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This is Breaking Copy

No Social Media Bullshit

Does the world really need another blog about copywriting? Yes it does. Here’s why.

This is a remarkable time for writers. Consider:

  • At parties last summer, kids were dancing to the song “Dynamite,” in which Taio Cruz sings, “I’m wearing all my favorite brands.” Brands! Everybody knows we live in a world of marketing artifice. And yet we can’t get enough of it.
  • As I write this, a popular uprising is underway in Egypt, driven by ideas transmitted through the Internet, wireless phones, and social media. These are mostly text channels. History tells us the best writers will win.
  • A few weeks from now, candidates for the 2012 U.S. presidential election will deploy carefully planned, sophisticated communication strategies. A political contest is a peaceful fight of ideas, where people with a command of language have the advantage.
  • Yet while all this is happening, the conversation about copywriting has been hijacked by people pitching products and services of dubious value. Do a search for “copywriting blog” and most of what you’ll find are businesses selling technology products, like online courses, search engine optimization and quick-fix marketing schemes.

Breaking Copy will be better than this.

I see writing as a profession in flux. The traditional definition of copywriter—someone who writes sales copy—is unraveling. Print is mixing with video. Journalists are becoming marketers. Marketers are becoming tech gurus. P.R. people are doing customer service. Everyone is carrying a camera. Everything is advertising. And everyone likes to call themselves a copywriter.

Writers are no longer isolated souls with typewriters in quiet rooms. We’re required to respond in real time and to riff on current events. We’re always plugged in, Pandora in one ear and The Daily Show in the other. As traditional media splinters into a billion pieces, nerds like us are defining the culture. A word like “snowpocalypse” surfaces on Twitter and the next thing you know it’s on the front page of the paper. When you watch the Old Spice guy, listen for the voice of a copywriter living out his fantasy.

Breaking Copy launches today.

With a bias toward things new and interesting, Breaking Copy will cover marketing and advertising copywriting, as well as other language-related developments in current events and culture. Breaking Copy’s mission is to help all kinds of writers make sense of the evolving world of words.

The name Breaking Copy means three things. First, there’s writing until you hit a line break, represented by the proofreading mark in the logo. Second, the blog will be about breaking news. And third, breaking means destroying something. Let’s smash writing to pieces and build something better on the wreckage.

There’s a reason I put a “0% Social Media Bullshit” stamp at the top this post. It’s not because I’m against Twitter and Facebook; quite the contrary. But here’s my promise to you: Breaking Copy won’t be a blog built on hype, jargon, bogus data, and fake answers to hard marketing problems. If you’re a social media consultant who spends most of your time networking with other social media consultants, stop reading now and go away.

On the other hand, if you see the world in terms of individual people with feelings, ideas and motivations—and love the challenge of writing compelling copy for them, and serving your clients with creative ideas that work—welcome.

Look around. Make yourself at home. And try to break something.

— By Daryl Lang. Filed under Announcements, Social Media


  1. Pingback: Breaking Copy status report, month 1 | Breaking Copy: A Copywriting Blog

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  3. I was searching for an old Pandora ad with an embarrassing mispronunciation of the word foliage for my branding blog, and stumbled across your blog. It’s real and I love it. Chalk me up as a follower, sir! Now to get my second cup of coffee and go break some stuff.

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