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What’s in my brain

/What’s in my brain
What’s in my brain 2017-02-11T15:26:54+00:00

MENSA certificate crop

My brain wasn’t always a copywriter. In fact, it wasn’t even aware copywriting was a profession until it was, ummm, well past 35 years old.

Despite lacking this information, my brain had unwittingly been writing copy for many years as an aspect of other roles. Blissfully unaware of the specialist career that awaited.

They say everything happens for a reason. In this case, the knowledge gained from previous job functions gives my brain an invaluable extra edge when it comes to understanding business and formulating copy that really serves a purpose.

My brain scored a whopping 133 on the Cattell Scale when officially tested by MENSA, The International High IQ Society. In layman’s terms, it means my brain is in the cleverest 2% of the population.

Previous lives

My brain’s past life in sales

When all is said and done, all roads lead to sales. And so should all copy, in one way or another. Having spent many years on the front line, my brain has second-to-none appreciation of the final stages in securing business. Which is a great asset in its copywriting tool box.

Advertising

Been there, done that and even acquired several T-shirts during a successful 7 year career (1988-1995) in leading publishing houses with internationally known titles. It was enormous fun, immensely educational and hugely rewarding.

Products – to trade

My brain has sold perennial plants from a Dutch exporter to wholesale and retail nurseries and mail order companies in the UK (1999-2005).

Products – to members of the public

Delving back into the archives, somewhere back in the early 1980s my brain got up on its feet and knocked on doors to sell items as diverse as book club membership to cosmetics. Yes, my brain was an Avon Lady.
It’s also worked in clothing stores. And on market stalls. And behind several bars in pubs and clubs.

Ice to Eskimos

Nah, just joking. Though I’m sure there’s a business opportunity somewhere.

My brain’s past life in publicity

Having established a solid grounding in direct sales, my brain expanded its repertoire by easing into the subtler art of public relations. A great exercise in honing copywriting and communication strategy skills.

Horticulture and Gardening

For: Blooms of Bressingham 2008 and 2010
Promoting and managing attendee responses for the UK-based press event “Adrian Bloom’s Day at The Bressingham Gardens”.

For: De Vroomen Garden Products 2009
Providing PR representation services for this Dutch exporter of perennial plants and flower bulbs in the UK and USA.

For: Darwin Plants 2000-2006
As a full-time employee for Dutch perennials exporter Darwin Plants, one of my main roles was as PR manager. In addition to the usual press release distribution and media contact management I also answered consumer queries posted on the website www.plantspotters.com

Human Resources

Collective Ant logo smallFor: The Collective 2007
Keeping this international agency’s profile high with both client companies (advertising agencies) and registered freelancers (advertising creatives).

Music Industry

For: Modern Music 1995
UK press officer for a small portfolio of labels representing bands in the rock/metal genre. Distribution of press releases and press passes, arranging press interviews with band members, looking after foreign bands while touring in UK.

My brain’s past and present life in marketing

My brain’s work with leading brands from a diverse range of industries gives it a broad range of marketing strategy insight. While client confidentiality is always respected, this continual accumulation of knowledge brings valuable awareness to every copywriting assignment.

A previous life in advertising sales management incorporated involvement with marketing departments. In another subsequent life, this developed into taking responsibility for global marketing operations for a supplier of garden plants.

Today, my brain continues to play an integral part in marketing activities for other international horticulture businesses Blooms of Bressingham and GraftedVeg.com

My brain can entertain

Cocos 2005ish-500h-v2In several former lives my brain has DJ’d. No fancy mixing or anything, just picking great tracks that got people dancing their socks off.

As a teenager in Southend-on-Sea in the mid 1980s, this involved hiring a club, promoting a night and playing Punk singles from my passionately gathered collection.

In early 1990s London, Brit-Pop, Alternative and Classic 80s tracks got incorporated into the mix.

In mid 1990’s Prague, my brain provided the soundtrack for a fundraising night at a well-known city centre venue.

In the early 2000s it dusted off the flight boxes yet again in Amsterdam with occasional “Feel-Good” nights and private parties.

These days, my brain’s music collection regrettably isn’t up to date the way it used to be. But if somebody wants to hire it for a trip down memory lane I might be willing to get the feather duster out!

