Copywriting For Hard Copy

copywriting-for-hard-copy

Copywriting For Hard Copy

Hello, this is Craig again.

Copywriting for Websites was working on an unusual client project recently. It falls somewhere between ghost writing (where the writer creates a document to be published under the client’s name) and translation from “foreign English” to standard English. All of this comes under the category of copywriting for hardcopy clients.

A little more information is required, without naming the client, so that you understand the circumstances a little better.

The client is a technical company, working in both engineering and hardware construction. The company is located in a non-English-speaking European country. Their personnel are predominantly from the home country and from other areas where English is not a native language. To make things easier to understand, lets just call the country “Nirvana.” The Nirvanians speak their own language, Nirvanan. They are not really familiar with English except as a second (or maybe third) language on a job site.

The Nirvanian client has an older English brochure they use in their marketing and public relations activities. They used this in both Nirvana and for their activities in international areas. They feel that English is the most widely used language in their marketing area and their technical arena. Therefore, they desire a presentable brochure that the majority of their potential customers can read and understand. That’s why they came to Copywriting for Websites.

Because of the “Websites” part of our name, they were a little hesitant to approach C4W. However, our expertise in their technical area convinced them that we would be a good selection. Luckily, Craig has a little exposure to Nirvanan. That made communications with them easier. We negotiated a deal, and C4W started working on the project.

Because they were in the middle of a marketing personnel change, the project was strained in terms of coordination, but we got the job done. Also, there were changes in some of their existing client areas. That meant we were aiming at a target that was sometimes moving politically as we wrote. But we did get the job done.

What was involved? Basically, C4W went through the existing brochure as a first draft. In doing this, we cleaned up the English so there was a firm basis for understanding the work. We also clarified some inconsistencies and rectified some misstatements. Next, we discussed some modifications to the brochure. These made it more of a selling device than a simple recital of their work experience. We also agreed on some fundamental ideas. After that, we adapted the existing text to the new ideas. Then fit things together with some new information. Finally, we dropped some policitally inappropriate text.

All that is left now is a final read over the finished product. This will assure that we catch all the typos and logical mistakes. It will also make sure we are consistent with numbers and names and formats before it goes to the printer. We also had to coordinate the text with the visual images they want to use in the brochure.

Think you could do that? Of course you can, otherwise you wouldn’t have read this far down the page! 🙂 The catch is to have your own expertise niche, where you can provide a useful service. Then sell, sell, sell, based on your advantages.

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Copywriting For Hard Copy

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Character Coding UTF-8 For Your Browser

Character Coding UTF-8 For Your Browser

You have seen some strange non-English characters here and there that come out looking like scrambled eggs on your browser? That’s probably because your browser is trying to read Russian (“русский”) or Japanese (“日本語”) or Chinese (“中國”) or Arabic (“العربية”) or Thai (“ภาษาไทย”) or whatever language with an ASCII English-only character code. I know, that’s Greek (“Ελληνική”) to you, right? Well, there is a way out that is not very strenuous.

For Firefox since at least version 11:

  1. Click on the dropdown main menu item “View” and choose…
  2. “Character coding” or something similar (it is the 5th item down in the dropdown list)
  3. and then select “Unicode” which is the first one below “automatic”
  4. and you are finished!

For Internet Explorer since at least version 9:

  1. On the top line of instructions, click on “View”
  2. Then move your cursor down the drop-down menu to “Encoding” (this is the 8th item down the list)
  3. Go down to the 3rd item “Unicode (UTF-8)” and click on it. Repeat the exercise if the line “left-to-right document” is not already checked
  4. … and you’re done!

If you use Chrome or Safari or Tor or something else, the procedure should be roughly the same.

Now you will be able to see all the characters for all the European languages plus all the others that are covered by UTF-8 (includes specifically all Latin-character, Greek-character, and Cyrillic-character languages). You can find more information at Wikipedia if you need any help at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UTF-8 or in an appropriate language if English does not help you.

The original version was published on 24 April 2012 on LMDY.CH.