A career in copywriting

Copywriter working on her laptop

Copywriters are behind the scenes everywhere from the jingles you hear in a TV commercial, to lyrics, funny slogans to news releases, brochures, newsletters and correspondence. The ultimate goal of copywriters is to influence people’s behaviour through their words.

What’s this career about?

Copywriting is about being able to understand, connect and write for an audience, and is about having the flexibility and skill to alter the style of writing from client to client and from project to project.

This field involves wide reading and a lot of research. For example, one needs to have a knowledge of a company’s products, their working and other finer details, before writing corporate brochures and in-house journals. Also, it is necessary to have a deep understanding of the readers for whom these are being written.

Copywriters develop the slogans and tag lines that accompany the graphics and pictures, working on the creative side of advertising. They are the professionals who work hand-in-hand with the art department to come up with catchy ads that sell. They also create any additional written material that goes with advertising, called “copy”. A copy can include: creating headlines, slogans, catchphrases, straplines and body copy for print advertising and leaflets; writing for web advertising, social media and mobile applications; creating scripts for radio jingles and TV commercials.

Before they write copy, they gather facts about the products and services and the people who might use them. They usually discuss ideas with other members of the advertising team such as artists, media experts and account executives.

In addition to writing, they may also be asked to edit copy, lay out web pages, post copy to websites, meet with clients and conduct research. Copywriting takes on many different forms, from concise slogans to detailed sales proposals.

All good copywriters are good writers in the broadest sense of the term, but not every good writer can be a good copywriter. The essential skill of the copywriter lies in interpreting and understanding the motivation for the audience and the characteristics of the product. They must establish what it is that makes people want or need the goods being promoted.


  • How do I get there?
  • Key skills
  • Institutes
  • Employment prospects
  • Pay packages

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Dr Vibha Gupta

Dr Vibha Gupta

Dr Vibha Gupta, a feature writer, is a Ph.D. in Mathematics from IIT Roorkee. Her book Careers: A Pathfinder and articles in various publications are an attempt to guide students in choosing a career according to their natural strengths, talents and skills.