Freelance Writer and VoiceOver Artist
Last active: 02/15/2014
Words matter. So often, I read articles on the internet or hear ad copy on the radio that is clearly not written by someone with a grasp of that concept. The way you use words and the words you choose are the difference between someone taking your opinion or product seriously or not.
Working in the theater, we would obviously get reviewed by critics. If a review was negative, it would make me cringe if it was written poorly. I had no problem reading bad reviews as long as they were written well. Likewise, a review could be positively glowing, but if it was written by someone who obviously lacked writing experience or a decent command of the English language, I would find it equally offensive as it would undercut the positive things the critic would have to say because his words betrayed his level of expertise, or lack thereof.
The same is true when it comes to advertising copy. I listen to a lot of radio, which means I listen to a lot of commercials. I will give you a perfect example of the difference between professional writing and something less.
There's an ad running for a company called "A Place For Mom" and they hired Joan London as their spokesperson. Whoever wrote the copy for this ad (and presumably got paid for it) is probably some marketing department hack with no writing experience. The opening line of the ad reads:
"Hi, I'm Joan London, and if you're worried about a parent or loved one living alone like I was..."
Oops. Was Joan London living alone? Should we be worried? Should I feel sorry for poor Joan London?
Clearly the meaning the writer intended was for the line to read:
"Hi, I'm Joan London, and if you're worried like I was, about a parent or loved one living alone..."
This is a professional ad that I would assume the company spent a ton of money on producing and buying air time and no one along the way, not the writer, producer or Joan London herself caught the mistake.
To the untrained or less educated eye or ear, it may not seem like an egregious mistake, but by putting the word "worried" next to the words "like I was" it is not only grammatically correct, but it also invokes empathy in the listener because the emotion of "worry" is now attached to the person "like I was" rather than separated from the subject.
These subtle differences are why you should hire a professional writer with a command of words and an understanding of how words have meaning and how to use them to most effectively get your point across.
Even if you have something you have already written, whether it's an article expressing an opinion, a sales proposal or a radio or television ad, if you don't use a professional writer to at least look it over, you could potentially undermine your opinion or at worst, hurt your product.
I am available to write on any subject you choose and I thank you for your consideration. I am also available for VoiceOver work and have a demo reel on request.