BIM-Creative-Copywriting-1024x768-220x170‘Make your intro sparkle!’ was the frequently-repeated, usually shouted, mantra of the man who taught me how to write.
He was (and is) Mike Lockley, a fairly cynical but thoroughly likeable former national tabloid journalist, who can still be found upsetting people with his newspaper columns in the Midlands.

At the time, I was relatively fresh out of university and attending a day-release journalism course at Wolverhampton College. The lessons were difficult: I’d gone from spending 2,500 words on an essay to no more than a tenth of that on a news story. Often a lot fewer.

He taught you to be frugal with your words, and to get messages across effectively. There’s no point using a big word when a short one will suffice. Russell Brand, take note.

But most of all, he taught us (and many other budding journalists over the years) that the content is king when copywriting.

Whether it’s a 140-character tweet, a news story or a corporate blog, it’s essential to make sure it’s informative and/or entertaining. Because why else will people read it?

There is too much competition out there to hope people will read a stream of corporate messages just for the fun of it. Web content that’s rammed with Google-pandering keywords just for the sake of filling space will leave nobody fooled and even fewer interested.

The art of storytelling will never die, it’s just that our methods of delivery change. We like talking and writing as much as we like reading and listening – but it’s what’s being talked and written about that counts.

So, as Mike says, make it sparkle. And if you haven’t got the time, find someone who’ll do it for you.