10 February 2011 by Web Bureau
Today I will summarise some top tips we took from two other presentations of the day on how to write good copy and handle the media.
Copywriting for radio
The presentation entitled ‘how to write killer ad copy’ was delivered by freelance copywriter, Brian McArdle who produces copy for sales letters, web content, radio commercials, jingles and blogs. Brian used some practical examples to illustrate how to write good copy.
Using a radio advertisement launched in 1995 for the NI Blood Transfusion Service (written by Brian) which leads in with the tagline, ‘But hospitals don’t run out of blood’ by a hysterical mother in a hospital (sound familiar?), he explained that the ability to create a good tagline is one of the key skills a copywriter needs to capture the attention of an audience. The effectiveness of this ad is evidenced by the fact that it is still being re-run today in times of blood shortage.
Brian advised that the ability to convey your whole message in a short space of time is important as often you only have a short timeframe, which could be as little as 20 seconds. He recommended that you should read your copy out loud as it takes longer than when you speed read it in your head!
He also demonstrated how background sounds can be included alongside the voice to create images in the mind of the listener to tell the story, using a promotional radio advertisement for Sperrins Tourism as an example. This incorporated sounds such as a bicycle bell and traditional music to convey the Sperrins as an idyllic setting for a short break.
Handling the Media
Moving on, our next presentation was delivered by Peter Melly, a former BBC employee and founder of REDmast MEDIA who describes himself as a BioBroadcaster, film maker, video journalist and journalism trainer. Peter captivated his audience with his tales of how journalists entice information from the unsuspecting public and advised that often the best response to give is ‘NO COMMENT!’
Responding to an enquiry as to how businesses could use the media for marketing value, a tip he offered was to send in your press releases at the weekend when there is less competition for print space – sometimes this can get you coverage you wouldn’t have achieved mid-week when journalists are inundated with stories.
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