Ad and marketing creatives

Copywriting Case Study: Company's Voice on the Web

Want to see real-life copywriting in action? After we interviewed Sarah Williams, the head of Wordsmith in England, a couple of months ago, we wanted to learn more about her innovative "method acting" approach to copywriting, as she calls it. (Check out our interview with Sarah here.) So we asked her if she wouldn't mind sending us an actual case study... we could study! Sarah graciously agreed. Here it is:

The project:

Kuhnke Communication is a highly successful communication coaching company working with top-flight executives throughout industry and the professions. They needed a new website to reflect their growing status worldwide, and they asked Wordsmith to help plan the website and to write the copy.

The client's company has a very distinctive brand image -- a combination of American enthusiasm and understated British humor. Our challenge was to make that voice come alive in website copy that would catch and keep the attention of visitors, inviting them to click through and explore the full wealth of everything that the client had to offer.

How we went about it:

The usual procedure which we have developed for understanding and evaluating a project is one we have found helpful both for Wordsmith and for our clients, and this proved to be the case, with some modifications, where this project was concerned as well. What we usually do is to have a conversation with the client -- face to face, by phone or by email-- during the course of which we reach an understanding of how the company works, what it offers, how it wishes to be perceived and where it wants to get to. This conversation often provides us with enough information not only to estimate the size and cost of the project, but also to proceed directly, once we have been commissioned, to providing a first draft of the copy for the client to consider.

In the case of Kuhnke Communication, it became clear, once we had been invited to undertake the project, that we needed to think about how to get across the flavor of the way in which the company works with its clients as well as providing information about all the different areas of communication which the company's training addresses.

We suggested providing "through the keyhole" glimpses of training in progress. The client was enthusiastic about the idea, so, in consultation with them, we drew up scripts to encapsulate an aspect of each of the company's main offerings. These were filmed, and are available to view on the website, together with a written description of what the company is seeking to achieve in each area.

One last thing which we developed uniquely for this site (though other clients, having seen what we did, are now asking us for something similar) was a self-diagnosis questionnaire, so that visitors to the site could gauge just how well they were doing in the communication stakes, and where their main areas for improvement might lie. The aim of the questionnaire was to provide a fun but effective insight into how Kuhnke Communication helps their clients "create impact" (the company strapline).

The outcome:

Working closely with designers, developers and audio-visual technicians, Wordsmith was able to articulate the voice of Kuhnke Communication on the web in such a way that the flavor and branding of the company is expressed -- visitors can tell not only what the company does but also what it would be like to work with them.

Kuhnke Communication makes a point of treating each client as an individual, tailoring courses and seminars specifically to them and their needs -- Wordsmith translated that openness into a direct, informal, open writing style that addresses the reader and engages them in a conversation, asking questions and offering interesting and relevant information.

It is fun for people to visit their website,, just as their clients find it fun to work with Kuhnke Communication. And we had a great time too!

Click here to read more articles from Candlepower.

Sarah Williams is founder and managing director of the international copywriting company Wordsmith, based in Oxfordshire, UK. She taught in universities, and then moved out of the academic world into book publishing, running the English office of the biggest French children's book publisher. During this time she wrote and published a number of children's books. She eventually became a full time freelance writer, and has published over 80 books. About five years ago, Sarah set up Wordsmith, a copywriting company providing intelligent, responsive answers to marketing needs. Click here to read more articles by Sarah Williams.

Here Sarah describes her company's approach to copywriting.
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