Events

My brain has always had a love of events. There’s something about the camaraderie of the participants and the buzz of the networking. I think it got hooked at the age of 14, helping traders at the local open-air market set up their stalls.

Since then my brain has been a participant in many different types of events, from training courses to awards dinners, exhibitions, press days and conferences. Some as an attendee and some in a working capacity.

All these have contributed to experience that my brain now puts to constructive use copywriting events-related materials.

Press Events

BressinghamDebatewebsmallFor: Blooms of Bressingham Ltd./The Bressingham Gardens
England: 2008 & 2010
Function – Advisor on general organisation and PR matters. Responsible for inviting attendees and managing registration.
Working together with event hosts in England and the USA, my brain was responsible for general coordination, attendee management, publicity, copywriting and for advice on publicity materials for the 2008 event, and for publicity and attendee registration for the 2010 event.

For: Darwin Plants / The Red Cross England: 2003
Function – Publicist for celebrity photocall at Chelsea Flower Show.
A new plant was launched to raise money for The International Red Cross in memory of ITN journalist Terry Lloyd. Many well-known newsreaders supported the cause by appearing in the photocall.

Shihad on stage Phoenix 1995 smallFor: Modern Music England : 1995
Function – Press officer for touring bands
Touring with bands to gigs and festivals, arranging interviews and press passes.

Trade exhibitions

For: Darwin Plants England, USA, Germany: 2000-2005
Function – Organising participant exhibit and associated publicity. Working on participant exhibit as salesperson and PR representative.

Parties

Red Dress Run partyFor: The Hash House Harriers Amsterdam: 2003-2004
Function – Event co-organiser. Party organiser.
When “The Drinking Club with a Running Problem” comes to town, it’s essential to have accommodation, activities, food and drink, and occasionally local authorities in order.
In 2003 and 2004 the Amsterdam chapter was host to international events.
The 2003 event was a one day event attended by 100 guests. The 2004 event took place over a weekend with 350 participants.

For: Members of the public Southend-on-Sea (England): 1986
Function – Ideas generator. Organiser. Publicist. DJ.
Way back in my brain’s party-planning history it wanted to spin a few discs and show the local ‘alternative’ community a good time. So it set u a deal with a local nightclub to host, promote and DJ party nights.

Fundraising

For: The Red Cross United Kingdom: 2004-2006
Function – publicist and liaison between Darwin Plants, The International Red Cross and other individuals to create and execute a campaign that raised charity funds through sales of a garden plant.
During my time as in-house publicist at Dutch plants exporter Darwin Plants an opportunity presented itself to raise money for the International Red Cross via sales of a new plant variety. Working closely with The Red Cross, a well-connected media contact and with the cooperation of my employers, my brain devised the strategy to arrange and execute this venture. Highlights of the campaign included a celebrity photo call at the Chelsea Flower show and a public cheque presentation at Gardeners’ World Live. Over £10,000 was raised for The International Red Cross and Darwin Plants enjoyed the benefits of raised industry awareness for their business.

For: The Red Cross/Hash House Harriers Amsterdam: 2004Red cross cheque Amsterdam
Function – liaison between Hash House Harriers and Red Cross, co-organiser of event and after-party.
On the eve of major international gatherings, it’s traditional for the Hash House Harriers to host a Red Dress Run and party with proceeds going to charity. With some 200 men and women due to run through the streets of Amsterdam wearing red dresses, The Red Cross seemed to be an appropriate cause. My brain liaised with the local Red Cross organisation and worked with a small team to gain necessary permission from local authorities to collect money from members of the public before celebrating with a public presentation and big party.

Educational tour

For: The Garden Writers Association of America The Netherlands: 2006
Function – local liaison to assist with, suggest and arrange activities.
Working under instruction from the Canada-based tour manager, my brain provided the ‘foot on the ground’ in The Netherlands to assist with research, recommendations, negotiations and setting up of itinerary items (visits to locations of interest, hospitality).

Awards

For: Kerrang!/MTV Heavy Metal Awards London: 1994 and 1996
Function – sales of sponsorship packages
My brain was a member of the team that put together the first and second Kerrang!/MTV Awards, involved in planning discussions from concept to execution with responsibility for (successfully) securing sponsorship deals.

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