Copywriting Case Study: A Newsletter Project
I sometimes get asked what a copywriter does and how an organization might work with one and I always love that question. Most large organizations have whole departments devoted to communicating both internally and externally, and they hire professional writers to ensure that they get their messages out to their audiences in clear and powerful ways.
Professional writing and copywriting is a tough purchase for many smaller companies, however, since writing services tend to represent a cost centre, rather than a revenue centre, and it can be difficult to establish a clear ROI on the spend. But if a business is growing and needs to demonstrate its authority in the marketplace, communication is key. We’ve put together this case study to show how we’ve handled a vibrant newsletter project for a growing community.
Here’s the scoop:
Why Crossman Communications
A mid-sized municipality in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) hired Crossman Communications to write content for the city’s bi-annual newsletter. They needed a reliable researcher and strong writer who could get along well with municipal and elected officials and hit their deadlines. The task is to research and write approximately 24 articles for three of the city’s six wards.
A Few More Details
The municipality is growing like gangbusters and uses the newsletter to highlight city news in each of the town’s six, soon-to-be seven wards. The newsletter is available at city hall and online, and it is mailed out to every home in the municipality; 165,000 copies of every issue are printed. Article topics might be anything from road widening and public park upgrades to updates on projects relating to the repurposing of land that formerly belonged to the local school board or provincial government. Sometimes articles highlight the work of people who are doing interesting things. Sometimes they have a historical aspect – as when the local regulations around heritage areas are being updated or we look at some interesting information related to the historical society.
How the Project Unfolds
Crossman Communications organizes an editorial schedule so that we have deadlines for each aspect of the newsletter’s production. We work closely with municipal councillors to identify topics and organize editorial line-ups for each ward so we are clear on topic parameters and research resources; we also assign a word count to each article ahead of time so we know how much of the ward’s “Word budget” each article will take up.
We conduct substantial online research to obtain as much information as possible about each topic area and interview municipal staff in order to get the most recent facts. We then draft the articles and coordinate approvals with municipal and elected officials before submitting the articles to the Communications Advisor at the municipality.
This is a big project and it requires an enormous attention to detail. It’s not just the writing that matters in a project like this: you need a strong ability to filter through large volumes of information and extract the important details, as well as great project coordination skills and the ability to get along with people. The result in this project is a large package of accurate, well-written, copy delivered on deadline with no drama that tells the municipalities stories story with accuracy and aplomb and demonstrates to taxpayers how responsibly their tax dollars are being spent.