In part 1 and part 2 of our 3-part series we looked into tips for helping projects run smoother in digital, design and motion. In part 3 we’ll tackle the copy, as well as troubleshooting some common issues.
Read scripts aloud
Putting your key messages together in a script gives your agency a good starting point. But don’t throw everything but the kitchen sink in and hope it will still fit within your 30” or 60” budget. As they say, ‘an elephant will not fit in a mailbox’. To test your script, grab a stopwatch and voice your words nice and clearly (no mumbling or speed reading). And keep in mind you need to leave time for an intro and outro. A conservative rule of thumb is 70 words every 30 seconds.
Avoid random Capitalisation
No one likes the grammar police but the (mis)use of capital letters to make words appear more important than they are only makes your message harder to comprehend (especially when every sixth word appears that way). And you want to make your message easy to understand, right? If you’re eager to emphasise a common noun like widget, or managing director, or law of symmetry, underline it, bold it, or change the colour instead. Remember this because it’s Very Important.
Save the mix ‘n’ match for later
Mix ‘n’ match works a treat on the tennis court, but not when it comes to copy. Imagine you have three versions of copy for a press ad. You’re convinced the headline to version one totally nails the brief. But you really dig the body copy of version three too. Should you combine the two? No. Even if they sound like they are talking about the same thing, chances are they won’t flow smoothly. And there will be a disconnect somewhere along the way that leaves your audience confused. Tell the copywriter what you like about each version and let them work their magic.
You don’t have all the reference material and content you need
Delay the project until you have it or make a plan with your agency so you’re both confident of what you can complete it by the deadline.
You need sign-off from your legal team
Get legal across content early on to speed up the approval process.
The scope of projects change
Discuss budget and timings with your internal teams to work out what elements are best to add, hold or remove.
Someone on your team goes on leave or gets too busy
Ask someone else to step in, and make sure key dates are booked into diaries ahead of time.
No one’s allowed
Keep in mind at the outset that some costs cannot be confirmed until the creative idea has been signed off. Your agency should help you with this but it’s always good to factor in some consideration for items such as print production and image licensing.
Reuben Barrett is the Marketing Manager of Dave Clark Design.
Designs by: Jacinta Mauga, Senior Designer, Wellington studio.