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  • Writer's pictureCopywriter Kazuo Nakamura

How to refine words with a copywriter

Copywriter's daily skills for "put into words"

No.011|E.Work tips|E-002

GI-HOU means technique, method, skill, ability and capacity.

"Skills that can be put into words" are now required.

Recently, I feel that the so-called "verbal" skills such as verbalization and writing skills are being sought after, both in the world and in the case of projects.

Even in bookstores, and "can the word" may become a weapon, or changed life, or come true is hope, but we also increased opportunity to see a book that advocated a great benefit to be obtained, now "the word" attention It seems that it has been done.

Finally asked is "words"

From proposals, emails, and chats in the business scene to Facebook , Twitter , Instagram , and YouTube in the social scene, titles, texts, and hashtags are all expressed in text, that is, "words" Is often used, and it may be emphasized again.

As with companies, individuals, and even this columns, in the media of blogs, not only titles and texts , but also technical titles and descriptions that are aware of SEO to make them hit the top of the search, so called meta tags and other technical types, no matter how tools are available. Even if it evolves, somehow the text, that is, the sense of words, is finally asked.

Is the copywriter "almighty of words"?

In my case, media, tools, scenes, genres, heavyweight, light, emotional, functional, technical, serious, frankness, depth, shallow, hmm, the number of projects requested in recent years is too diverse to be a copywriter's habit and can be put into words well. Not, but it receives requests in a variety of fields and conditions.

Needless to say, copywriters work with "words" centered on copywriting, so it's embarrassing regardless of the fields and conditions listed above. You can put it into words, "They said, and I'm confused because sometimes I'm worshiped like" the almighty of words.

Why copywriters can "word"

The "words" that we have proposed so far, such as copy work, naming, and corporate philosophy, have been adopted only with the cooperation of all concerned parties. There is no sense of talent, good writing, abundant vocabulary, let alone "the almighty of words" (although I am proud of it), and I really feel that I am not good at words.

So why did we continue to do what we can say? It's been 16 years since I've been involved in language as a freelancer (26 years as a professional, as of 2021), and I can't think of any reason other than being "desperate" anyway, It's really feeling.

However, this "desperate" includes not only the "direct study" of the project, but also the "daily study" of indirect or unrelated fields, and in fact, this point is "can be put into words". It may be, so I will take a bird's-eye view of the "daily study" for "supporting myself" and "supporting my pride".


Daily life of real records and copywriters.

Copywriter's daily life ➊: A source of words

The main sources of information related to "words" in our daily lives are roughly as follows.

1) Paper media (1 paper): General paper (subscription)

2) Digital media (2 papers): General paper (paid) / Economic paper (paid)

3) News media (3): Portal / Bulletin board / Summary

4) Social media (3): Twitter / Facebook / YouTube

5) Radio media (1 type): radiko

6) App media (3 Apps): Gunosy / SmartNews / NewsPicks

1) is the Yomiuri Shimbun. If you find an article or advertisement that you are interested in on paper, search it on the Internet, apps, etc., using the digital version of 2). Of course, it is stocked as data such as screenshot images within the range of personal use (the stock method will be described later ). Because it is a paid member, you can browse the paper on the net or on the app, and you are used to it because it is easy to use (Not in the taste of this newspaper's principle).

2) The economic newspaper is the Nikkei newspaper. If there is a topic you are interested in, mainly articles, stock it with the clip tool (also described later). Mainly used for reasons such as "a different perspective from general newspapers" and "learning economic terms and economic conditions".

3) is used for the reasons that Yahoo! News is cross-media, 2channel news flash + navigation (currently 5channel, the same applies below) is under-care, and 2channel summary is a feeling of daily life. In addition to the update frequency, the sense of society and trends conveyed from the comment section is useful. We specialize in ROM-RU (just read without posting).

4) is used to loosely capture the current status of people close to me and interested experts, searches in specific fields, and advertising trends. Except for Twitter , which is searched arbitrarily , Facebook is used for business messages, YouTube is used for detecting BGM (Therefore, mainly music trends) and working hours during work, and each is used in daily work, so it has the effect of accidentally touching various information.

5) uses radiko. The BGM during work is YouTube Premium, but I always use it outside of work. Of course, the news learned in 1) to 4) will be taken up on the radio, but since the way it is handled is roughly the same as the amount of heat in the world, it is also useful in measuring the importance of society. In addition, there are many name copies in the CM narration, and it is highly worth listening to.

6) are used for the reason of touching the public feeling, such as deep digging in a specific field such as the opinion of an expert in the field, and comments from highly conscious people (not a denial). Contact information just by glancing at the gap time on the go, such as when moving.

* By the way, when you are directly seeking "words" such as copies, expressions, and concepts in a project, it is unexpectedly often that you desperately pursue the words around you, such as daily necessities and grocery packages, city information and store pops.


Copywriter's daily life ➋: Word stock method

The stock (summary) destinations of information, notices, words, etc. that were contacted at the information source (contact source) in the previous stage are as follows.

