This year we are bringing back our Copy Cat blog posts, a timely decision in light of all the debate sparked by the recent PRWeek article making the case for PR students no longer needing writing classes. While I agree that PR is much, much more than writing, it remains an essential element of what we do. My friend and fellow Counselors Academy member, Abbie Fink, says it well in her recent post on the HMA Public Relations blog.
As Abbie explains, the types of writing public relations professionals are asked to generate on a daily basis varies. We might switch from penning an in-depth strategy document or white paper to coming up with quippy copy for a social media post or email marketing subject line. Sometimes, the shorter the copy, the harder it is to write an effective message. That’s why most of our previous Copy Cat posts (and I suspect future ones, too) feature taglines, captions, intro copy and other snippets of writing that either make us cringe or wish we would have thought of it ourselves!
Today’s Copy Cat spotlight is on Byrdie Beauty and definitely fits into the later. Not only is it cute copy, but the writer has done something we’ve all been asked to do as PR pros, and that is to try to connect two seemingly unrelated things. How many of you communicators out there were asked to do something with the Super Bowl for your brand? It is easier for some than others. For example, our client PDQ is offering a “Super Deal for Super Sunday” with a BOGO on fresh chicken Tenders. Football and food. It is a natural fit.
But what about cosmetics? Unless you are Katy Perry’s stylist or represent one of the product brands she endorses, you might not be able to score a touchdown. (Sorry. That should make it in the Copy Cat: Terribly Corny Edition.) That’s why I love what Byrdie did with the email subject line that caught my attention: 9 Super Bowl-proof lipsticks that won’t come off on your nachos.
I like to ponder the thought process for other people’s good copy. I bet this one started with the football and food connection I already mentioned. Football…food…lips…lipstick. Do you think they got it in the first try? I bet not. Can you imagine the rejects?
9 Super Bowl-proof lipsticks that are real winners. Bleh.
9 Super Bowl-proof lipsticks that will make your man ask Katy WHO? Perhaps a little much.
9 Super Bowl-proof shades that will have you flapping your wings and licking your lips. Uh, no.
It just isn’t that easy! I also think that throwing in a nacho reference when talking about all things style, beauty and fashion is just unexpected enough to be an attention-getter. That’s why I consider this copy from Byrdie to be a total score.