Quick Tip:
How Marketing Managers Really Feel About Working with Copywriters

In a recent issue of his weekly newsletter, master copywriter John Forde playfully prodded marketers to contribute to a list titled "Why I Hate Copywriters."

One of the replies that John received was from his old friend and colleague Deeba Jaffri. Deeba's been in the marketing business for many years and currently works as a consultant to top mailers (contact info: deebajafri@cs.com or 410-796-0450).

Since you, as an AWAI student, are essentially selling yourself to Marketing Managers and Editors, it's important to understand the relationship you have with your client (or potential client) and realize what it is exactly they want from you. Here's what Deeba had to say…

"Dear John,

"Hope this finds you well. Any marketer/product manager who has a list of 'Why I hate copywriters' is asking for trouble.

"The relationship between marketer and copywriter can sometimes be a delicate one, but in the end you are actually both on the same team – you want to sell your product/service as effectively as possible to as many people as possible.

"A marketer cannot survive without a copywriter and a copywriter cannot survive without a marketer. The stronger the relationship a marketer cultivates with his/her stable of writers, the better the copy and marketing will get.

"Deadlines are deadlines for a reason. Often a marketer will have slotted your package into a particular mailing. If the deadlines are missed, mailing slots can be missed and your package is put on hold to slot into the next mailing cycle, which can be 8-12 weeks away

"Realize too that however urgently the product manager might want to get your package in the mail, he/she probably has to send the package 'up the line' for review. This is particularly true in larger organizations and can cause catastrophic delays.

"Do you think it's any fun for the marketers to have to sit on their hands and wait when they've got a piece of red-hot copy ready to go?

"On to typos and submitting final clean drafts. There are some writers who are so terrible with typos that it can add up to a week to the production process to make sure all the typos are caught and the offer/pricing is consistent throughout the package.

"Believe me, if you're the marketing manager with two packages sitting on your desk and one comes in totally ready for production with good notes/ideas for the graphic designer and one comes in totally typo-ridden with no graphic concept, guess which one you'll try to get into the mail first?

"I can't emphasize how important it is for the writer to share his 'vision' of the look of the package. If a writer has not thought through the graphic side, you'll often end up going back to them to 'fix' things so that they flow better. This could mean anything from extra sidebars to editing down/adding copy.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Don't worry if you're just starting out and you don't know a thing about graphic design or the layout of your package. We've run several articles in past issues of TGTE (see www.awai.com Golden Thread archives) to help and we're adding a Graphics session to the bootcamp this year. More details to come but in the meantime, if you're interested in earning an extra $2,000 per package by learning a few key design secrets visit: http://www.thedesignerslife.com/.]

"What I have learned over the years is that writers who have an idea of what their package will look like have much more success than those who don't.

"To sum up, any good marketing manager will LOVE their copywriters, not hate them. The dialogue writers and marketers have will be ongoing. They will share lead ideas, competitive packages, list ideas, and always respect the ownership that a writer feels for his/her work."

[John's eletter, The Copywriters Roundtable, is a great free resource for both copywriters and marketers. If you don't already subscribe but would like to, simply visit http://www.agoramail.net/add.cfm?list=crtable and sign up today.]

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Published: March 10, 2003

1 Response to “Quick Tip: How Marketing Managers Really Feel About Working with Copywriters”

  1. The Agora link is incorrect. Should be: http://agoracompany.com/. The link to sign up is at the bottom of the page. Otherwise, good article. Thank you.


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