I’m a copywriter. If you watch Mad Men (I’m Peggy), or work in advertising or media, you probably have an idea of what I do. Even then it’s questionable. One friend who shall remain nameless recently revealed she didn’t know what a copywriter did. She works with them every day, and as far as I know, she’s not into heavy drugs.
Many of you might guess my work has something to do with illegal music downloading, or intellectual property rights, or something related to spending time in courtrooms or getting sued (I’d like to avoid those things).
What Does a Copywriter Do?
If you don’t know what a copywriter does, don’t get yourself down. It’s a problem I come across regularly, even among other writers, media professionals and generally intelligent members of society. It’s ironic my profession has such a seemingly indecipherable name, considering what most copywriters do (explain things in simple terms so people can understand them).
In my profession, copy is the written content of your marketing or advertising material that explains your products or services and why people should spend their money on them. Copywriting is the act of creating that content. Professional copywriters can write content for a variety of uses, including radio and television ads, scripts, website content, print marketing, newsletters–anything where text is required to explain, sell, or tell a story.
Copyright is also in the realm of content, but it’s not about the creation of it, it’s about protecting it from being copied and reused without permission. Copyright even has its own little symbol–a c with a circle around it (like the one pictured above)– which signifies that a piece of intellectual property is protected from being copied and reused without permission or proper credit.
Copywrite or Copyright?
Both copywriting and copyright are related to content, which is probably where the confusion arises. One is the act of creating it, and one is the act of protecting it.
If, after reading this, the distinction between them is still unclear to you, I might need to find a new day job…
Image by Horlia Varlan