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Copywriters and creatives debate negativity and positivity all the time.
I’ve heard respected freelance copywriters say you should never use negative words. Never say bad. Never say never.
But most people make exceptions when it comes to certain industries. If you’re writing about health, security, or safety, emphasising the negative emotions can really help to solidify fears and drive people to take action.
The problem is it feels a bit dirty.
Just this week, I was interviewed by Glenn Fisher at All Good Copy. We talked about everything from my unusual approach to planning to my favourite words to use in copy. Then, we got onto the subject of whether negative or positive emotions work best.
So, for this Swiped post, I wanted to use one of my favourite examples that shows how people respond to a positive attitude – even if you’re talking about something that’s quite frankly terrifying.
Cue the fireworks. This piece of news is very, very exciting.
You see, for the first time ever, this company is doing a thing. The thing is incredibly exciting. The company said ‘We are very excited about doing this thing.’
As well as calling on a press release writer, the company also decided to get their copywriter to put together a blog post. The blog post was just as exciting, but less formal. In fact, the lack of formality made the excitement all the more frenzied.
Here is a tip for everybody who has ever issued a press release – it’s not that exciting.
But that doesn’t matter.
As a creative copywriter, inspiration often comes without notice – and not exactly when I need it to. A copywriter can write, sure, but also trades on creative ideas. Coming up with the right approach, the best angle, and the ideal way to sell to customers is the most important duty of a copywriter. When inspiration strikes, nothing is more exciting.
But sometimes, getting inspired is a source of frustration.