Re: FWD: Marcom writing samples

Subject: Re: FWD: Marcom writing samples
From: kcronin -at- daleen -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2002 13:59:29 -0600

Anon wrote:

> I've been asked to provide marketing communication writing samples. The
> company who have asked for them know I have never written marcom
> professionally, but want to see samples that will indicate that I can do
> more than "just" standard technical writing (they want an all-rounder).
> Besides the usual portfolio, I have fiction, poetry, reviews, recipes, and
> tourist recs/advice to show them - or I could try writing a sample
> specially for them.

If any of your samples show the BENEFIT of something (possibly your
reviews, recipes, tourist pieces), they might be worth including. The rest
would not be appropriate.

Sounds like you should write a few of your own. Think of something you
like - a book, a personal stereo, a movie, an electric razor, a patio
chair, your car, etc. and write about it.

Write a few pieces of differing length, such as a 1-paragraph blurb about
one product, a list of the reasons why some other product is fabulous, and
a 1 or 2-page brochure for something else. This may seem daunting, but
remember, I'm suggesting that you write about something you already know

You've said they know you haven't done marcomm before, so it's not like
you're passing yourself off as having written ads for Panasonic or Sony -
they know you won't have samples of published marcomm writing. But by
writing about something that you (and probably your reader) are familiar
with, you should be able to show your ability to SELL a product.

>From a content perspective, marcomm's key difference from tech writing is
that you must emphasise the BENEFIT of a product. Tech writers tell people
what something does, and how to do it. Marcomm adds to that, letting
people know why it's so darned cool that the product can do whatever it

>From a style perspective, marcomm looks for dramatic ways to communicate
information, which is very different from the transparent,
just-the-facts-ma'am style many tech writers aim for. Sentence fragments
are acceptable; sometimes preferable. Like this. If you're not already
familiar with the way most marcomm plays with the rules of grammar and
usage, thumb through a couple popular magazines and read some of the copy.

I love marcomm. It's just another way to write, and a fun one at that.
Good luck!

Keith Cronin

Tech writing. It tastes great, and builds strong bodies twelve ways!

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