Better results from your copy

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Better results from your copy

Bluesmith Information Systems were in a pickle. They’re a thriving software development company in Leeds with lots happening, especially their new employment opportunities for capable graduates. Yet they were struggling to reach enough of the right kind of people to fill their vacancies.

They wrote a few job adverts in-house but weren’t sure whether their attempts appealed to the right people, succinctly captured what it’s like to be a data engineer or faithfully reflected their organisation’s culture.

A friendly chat

Our partnership began in earnest with an intense dissection of those important elements at Bluesmith HQ in Leeds. We gathered together everything we knew about the problem and filled in the blanks to some crucial questions any good copywriter should answer, like:

  • What’s the proposition? (to the reader)
  • Who’s making it?
  • Who’s it being made to?
  • Why is it relevant to them?
  • What’s life like if they choose it?

Bluesmith even put me in touch with their current graduate employees in Leeds to help build an accurate profile of who we wanted to appeal to. I also reflected on my own experience as a computing graduate fresh out of Leeds university, daunted by the prospect of getting a foot on the employment ladder.

The artefacts to be written were a poster, an online job advert and an email announcement sent directly to students; all variations on the same theme yet tailored to their medium.

With everything to hand, I began the process of prioritising what we say to candidates. Imagine post-it notes scrawled with ideas and facts performing a calculated foxtrot across a whiteboard and you come close the frenetic copywriting planning process.

Here’s the finished poster (design duties ably performed by Jon Simmons):

Poster which reads "Career opportunity for bright logical thinkers"

Bluesmith’s graduate recruitment poster

Choosing an entry angle is always the toughest task (and often the first pitfall for anyone inexperienced with ad copywriting). I decided on a factual headline, given that the advert was to be posted on notice boards in common rooms where competition is fierce. It then moves on to an enticing sub-heading above copy focused tightly on the type of person Bluesmith need and what’s on offer if they apply.

With the email and online job advert we could afford to be more wordy, yet the underlying message is still consistent in tone and content. It’s positive too, full of conviction and paces crucial information steadily without overwhelming the reader:

In a typical day as a Graduate Data Engineer you might brush up on your SQL knowledge, optimise a parallel data-load process, or discover how billions of database transactions reveal customer trends for big brand clients like Virgin Media and Morrisons. We get very excited about optimising database performance and so will you, because it’s the same kind of applied mathematics and science you’re already familiar with. You don’t have to be a computing graduate to appreciate the subtle elegance of a finely-tuned query execution plan! Just bring your analytical outlook and a willingness to learn and we’ll fill in the gaps.

Neil Warnock (MD at Bluesmith Information Systems in Leeds) is pleased with the results too:

“Just wanted to say that the copy you did for our Data Engineer graduate job advert is working well. We have had 12 good applications through in just two weeks!”

Decisive freelance copywriting in Leeds

If your in-house copywriting efforts don’t deliver the results you need, perhaps it’s time for an expert eye. Hire me as your freelance copywriter and we’ll make your copy work harder.

Skills

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Posted on

September 1, 2015

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