Most copywriters can also be called "ghostwriters," and although neither is a particularly lofty title, in our information-laden world, writers of all ilks* deserve some extra... consideration, for starters. (More compensation, too - but I'll leave that topic for another day.)
This post appeared earlier this year on my blog about business writing.
What Do Copywriters Write? EverythingIn the past six months or so, I've written about employment placement services, OSHA regulations,
e-parking apps, replacement windows, agricultural dust control products, hand-crafted jewelry
landscaping services and bulk mulch products, mobile pet grooming services, PeopleSoft implementations, escape room games, marketing automation, keratin hair straightening processes,
online accounting services, floral arrangements, appointment-setting software, lead paint remediation products, snow plowing and ice management techniques and a variety of medical conditions, surgeries and treatments, and reimbursement systems affecting both patients and providers.
Over approximately the same time period, my work has also appeared in three Forbes blogs, The Huffington Post, and a couple of other places I just can't mention.
I've written policies and procedural manuals for employees of companies where I've never been employed - and not just written, as in wrangled someone else's words, but written as in created and developed the policy (after discussions with several company principles or department head) and then written, for stakeholder approval. I have not written public policy but, many a hired-gun copywriter has. Sorry if that ruins your romantic notion about politicians and other public servants but hey, they're busy people. (Do you have any idea how much time it takes to raise enough money to run for office?)
My point? Information is a tricky thing. Regardless of the expert's name on an article or the name of the publication, it's quite possible the piece you're reading was written by a copywriter with a basic journalism degree in his (or her) back pocket, a fairly small balance in his (or her) bank account, and a whole lot of secrets.
Ghostwriters are not in the Fake News BusinessThis is absolutely not intended to be a jab at journalism, public relations, corporate information, business blogs or any other form of writing. Quite the contrary. Journalists are trained to research, investigate, interview and quickly disseminate information - real, helpful information. Not "just the facts," but the facts plus context.
As always, I highly recommend reading a lot, and thinking even more. And hey, tip your bartenders and copywriters. They're both generally undervalued in the professional world.
*Like copywriters, ilk is a word that doesn't get a lot of respect. In fact, many modern spell-check programs don't recognize it. (Merriam-Webster does.) I love how internet retailer Woot uses ilk in an ad for a bag that's definitely not elk.
Woot is a company that appears to "get" copywriting and all that other mumbo-jumbo. Again, that's probably fodder for a whole different post.