– Twenty years working as a copywriter, chief sub-editor, columnist and published author
– Great headline and display copywriter, clinical eye for detail and grammar
– Sound knowledge of writing for the web and print
– Good strategic thinker and common-sense approach to user experience, search and social media
– Calm, organised copy manager, well used to the pressure of deadlines
Time is short – so are attention spans. Copy needs to work hard on the web, and even harder on mobile. That means punchy headlines, optimised copy and total focus on what your brand needs to say, whether you’re acquiring customers or making sure they want to stick around.
I have 20 years of experience as a writer in advertising and journalism. In April 2009 I took voluntary redundancy from The Independent, completed a Masters in digital media, and have since combined my skills in print media with those required in the digital landscape.
Senior copywriter, blinkbox Entertainment Group (July 2011 – present)
I am currently working as senior copywriter at blinkbox Entertainment Ltd, the online entertainment hub owned by Tesco Plc. With the brand director, I have developed the brand book for blinkbox Movies and TV, and created the tone of voice which has since been rolled out through all touchpoints of the brand, from landing pages and FAQs to customers’ sales receipts and copy for the product/asset pages. I have scripted “How to” videos, produced instore Tesco point-of-sale materials and onsite pages, from wireframes to launch. Most recently, I have helped to bring the blinkbox tone of voice to life through the beta launch of blinkbox books (due early 2014). In conjunction with the head of customer engagement and a third-party agency, I also set the templates for the CRM programme, and wrote all newsletters to customers.
I have worked closely with the board, marketing and product development/UX departments to ensure consistency and clarity across blinkbox’s entire digital and physical output. I have also completed similar work for both Clubcard TV and blinkbox music.
Copywriter/editor/UX copy consultant, The Book of Everyone.com (July 2013 – present)
The Book of Everyone is a unique book-making and print-on-demand app that customers use to create one-of-a-kind, 50-page, personalised gift books about anyone, in seconds. Since joining the start-up in July 2013, I have edited, audited and contributed to all 50 chapters of the book which are held on their database, worked with their front-end developer to create onsite copy and all aspects of the customer pathway, and upheld the core brand values of celebration, curiosity and charm. Since the launch in January 2014, I have been concentrating on their marketing and PR push, constantly updating chapters to make them ever more entertaining and relevant, and also been working on new ideas for The Book of Baby and The Book of Us.
MA digital media, Kingston University (Sept 2009 – Sept 2010)
After taking voluntary redundancy from The Independent in April 2009, I returned to university to retrain in the digital space. Throughout the course I acquired a broad understanding of digital technology, and its burgeoning importance in the future growth of the global economy. Specific disciplines learned on the included UX, documentary production, creating an online advertising campaign, creative digital photography, rebranding the online presence of the Crystal Palace Museum (not live), intermedia art practice, and a dissertation/project entitled “Building online communities in the pet industry”. Overall, I received a Commendation.
Chief sub editor/production editor/writer, The Independent Magazine (Apr 2002 – Apr 2009)
A pivotal role in the weekend supplement of The Independent. Working consistently with challenging budgets through all aspects of sub-editing, editorial planning and commissioning of features, crafting display copy, scheduling production slots, building and maintaining excellent relationships with regular contributors, managing copy traffic, re-writing copy, and final sign-off of proofs. Management of one full-time sub-editor and freelancers as necessary. I wrote a weekly column on pets and contributed to the Travel, Editorial and Food & Drink sections in the main newspaper.
Sub editor, The Times, The Independent (Apr 2000 – Apr 2002)
Two years freelance for these titles in Features, News and Business sections, before being asked to join The Independent on a full-time basis in April 2002.
Copywriter, Claydon Heeley, London (Oct 1998 – Mar 2000)
Middle-weight writer in a 20-strong creative department involved in fully integrated marketing and communications, including press, radio, direct marketing, sales promotion, banking literature, loyalty magazines and contract publishing. Clients included Sony PlayStation (Precision Marketing Response Award 1999 – IT category), Bradford & Bingley, British Airways, Compaq Computers, Dixons Group (now Currys), First Great Eastern Railways, Reuters and Sony.
Promotions copy editor, Condé Nast Traveller magazine (Sept 1997 – Sept 1998)
Developing, researching, writing and editing advertorial pages for the UK’s most prestigious travel title, working directly with the promotions director and art director on the first year’s issue from launch. Thorough experience of meeting monthly deadlines, finding a delicate balance between promotional spin and editorial veracity.
Copywriter, Storm Communications, Hong Kong (Apr 1995 – March 1997)
Chief English copywriter in Hong Kong’s then largest independent advertising agency. Closely involved in creative development of through-the-line disciplines, including press, advertorials, sales promotion, radio and internal corporate communications. Clients: Cartier, Bank of America, Diner’s Club, Microsoft, Motorola and LG Electronics.
I am the co-author of Behold the Front Page (1994, Mainstream), a satirical loo-book which told the big stories from the Bible in the style of the tabloids, such as “Militant Moses runs amok in Pharaoh fun palace” and “Giant whale ate my husband” – it sold a sizzling, soaraway 20,000 copies.
Kingston University (2009-2010), MA Digital media (Commendation)
University of the West of England, Bristol (1987-1992), BA French and Spanish
Lancing College (1981-1986), 2 A levels, 1 AO level, 7 O levels
I am proficient in PC, Mac, Word, QuarkXpress, Prestige Content Manager, Atex, WordPress. I have basic skills in Photoshop and After Effects, and film editing on iMovie and Final Cut Pro. I speak French and Spanish to a high standard.
Matt Shepherd-Smith, brand director, blinkbox Entertainment Ltd
Jonny Biggins, CEO/founder, The Book of Everyone
Lisa Markwell, editor-in-chief, The Independent on Sunday