New Website? Don’t Forget That The Words Are Important Too

I’m a copywriter. When I’m not writing I do a fair amount of networking, both through Twitter and Facebook, and also the old-fashioned way where you go out and chat face-to-face with people over a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. In the local area there are networking events of one kind or another happening almost every day.

One thing I’ve noticed is the sheer number of people who are doing website design, either as their mainstream business, or as a sideline to earn some extra cash. This is great – with so many people in this sector, as well as the wide array of website design packages available, people can now get a new website built and hosted for a very reasonable price.

UK English and US English are different

American English v British English

I was recently asked by a client to review about 50 pages of content on their U.S. website and edit this so that it was suitable for a British audience.

I thought that this would be a fairly straightforward task involving making all the obvious spelling changes…making sure that words like “color” and “flavor”  had a “u” in them, changing “center” to centre, “toward” to towards, “program” to programme and amending words like “organization” and “specialize” to the UK spelling.

Music for Japan

Fundraising Concert

A fundraising concert for victims of the disaster in Japan is being held on Saturday 4th June 2011 at The Space Performing Arts Centre at The Pamoja Hall, Sevenoaks School, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 1HU. The concert will start at 7pm.

Tickets are priced at £15 and are available from the Sevenoaks School Box Office tel. 01732 467765 or email boxoffice@sevenoaksschool.org

The concert programme features work from Mendelssohn, Mozart and Bach, plus a selection of Japanese songs arranged for a string ensemble.

Alfa Romeos – There’s Just Something About Them

The Beginning of the Love Affair

I owned my first Alfa at 19. It was 1979 and I was living in Germany at the time. The car was a rusty blue Alfasud which a guy in the office had given me rather than sending to the scrap-heap. Although the car’s bodywork wasn’t in great shape its engine was good – it had a wonderful, rasping tone. I enjoyed driving this little car around the streets of Hamburg for a few months.

It was also at around this time that I set eyes upon my first Alfa Montreal – for my money still one of the most beautiful supercars ever made. At the time I remember wondering how successful you have to be in life to own a car like that.

Interviewing Tips from a Copywriter

As a financial copywriter I must often interview people face-to-face in order to be able to complete my work, whether it’s for a business article, an annual report or a press release.

Most people are happy to give interviews and will communicate freely and openly, but I do sometimes encounter interviewees who are more reticent, perhaps through shyness or concern about being misquoted.

My job is to ensure that interviews run smoothly and to establish a rapport with the interviewee so that I get all the information I need. The best interviews happen when the interviewee is happy with the process too.

Bab Al Bahrain

Bahrain Before The Crackdown

I was out in Bahrain in December last year, just before the current troubles began. Seeing the images on TV of what has happened in Bahrain in recent weeks I wanted to reflect on happier times on this island which holds so many happy memories for me.

I was lucky enough to work in Bahrain twice – from 1982-1984 and again from 1994-1996. I was with the British Bank of the Middle East (now HSBC) and on both occasions lived in Adliya and worked at the old Main Office of the bank in Al-Khalifa Avenue, next to Jashanmals Department Store.

How To Brief A Copywriter

Not too many people have experience in briefing a copywriter, and those who do don’t always seem to have a clear idea of what it is that the copywriter needs to know before he or she starts work. I thought I’d put down a few thoughts based on my own experience as I’ve often found that it’s a case of.…the better the brief, the better the end-product.

The nature of your business

I need to have a clear idea of what your business does. Whether you’re a High Street retailer, a builder or a consultancy I need you to give me an overview of your business activities – please email a company Fact Sheet to me or point me to the right place on your website.