How to plan and develop publications - ESRC


Writing the publication

If you are producing publications aimed at specialist audiences, it pays to use a professional copywriter.

All publications should be written in plain English to make them understandable. You may find that you are too close to your own material to be able to present it effectively to different audiences. This is why even the best journalists have their copy polished by sub-editors.

The role of the copywriter

A copywriter’s job is to take your raw material and refine it to give it maximum appeal.

A good copywriter will approach the job like a journalist, probing you to draw out the main points and key messages. They should take a layperson’s viewpoint and highlight any areas where your material is difficult to understand.

Copywriters can also be useful when you want to include case study interviews in your publications, as they are skilled in interviewing people and editing large amounts of material.

Finding a suitable copywriter

Look for copywriters with a track record with your target audience, for example, the business or health sector.

Most copywriters will quote either a day rate or a fixed price for the job. You should supply as much relevant information as possible at the start. The more time a writer has to spend digging around for the right information, the more it will cost.

You should budget for the copywriter researching the material, writing and editing copy, and checking and proofreading as required.

Last updated: 31 August 2021

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