Dave talks about how he gets under the skin of a brand’s identity in order to write perfectly on-brand copy, and tells us about his favourite thing about being a copywriter here (it’s not the use of puns, though he does love those). He also talks about the great teamwork that goes into every single piece of work, and there’s a mention for his unusual side hustle.
Hello Dave! So this is the fourth in our Spotlight series looking at what the inner workings of a creative agency looks like. You are part of the creative double act that keeps the studio running. Why don’t we start with a little insight into you?
Well, I’ve been at The Online Studio for two years (though I’ve spent most of that time sitting in my shed-turned-office), and you could say my background is something of a mixed bag – though creativity has always been at the heart of everything I do. I spent eight years in the radio industry, as a presenter, producer and copywriter. I’ve also worked as a creative copywriter in financial services and retail. So like I say, a mixed bag. But that’s given me the chance to work on lots of different brands and speak to lots of different audiences; the perfect preparation for this role.
Away from work I’ve been the stadium announcer at Portsmouth Football Club for nine years, so I haven’t given up the mic just yet! I am also a fan of a long walk and a pub lunch, and watching sport (I’m terrible at playing it).
So, what would you say a usual day for you looks like?
OK, so cliche alert: there’s no such thing as a usual day. With as many as 20 projects on the go at any time, it couldn’t really be any other way. But every day will invariably include writing copy for new client projects, feeding back on projects already in design and attending client meetings. I’ll probably spend some time chatting with our designers to work together on marrying the copy with the designs, and I may dip into some content for our social media channels and marketing materials.
What is your favourite part of being a Senior Copywriter here at OLS?
I’m lucky enough to be involved in so much of the work we produce. Whether that’s devising creative concepts for a big marketing campaign, or just adding a simple headline to a client’s existing assets, I love the variety of the role – and the mix of brands I work on.
And because I work on lots of different projects, that means I get to work with people across the business – and take it from me, they’re a brilliant bunch. From our project managers who make life so easy by keeping things running so expertly, to our designers who work wonders every day, it’s a top group of people to work with (and enjoy the odd beer after work with).
As a Senior Copywriter, how do you delve into a brand’s core identity to write up brilliant copy?
It’s all about taking inspiration from wherever I can find it. So before I start doing any actual writing, I’ll immerse myself in the client’s style guide and copy guidelines, if they’ve been provided. Then I’ll take a look at their social media accounts and website to get an idea about the way they talk to their audience. And of course, there’s the brief itself, which will tell me the brand’s objectives for this project (sales, awareness etc), their target audience and the benefits they want to get across.
From there, I’m well equipped to write copy that captures the attention of audiences, resonates with them and encourages them to buy a product of service or find out more about it. When creating a set of designs, the trick is to create a varied collection that has a cohesive feel but all say something different (or at least say it in a different way).
Can you go into more detail on how you work with the other creatives on a project to concept a brief?
In the first instance, I work closely with our Creative Director, Sonali or Design Director, Liam. We’ll all throw our ideas in the mix, finessing them to create a compelling set of concepts. Once I’ve written the copy, one of our designers will pick up the baton. But that doesn’t mean my involvement in the process is over; we’ll all work together to get the designs over the line. It really is a team effort from start to finish.
If the person reading this was interested in working with The Online Studio as a partner to create their social content, in your opinion why should they consider The Online Studio?
All I’d say is that we’re a team of really talented people who are experts at what we do – and we’re nice people to work with, too. It’s as simple as that really. People can trust us with their brands, and count on us to create quality content that we’ve really spent time thinking about. The Online Studio is a great place to work, and we take our relationships with our clients seriously, too.