Advertising Copywriters write copy in the form of advertisements. They design advertisements to campaign and improve the interests and image of their clients. They create advertisements for display in commercial retail outlets, on large billboards and subways, and within airports and other transportation centers. They write the scripts for advertisements used on television, the Internet, and other news outlets. They design mail advertisements, art, and graphics.
Advertising Copywriters also write advertisements for new products, for catalogs, and for online campaigns. They coordinate their work with the production department, media department, research department, and the sales department. They often work in the creative department of most advertising agencies, but may also work in the same department for newspaper and broadcast communications companies. As an Advertising Copywriter within the department, they write copy for various clients and industries such as public relations, the private sector, state and federal government, hospitals, trade organizations, and like businesses.
Employment within the advertising industry is expected to grow by eight percent over a period of ten years as more advertising agencies and new communications companies move to the Internet as a source of revenue generation.
Advertising Copywriter Job Responsibilities
Advertising Copywriters are expected to work overtime and most weekends. They must be creative within a stressful and sometimes chaotic environment. They work within a team structure. Their jobs involve frequent traveling and meeting with corporate representatives.
Advertising Copywriters write copy for publications, for marketing campaigns, and for product development. They design slogans. They format material for multimedia use. They write the advertisements for news outlets, for reporters, and for the corporate website. They develop content for use in advertising commercials and they develop scripts for radio broadcasts.
As part of their extended duties, Advertising Copywriters research and conduct client interviews in order to produce the most appropriate content and organize it in such a way that it is effective for a general audience. They revise and rewrite copy with the help of editors and the editing department.
Advertising Copywriters must be familiar with desktop publishing software and sales techniques. They must be able to prepare content appropriate for the Internet, for online news mediums, and for the graphics design department. Their copy must blend well with the art and graphics created by other company departments. They must be familiar with all types of electronic equipment such as cell phones and other mobile media devices.
Advertising Copywriters may begin as editorial assistants and/or fact checkers of publishing and media companies, writing and reviewing manuscript submissions and proposals. They may also begin as freelance writers of the editorial department, writing and submitting journal and online articles. They may work for cities located on the east coast (New York) or for cities located on the west coast (Los Angeles).
Advertising Copywriter Education and Training Requirements
Advertising Copywriters usually begin their careers working either in the editorial department, research department, or as an account manager within the creative department; they may also begin working in the media department under the general supervision of the public relations department. Some may work as a summer intern as an advertising assistant.
Most employers prefer that individuals entering the industry have a bachelor’s degree in either English, Journalism, or liberal arts to work as an advertising copywriter. The industry prefers individuals to have a bachelor’s degree in marketing in order to work as an advertising account manager. Some advertising agencies require a master’s degree in marketing or business. A bachelor’s degree is not required for Advertising Copywriters who enter the field as an entry-level advertising assistant, although it is preferred that they have one.
Advertising Copywriter Wages and Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for Advertising Copywriters who worked in advertising or some form of public relations was $58,740 in May 2008. For Advertising Copywriters who worked in the newspaper industry, the median annual wage in May 2008 was $43,450. The lowest ten percent of Advertising Copywriters working in either of the two industries was $38,844, or $747 per week. This is $139 more than other entry-level workers in non-advertising industries. Entry-level advertising assistants made $28,020. In addition, Advertising Copywriters made more working as a writer on salary for the same industries in May 2008, with fifty percent earning $75,060 and the highest ten percent earning a minimum of $106,630.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Advertising Copywriter Certifications
There is no requirement for Advertising Copywriters to be certified in the industry. However, advertising managers may seek certification in the field through the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The PRSA offers a certification curriculum program for its members.
Advertising Copywriter Professional Associations
Advertising Copywriters may join the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s). The American Association of Advertising Agencies is a national association that advocates for the advertising industry. Membership benefits include seminars, a resource center, and a savings plan for retirement.
Advertising Copywriters may also join the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The PRSA is an organization that supports professionals who work in the public relations industry. It advocates for the field and establishes standards of ethical behavior and conduct. It created the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Membership benefits includes providing networking contacts for its members, field recognition, an Accredited in Public Relations (APR) program, and daily website blog updates.
There are four membership types for The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Members with two or more years in public relations may join and pay annual dues of $225, with a $65 initiation fee. Members with one to two years of experience may join as an Associate Member and pay annual dues of $155; and associate members with less than one year pay annual dues of $115. Graduate students may also join the society. They must be enrolled in a major that best represents the industry. A typical major includes marketing or public relations. They pay only $60 in annual dues. Other membership benefits include partnership discounts to manage costs associated with insurance and shipping.