a simple fact. Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours to become proficient at something. You’ve accumulated those hours in your field. We have in ours, too. So trust our advice, and your message will be stronger. And if you can’t resist making changes to copy yourself … make sure we know about them. We’ll take a look, and maybe prevent some embarrassment.

Finally, know the editorial process. If you understand, step by step, how your project goes from concept to completion, you’ll save both time and money. Know exactly what is due, when, and why, and you won’t have to redo something that everyone else thought was finished. We always ask lots of questions about your business. Don’t hesitate to ask us about ours.

ABOUT Jim Leeke

Widely experienced in journalism, marketing communications and advertising, Jim has worked with top creative agencies to deliver print, Internet and interactive projects to Fortune 500 companies. His expertise ranges from technology and healthcare/pharmaceuticals to defense and veterans issues. Jim is also the author/editor of six books, writing extensively on the Civil War and baseball. In addition to his Wordsmithie role, Jim is Co-founder and Creative Director of Taillight Communications.