My career in advertising and marketing started at a small market radio station.
My first job as a copywriter was at a local AM/FM radio station, sort of a WKRP in Cincinnati, but in Sarasota. (For those of you under 40, google it; it was a sitcom). I started as an overnight announcer for Sunday /Monday, 11 p.m.-8 a.m., for $60 a week. No, not a typo. My degree in Broadcasting and Communications paid off, and I eventually moved into the Communications Director position – and everything that was spoken on-air (commercials, announcements, intros, etc) I wrote. It was great fun because it was “old time” radio with record needle drops, creative two-voice spots, and sound effects from vinyl records – one of the best times I had creatively.
It’s the ability to write copy but think strategically about how the copy will be used in marketing, positioning, and branding. It’s not just about writing but about how you want someone to think about what you are writing in clever, creative, interesting ways. This wasn’t a career path I chose, but it soon became something I excelled at.
When I’m called upon to write blog content, I’ll use my copywriting experience. I learned writing 30-second radio stops and short print copy; “keywords” and SEO were how I had to do it then; Facebook, web content, banners … it’s how it’s done now… because people read a lot of content, and they want their messages – fast.