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Why I’ll DIE for the Dee: on rivers and copywriting

November 1, 2019

 

"How to make rivers interesting”. Google was useless. It was time to think like a copywriter.  And copywriters must D.I.E. Bear with me and you’ll see this is less morbid than it sounds.

 

What makes people sit up and listen? What makes them pay attention? What Disrupts them? No one is waiting for my river chat.  I’m competing with the million other things going on in their heads and on their screens. It’s up to me to sell it in (without anyone noticing). How do I disrupt? With something out of the ordinary, something unexpected. Die for the Dee? Something urgent, useful, unique or specific. I must also Intrigue. Let’s have a go:

 

“SCIENTISTS PREDICT RIVER DEE TO RUN DRY BY JANUARY 2020”

 

Ticks most of the boxes, ahem (got you reading though didn’t it?). Let’s try again.

 

“SCIENTISTS OBSERVE STEEP DECLINE IN RIVER DEE’S SALMON POPULATION”

 

Meh. Sad for the fish - and people who like fishing, but ultimately, so what? Too vague. Not enough of you care. What about this one:

 

“SCIENTISTS HAMMER DEAD DEER INTO RIVER DEE TO BOOST FISH STOCKS”

 

Bit better. Compellingly gruesome. You might click through – you might just Engage.  

 

The trivia fans amongst you might engage with a question: Which river has the highest source in the British Isles? What is the name of the specially designated area of scenic landscape through which it flows? There are ways and means.

 

But how do I keep you Engaged? Where’s my Call To Action? Well, it’s here. And it’s simple. A shameless request for 3 seconds of your time involving a quick trip to this page and a like or a share – because you know as well as I do that rivers are interesting, and the River Dee in particular is important and lovely and life-giving and majestic and magical and wild and wonderful and, to paraphrase the great Sir David Attenborough, I need you to know about it before I can convince you to care about it. We’ll tackle that next time.

 

So that's my plan: Disrupt, Intrigue and Engage. Hopefully a few more likes and shares - and no one even died. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

 

 

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