“Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words” – some wise words by Mark Twain that inspired our November PALS session at The Forge on Creative Copywriting. We set out to explore what constitutes good ‘creative copy’ from the perspective of both the copywriter and the brand strategist.
To spark our thinking and galvanise the audience, we invited two creative experts to share their perspectives. Well versed on the capital’s creative scene, both our speakers moved to Bristol to become part of its buzzing creative hub, bringing with them heaps of experience, positive energy and ideas.
An experienced wordsmith, Kendra Futcher shared her career journey from working at a London agency in design management to focusing on her love of words and gradually carving her own path as a freelance copywriter. A courageous endeavour that opened up a world of collaborations and exciting work.
Exposing the good, the bad and the ugly sides of copywriting, Kendra explained how important it is set the right foundations for great work – from collaborating with strategists to ensure a solid foundation to copywriting and creating the building blocks for a tone of voice, to keeping an open mind and staying curious to unlock new ideas. She left us with a powerful thought: creativity is like a muscle – we must use it to hone this skill – whether that’s by gathering inspiration, reading as much as possible, or keeping on learning.
Our second guest speaker, Alina Pîrvu, shared her thoughts from the perspective of a brand strategist that balances sharp thinking with creative flair. She emphasised the key role words play in capturing and distilling complex information, communicating ideas and inspiring creativity in a world that is time-short and doesn’t care. In her role, she has to balance all three to create powerful strategic foundations and persuasive narratives upon which good copywriting and strong design are built.
Talking through some of her work, she shared an example that demonstrated how collaborating with a copywriter changed the direction of a branding project by unlocking a stronger strategy and leading to award-winning design. The message was clear – good copy should be grounded in strong thinking and should always serve a purpose. And to do so, words must be chosen with care and courage.
The group conversations were an opportunity to further unpick our collective thoughts. We were also joined by founder and creative director, Adrian Barclay (Marles + Barclay) as a third facilitator who provided a designer’s perspective on the value and role of creative copy.
Questions were fired, glasses were clinked and a few wordy challenges began to untangle. In a room filled with a diverse mix of people, it was fantastic for everyone – from freelancers and agency creatives, to business owners and academics, to discuss their different challenges and share knowledge.
And that was that. We’ve wrapped up PALS for another year and we’d like to celebrate the peer-to-peer community that’s grown and thank you for supporting us with their enthusiasm and commitment. Watch this space for next year’s agenda!