I’m in…The Longest Day for the Alzheimer’s Association

Fundraising
On Wednesday, June 20, I’ll be participating in The Longest Day, an exciting and emotional sunrise-to-sunset relay event to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Association. As a member of my company’s fundraising team, I’ll be doing what I can to honor the perseverance and patience, determination and dedication that those who are living with Alzheimer’s disease – and their caregivers – display every day. The only rule, per se, for this event is at least one member of our fundraising team needs to be in constant motion every second of the approximately 16 hours of daylight on June 20, which is the summer solstice, or the day of the calendar year with the most sunlight. My initial plan was to run for a few hours on The Longest Day, but I broke my big right toe recently (May 26) in a fluke accident, so I probably won’t be able…
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My Blog Post on Video Series: 10 Ways to Succeed as a Copywriter

Advertising, Blogging, Branding, Business, Copywriting, Direct Marketing, Fundraising, Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media, Twitter, YouTube
If you're a content creator like me, someone who goes to great lengths to share your own knowledge and opinions via social media, you know how important it is to get the most mileage out of your original work. Frankly, I’m always thinking of new ways to leverage and repurpose my efforts. So as I was writing the posts in my “10 Ways to Succeed as a Copywriter" series, I’ll admit that I was thinking all along that they might lend themselves quite well to video. After all, I had already turned a number of blog posts into short clips that I had uploaded to YouTube, each of which featured me talking straight into the camera from a variety of different locations. I envisioned this series to be no different. What…
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My 218th Blog Post

Blogging, Copywriting, Direct Marketing, Facebook, Fundraising, LinkedIn, Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media, Twitter
Since my first post on February 17, 2004, I've written more than 91,000 words on A New Marketing Commentator, but these are going to be some of my last words here for a while. Yes, it's time to give this blog a rest -- again. I'm sure I'll be back soon, but I've decided it's time for another break from the blogosphere, similar to the one I took earlier in this blog's lifespan. In the meantime, please don't hesitate to check out my archives, especially the 2,700-word "10 Ways to Succeed in Social Media" and the 2,800-word "10 Ways to Succeed as a Copywriter," two long series of blog posts I've bundled together and published as long, standalone articles. Other relatively recent posts I've written that I'd like to single out include "The Importance of Character in Social Media," "50…
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10 Ways to Succeed as a Copywriter, Parts 1-10

10 Ways to Succeed as a Copywriter, Parts 1-10

Advertising, Blogging, Branding, Cause-Related Marketing, Copywriting, Direct Marketing, Facebook, Fundraising, Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media, Twitter
If you've been reading this blog for the last few months, you know I've been writing a series of posts on copywriting. Similar to the approach I took with my series on social media, I've looked at copywriting from a 30,000-foot level, focusing on the principles you need to be mindful of if you want to succeed in this profession. As I wrote about my own career in the very first post in this series... I may have worked for a number of different companies, developed new skills and taken on new responsibilities – such as creative direction, public speaking and social media – along the way, but I’ve also stayed true to my roots as a copywriter. And after all of these years writing headlines and subject lines, direct mail packages and email blasts, blog posts…
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10 Ways to Succeed as a Copywriter, Part Nine

Advertising, Blogging, Branding, Copywriting, Direct Marketing, Fundraising, Public Relations, Social Media
9. Sweat the small stuff. It's one thing to be a creative genius, to be that extra special someone in the room who can come up with surprisingly brilliant ideas practically on demand, time and time again. That's the glamour and glory of the business. But the consummate copywriter is actually a stickler for details, someone who's as strong on the left side of the brain as the right, who's as analytical and obsessive as conceptual and extemporaneous, who's as aware of the importance of being an accurate, fact-based  tactician as much as an original, award-winning craftsperson. That part of the job is not as exciting as it is necessary. Yes, it's not good enough to be just a great wordsmith and marketer. If you want to earn a living as a copywriter, you also have to be…
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10 Ways to Succeed as a Copywriter, Part Eight

Advertising, Blogging, Branding, Cause-Related Marketing, Copywriting, Direct Marketing, Fundraising, Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media
8. Be a team player. Most copywriters are accustomed to working alone, sequestered away from the rest of the team, doors closed, blinds drawn, working feverishly against time. It's what we do out of necessity, when there's no room for distractions and we just need to put our heads down to get the job done as soon as possible. Yet while it's certainly not unusual for a copywriter to do his or her thing in isolation, battling loneliness as well as the clock, it really shouldn't be the norm. Sure, to succeed as a copywriter, you need to be a self-starter, capable of working independently for long stretches of time. But you also need to be a team player, someone who works well with others – especially designers, creative directors and…
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10 Ways to Succeed as a Copywriter, Part Six

Advertising, Blogging, Branding, Copywriting, Direct Marketing, Fundraising, Marketing, Social Media
6. Exercise good judgment. A copywriter has meetings to attend and research to conduct, but the majority of his or her work hours are spent, well, writing copy – and often under the pressure of exceedingly high expectations and incredibly tight deadlines. Talent is important. But so is good judgment. Whatever you’re writing, you have to have both the experience and intuition to choose just the right words for the assignment time after time. You also have to decide for yourself when to let go of your work and share it with your colleagues and clients. As Roger von Oech writes on page 110 of his book, “A Kick In The Seat Of The Pants”… “The judge performs the evaluation function of the creative process. When you adopt this role, you…
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10 Ways to Succeed as a Copywriter, Part Two

Advertising, Branding, Copywriting, Direct Marketing, Fundraising, Marketing
2. Care deeply about results. While being able to exhibit a high degree of creativity may be important to the success of a copywriter, achieving the highest possible ROI is usually imperative, certainly in direct marketing, the industry in which I earn my livelihood. My brethren and I work with the understanding that the purpose of most campaigns is to promote sales of a product or service, not the copywriter’s ability to turn a clever phrase. It’s nice to win awards. But what really counts is winning over your audience, those who are hopefully hanging on your every single word. Yes, what the most successful copywriters really care about is convincing those on the receiving end of their communications to take action in some way, shape or form such as picking up the phone, filling out a form, clicking on…
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10 Ways to Succeed as a Copywriter, Part One

Advertising, Branding, Copywriting, Direct Marketing, Fundraising, Marketing
My first job out of graduate school many years ago was as a copywriter for RCA Direct Marketing in New York City. And the rest, as they say, has been history. Since that first exciting stint writing about the most popular records (yes, vinyl) and tapes (yes, cassettes and eight-tracks) of the day, I’ve written about an incalculable number of different products and services. As I wrote in the preceding post here on A New Marketing Commentator… I’ve written copy to help promote everything from business cards to books, healthcare to software, insurance coverage to investment advice, magazines to music, travel to tuxedos and much, much more. I’ve also written direct response fundraising copy for dozens of charitable organizations (which, by the way, has been some of the most satisfying work…
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