Concepteur-rédacteur chez Oswald Orb
Oh My Job is a web series dedicated to discovering jobs as explained by in-the-field professionals. In this episode, Jean-François, a digital and print copywriter, tells us about his job and day-to-day tasks at Oswald Orb.
A copywriter’s job is to come up with ad ideas and the words that best express these ideas, and then develop them across different types of media for various brands.
At an agency, a copywriter’s main mission is to understand the client’s creative brief in depth. They need to be able to propose a variety of projects or innovative concepts to their creative director. This is known as the design phase.
“Copywriting is really just a huge playground, and our toys are our imagination and humor.”
Once the project has been approved, it will move into the ad-writing stage, which will generate the brand jargon used across different media. Using the client brief, a copywriter will create a brochure, make a poster, produce a radio or TV ad, or post a story on Instagram. They also oversee and coordinate the various production stages (printing, recording, and so on) alongside the creative director until delivery of the final project.
“What I like the most is being able to change fields, dive into different sectors, and dig out the fundamentals to play with conventions. Once we do that, that’s where the magic happens, and we find the idea that clicks with everyone.”
Although most copywriters work in agencies, they can also be employed directly, where they will fill the role of an in-house editorial manager.
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There is no typical path to becoming a copywriter. Educational backgrounds include business school with a major in advertising or communications, or possibly a more literary-related track like journalism or the arts. Because of the proficient writing skills required for the job, the latter profile is what job recruiters are looking for the most.
“For me, a diverse career path is the most appealing and gratifying to do this job.”
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- Be creative and have excellent writing skills. A copywriter must know how to play with words and have an imagination overflowing with ideas to propose innovative concepts and slogans.
- Be quick on your feet. More often than not, a copywriter will have very little time to prepare and present their projects to the customer. They will have to juggle several clients at the same time, so they must be able to work quickly and under pressure.
- Be “persistent and patient, because 80% of our work will be chucked out. As for the other 20%, half will be revised.”
- Be humble. One mistake copywriters make is “confounding their beliefs with arrogance. You need to be sure of yourself to sell ideas, but we have a tendency to prioritize beauty over effectiveness. So, don’t be stubborn. Accept the consensus.”
Most copywriters work in ad agencies. After getting a brief, they begin the design phase to generate ideas they can pitch to their creative director. They always work as a team with a print or web art director. Once the project has been approved, they will present the keynotes to the sales teams, who will then pitch the ideas to the client. They work with a large range of outside professionals, including journalists, actors, and directors; it all revolves around the budget they have to work with.
The annual salary in the US is about $67,863.
Depending on what they want to do, copywriters can move into creative director positions, where they will head teams. If they are drawn to content, the job of branded content manager is the one for them. And if they really want to spread their wings, and they enjoy strategic challenges, they can aim for work in strategic planning.
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