Copywriters start from scratch
A job title usually explains the work a person does. Without being too banal I suggest plumber, mechanic, bank manager, dentist or early childhood educator.
These examples leave little doubt as to the nature of the tasks involved. But a title like Music Industry Copywriter could be confused with the Content writer. Two closely related writing tasks where the first is bent on selling. The latter aims to inform
The WTF factor
The main problem stems from the word “copywriter”. Separating the two components of “copy” and “writer” creates an unlikely juxtaposition.
The word copy conjures up a role in imitation. Whereas we think of a writer as someone involved in a creative endeavor.
While the creative side might be obvious with writing works of fiction – short stories and novels for example – even writing a scientific report requires a good deal of creative input.
In fact, to most people penning a letter to dear old mum involves some creative input.
So too a Music Industry Copywriter has to draw on the creative juices. They could be writing an article about a popular artist. Or reviewing Tay Tay’s latest single to drop.
If the writer is putting together a review on the works of a famous 18th-century composer they will need to delve deeply into the creative puddle.
Whether stimulating sales or merely informing there is a need to attract an audience. Originality is a difficult task when working within a field where it’s all been said before.
Toss out copycats
Despite the title of “Copywriter” there’s nothing respectful in a rip-off. The writer who infers ownership of text that originates elsewhere is destined for a short career.
Perhaps the problem stems from a literal interpretation of the word “copy”. In this case, the word is used as a noun and not a verb.
How? Well, it’s a historical reference taken from the newspaper industry and borrowed by that master of plagiarism; the advertising industry.
In pre-digital times newspaper journalists typed or wrote articles on Octavo-sized paper (152mm x 229mm). They made an original and two carbon copies (O+2).
The original went directly to the linotype room. There it was typeset ready to be printed. The first carbon copy was collected by an office junior - the “copy boy”- and delivered to the sub-editor. The author kept the second carbon copy for reference.
When assembled with the headline and sub-headings the wording was referred to as copy. Get the message. The advertising industry simply borrowed the printer’s jargon and initiated the illustrious title of Copywriter.
Today most wouldn’t know where their job description originated.
However when you’re scratching around looking for a creative writer start here; www.mediagroup.com.au