Tag Archives | copywriters

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.


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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…

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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…

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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.




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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.




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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…

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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!


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Design Shadows launch for Rotterdam agency Brand, New & Fresh

Rotterdam-based digital development specialists Brand, New & Fresh have launched their brand new ‘design to web’ service Design Shadows.

The service converts and tunes files for digital publication – using ‘smart’ responsive techniques so that web content adjusts and displays perfectly, whatever the platform. Thanks to WordPress CMS and Magento eCommerce technology, publishers remain fully in control of their online content.

Brand, New & Fresh chose Tim Trout Copywriting to edit its English language web content for the Design Shadows service, as well as the manual that covers the service offer in detail.

Best of luck with the new service to Quin and team.


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SEO: keywords just soooo yesterday

Once upon a time we copywriters knew where we all stood SEO-wise.

We included keywords and phrases in just the right percentage and position – then stood back and waited for the traffic to roar in.

This piece on neuromarketing is a useful taster of where we’re going next with SEO – if we haven’t started going there already…

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Happy New Year


The presents have been opened and the festive food consumed. That’s Xmas and Auld Lang Syne all done and dusted – and the days now getting longer.

A very Happy New Year to all Tim Trout Copywriting clients old and new.

I look forward to working with you as 2013 unfolds.



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