In-house writers often create communications that are critical to the success of companies. An effective sales letter, for example, can transform sales.
Yet companies rarely train the staff in how to write effectively. In addition to lost sales, poor writing can seriously undermine the positioning of the brand.
We design and deliver copywriting training programmes for businesses who want to make the most of the communications they write in-house. Normally these involve:
- Introduction of the brand's tone of voice
- Techniques for achieving this tone of voice
- Briefing: how to write and request a good brief
- Best practice for writing in different media
Scroll down for case studies:
- INSEAD Business School
- P&O Cruises
"How can you get someone writing like a pro in just three days?"
The brief: When you refer to yourselves as ‘The Business School for the World’, every aspect of your offering needs to be of the highest quality. And that includes your communications. With this in mind, INSEAD’s head in-house writer contacted us for some coaching to help prepare and deliver an upcoming brochure project.
The solution: Three days of project-based training over the phone focusing on the briefing process, content development, finding the right tone of voice and deciding which messaging would be most persuasive to the audience.
The result: Using the processes we discussed, the writer refined her content plan. This gave her the platform to write a well-received brochure and the skills to take on future projects independently.
The credits: Copywriter agency: Barnaby Benson London. Writing coach: Barnaby Benson. Client: INSEAD.
How can you get all in-house writers to adopt a new tone of voice?
The brief: P&O Cruises relies on it’s in-house writing team to draft sales letters to past customers that secure bookings for new cruises. We had created a new tone of voice scheme for the brand and were invited to propose how to best train the team in the new way of writing.
The solution: We designed a programme of six day-long group courses each focusing on a different aspect of brand writing. All our trainers are also writers, which ensures the courses are practical and relevant. We also have a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate of Education) qualified writer on staff who advises on the design of our training programmes. This ensures the right balance between lecturing, student practice and tutor feedback, and a good balance of individual and group tasks. Allowing a six to eight weeks’ gap between each session meant the writers had a chance to implement the things they’d learned into their day to day writing. Writers then brought these example projects back for sharing in the sessions. We gave them one to one feedback and directed their further development.
Many great writers often open a piece of writing with an insight. It is a common technique in travel writing and novel writing e.g. ‘The past is another country. They do things differently there.’ (The Go Between)
Each Nordic country is cold in its own way; in Oslo, it is a rural cold, the cold of surrounding landscape. An urban cold rises from Stockholm, from the streets and public buildings. In Helsinki it is an elemental cold, a cold which invades the body and leaves it stunned. At midday you gaze at the sun without blinking; all things turn to ice. It is like the coldness of God. To travel here from Sweden is to move from light sleep to a harsh and sudden consciousness.
Open your description with an insight that captures the reader’s attention.
The results: 'As well as developing our Brand Guidelines, Barnaby Benson worked with our in-house copywriting team to facilitate the smooth implementation of the new guidelines. They injected a new level of creativity and personality into our marketing communications and were great fun to work with. Their unique talent for writing and coaching was of real value to our business.'
Karen Williams, Marketing Services Manager
The credits: Copywriter agency: Barnaby Benson London. Writing coach: Barnaby Benson. Client: P&O Cruises.
The challenge: How can you help recruiters write the perfect ‘first approach’ InMail?
The Brief: Financial services company, G Research, have a team of in-house recruiters who use LinkedIn to target IT talent. They need to attract the same world-class graduates and postgrads that Google, Facebook and every other major internet business are after – specialists in quantitative data analysis, software development, machine learning, technology infrastructure and information security. They asked us to train their recruiters in how to write more effective ‘first approach’ InMails.
The Solution: We designed a bespoke, five-hour training course to help recruitment consultants personalise their communications and create compelling, benefit-led InMails.
By analysing previous communications – both successful and unsuccessful – we identified specific areas of improvement and built the training around these. Combining this with industry best practice we produced a session that would ensure a lasting improvement.
Subject line tips
- Grab attention while still keeping your tone professional
- Say something positive about candidate’s background, interests or recent social media activity
- Mention something you have in common – interest or shared connection
- Keep it short and engaging
- Make the closing call to action easy to do
Before the training, InMail open rates were averaging 24%. Four months later they’d gone up 100% with over 50% of InMails being opened.
“We created a bespoke training package on persuasive writing with Barnaby. Our team were very pleased with both the content of our sessions & the materials we developed for future use.
“The training was tailored specifically to our needs and covered theory, a critique of our current practice and hands-on exercises to hone our skills, with honest feedback from Barnaby provided along the way. Barnaby is clearly very knowledgeable and this was the first training programme I have participated in for some time where I felt we were fully prepared to put what we learned in to practice immediately after the sessions.
Alex Whitlock, Recruitment Manager
The Credits: Copywriting training agency: Barnaby Benson London. Writers: Barnaby Benson and Chris Camps. Training: Barnaby Benson. Client: G Research