About WriteOn

Tim Trout is a highly experienced copywriter and copywriting trainer working all over the UK, in Europe and beyond
Author Archive | WriteOn

So who are we writing grammatically for?

Apologies for the less than subtle headline.

The preposition ‘for’ at the end of this one would have attracted the red pen from grammar teachers of yesteryear. So it might have read: For whom are we writing grammatically?

But doesn’t it sound, well, stiff?

It seems the rules are now being widely ignored. And those sensitive to these things better get used to it.

Check out The Guardian’s interesting piece 10 grammar rules you can forget: how to stop worrying and write proper

Careful when writing for some clients though, this sort of thing can get people very wound up…

Comments { 0 }

Annual report copywriting made easy: 5 top tips

AR_2There. That got your attention. Anyone who claims that writing an annual report is easy must have a screw loose. Right?

The truth is that getting the content together and writing it is a lot less painful if you follow these five top tips. And the busy annual report season will go like a dream.

1. Know who’s drafting what and when
Put an initial against each contribution proposed on the flat plan – alongside first and second draft deadlines and any other amendment process details. Make sure all involved know when their input is needed. And when they’ll be able to comment on the initial draft.

2. Make a plan for key elements like Chairman and CEO statements
Face to face interview? Or conversations around prepared questions on the phone? Either way it pays to flesh out a complementary angle for each that focuses on those strategic/operational differences and  – ideally – reflects the personality and style of the individuals involved.

3. Think case studies, editorial and other engaging content
Annual reports may have to contain a whole stack of statutory information, the only limit to making them more interesting is your imagination. Interview clients as well as employees. Go down the case study route. Raid the archives for a piece of history. If the content is genuinely interesting, the annual report may even get read…

4. Apply house styles from the start
Consistency is key. So make sure any specific names and company/organisation references are always spelled the same way. And that there’s a policy on things like km or kilometer. The devil is in the detail…

5. Use the right tone of voice for the job
Just because an annual report is important, it doesn’t mean it has to be dry and boring in tone. Engage your audiences as if they are people and watch your brand come to life.

From oil production and the weather, to leisure, financial services and anything else you’d like to report about – find out more about how Tim Trout Copywriting could help make your next annual report project go with a swing.

View a Kuwait Energy annual report example here.


Comments { 0 }

Bad language – bad for business?

Pfizer boss Ian Read epitomises a jargonistic netherworld of ‘flexible headcounts’ and ‘cultures of ownership’ – as this nice BBC piece on jargon highlights.

Let’s all ‘reach out’ to something simpler – and more compelling…

Comments { 0 }

Cringe! Copywriting to make your toes curl too.

Ad-Age-Logo_smallUS creative/writer Bill Karl talks us through some all-too-familiar copywriting structures in his Advertising Age piece Ad Nauseam: Copywriting at its Cringeworthy Best

You’ll never look at The Non Sequitur, Blindsiding Question or Three-Word Tagline in the same light again.




Comments { 0 }

Groovy baby: 10 slang phrases that define an era

groovy_babyDid we really say that…?

Nice BBC piece about slang words with a life of their own.




Comments { 0 }

Go Hadley! Top columnist feels the heat as a grammar judge

The Guardian’s fabulous @HadleyFreeman discovers there’s nothing like grammar to get folk wound up when judging the Bad Grammar Award.

With you Hadley. 100%!

Comments { 0 }

Headline news

Oh-My-Headline-300x248Writing strong headlines is one of the most important elements of copywriting. Because if you can’t get the attention, you’ve got no chance of holding it – and getting the results you want in terms of response.

This thoughtful blog piece in The Guardian charts how online headlines have moved from click bait to over-promised hype – and suggests readers are wising up to too many hollow promises at the top of a story…

Comments { 0 }

Copywriting is infographics – get the picture?

infographicThis piece on the power of infographics is a useful intro to the idea that a picture is worth a thousand words.

So if you’re after fewer words, make them tip-top quality.

By using a copywriter!


Comments { 0 }

Spring clean: Gloster furniture project goes live

GlosterUpscale worldwide outdoor furniture brand Gloster has given its website and offline comms a thorough pre-spring clean – perfectly timed for the new season.

The brief involved working closely with the marketing team to rewrite all ‘Collections’ product copy in a consistent tone of voice, as well as company background pages. It also extended to re-writing and editing new content for a number of printed publications.

All we want now is the weather…





Comments { 0 }

Research impact expo goes live: University of Bristol

HEIF Impact Expo: University of BristolFrom easy-clean chewing gum to new cleft palate techniques – and from happier hens to campaigns tackling teen relationship violence…

A new, permanent exhibition in Bristol University’s Senate House reception area brings some 14 research projects to life covering all faculties – exploring their impact on healthcare, society, culture, the environment and business developments across the world.

Working closely with senior university researchers and drawing on diverse sources, Tim Trout Copywriting condensed the background and impact for a total of 20 projects into expo-friendly, 100-word descriptions – also writing the headlines.

Peloton Design then worked their magic with stills, video, audio and artefacts, using a flexible, modular system that can also be used for touring displays.

Comments { 0 }