1) Stock destination of "information" (long-term): Evernote

2) Stock destination of "books" (long-term): Amazon> Wish list> Comment function

3) "Word" stock destination (temporary): iPhone memo function

4) Stock destination of "words" (long-term): Listing @ Excel

Below, each of 1) to 4) is explained together with the reference image.


1) Stock destination of "information" (long-term): Evernote

Image: Evernote Management screen.

It is used as a long-term (final) stock destination for "information" as a group, such as headlines, texts, illustrations, images, URL, comments, as well as "words". In the title (note title), describe the headline, content, source, original keyword, related matter, impression, etc., taking into account later searches. At the same time, tags and URL are also labeled.

Based on the premise of creatures that humans forget, we devised a way to search from various angles, such as categories, keywords, sources, tags attached by ourselves, years and approximate dates. Evernote is also excellent in handwritten character recognition, so-called OCR, and even if you scan every memo written on paper such as business cards, leaflets, pamphlets, it can be a hit. Easy to share and so good.

Image: Evernote Web Clipper.

Evernote also uses a tool called "Web Clipper" that can clip web pages in various formats such as articles, bookmarks, and screenshots. Since it is a style that install the extension of the browser, you can clip the web immediately, and at the same time you can select the stock (note) destination, tag, comment, etc., which is quite convenient.


2) Stock destination of "books" (long-term): Amazon> Wish list> Comment function

Image: Amazon Wish list Comment function.

In the process of stocking "information" as a mass in Evernote , I encountered (contact) "books" quite often. Of course, if you forget to buy it, you can buy two books if you don't pay attention to it, so use the "Comment" function in Amazon's "Wish List". When you visit a bookstore, check it on your smartphone to prevent forgetting.

You can write up to 250 words in the comment field, and try to include the status of "subscription" and "reading" as much as possible along with "contact date" and "contact source", based on the premise that " human beings forget ". The last day, I made a mistake in purchasing two books, so I added a visually noticeable "★"(Add a star mark) to prevent forgetting.


3) "Word" stock destination (temporary): iPhone memo function

Image:  iPhone memo function.

For "information" and "books", the smallest unit of "word" stock goes through two steps. Not only from the viewpoint of searchability and editability, but also (although it is not complimented), first make a note on the iPhone memo that is always on hand and has high immediacy. Roughly categorized by type, from words, expressions, and copies to impressions and memorandums of operating projects.

Since iPhone memos are basically in the order of editing history, it is necessary to add numbers at the beginning of the sentence to make them in any order, or to add a list (described later) that will be the next step. I tried the memo app, but in the end I decided to use the iPhone's default memo because of the convenience of the cloud on smartphones, tablets, and PCs.

* By the way, use recording (voice memo) when it is difficult to make a memo, such as when moving a train (reserved seat) or car, or in a bathroom.


4) Stock destination of "words" (long-term): Listing @ Excel

Image: A list of original words in Excel.

The words stocked in the iPhone memo mentioned above are finally listed as the next step. At that time, it is roughly divided into "words", "terms", "usages", etc. As for "words", try to list not only unknown words but also words that are known but have a feeling that they are not their own blood. Meaning, example sentences, sources, accents (English), dates, etc. are also listed.

Image: A list of original terms in Excel.

"Terms" is a list of technical terms specific to the field. Unknown / known is the same standard as "wording", but there are many forgetfulness and misunderstandings of terms, and depending on the case, it is not only dis-communication, but also useful as a commandment of a bad ugliness as to whether you knew it. Formal notation (abbreviation), category, meaning, source, accent (English), date, etc. are also written.

Image: A list of original usages in Excel.

"Usage" is listed with a focus on polite wording. In addition to basic matters such as respected words, due to the nature of the projects that we are involved in , there are many communication projects for general users (to C) such as sales promotion and commerce sites, so examples using words and phrases that are seen in standard phrases (correct and incorrect example sentences) With a focus on, commentary and sources are also included.

In addition to the above "words", "terms", and "usages", "expressions" are also listed, but since there are many original ideas and the content is very embarrassing, reference images and details are omitted (I'm not spared knowledge) There are stocked at the level of depth and particle size of "large (information) ⇒ medium (book) ⇒ small (word)".


"Desperate" technique because I am not good at words

"Word stock" is occurrence-based, but it seems that 1) to 5) of "word sources" , except for Twitter in 4), are touched almost every day, probably. However, as I said earlier, it is because of the sense of crisis that "I even feel that I am not good at words", and the honest feeling is that I am just "desperate".

Clients and clients = narrators. The user who exists beyond that = the reader. As long as you are entrusted with the name of a copywriter about the "words" that connect the two, the "words" should not be a division between the narrator and the reader = a communication divide. I would like to provide it.

It may be an exaggeration, but with such a feeling, I am always "desperate" for "can be put into words". There are many more rational, effective and smart techniques out there. What would be missing. But well, this technique seems to be the best for me so far. If you find a new technique, I will share it in this column with desperately.


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