Archive for September, 2009

The clamor was so strong you could almost actually hear it! “WTF, Mike?” my Legion of Fan exclaimed. “Where’s the update of old copywriting projects you promised instead of writing something fresh?”

Institutional Architecture print and web gig: This is the copywriting project that I have been working on almost since I learned to write my own name. The print and web materials have been long completed. Unfortunately, final payment has been long awaited. Someday, when the check clears, I will post a link. I promise it will not be worth the wait!

The Biotech website: Call Scooby and the gang, because I smell a mystery! I was the writing subcontractor on this one, and the contractor won’t reply to my emails. The writing is long done, and they gave every indication of being happy with my work. Checks have long been cashed (nice ones, too!) But still no website. No Scooby Snacks, either. If you’re looking for a suspect, I suggest Mr. McGreevey, the creepy caretaker of the abandoned amusement park.

Corporate disaster planning and data back up articles: Two 1500-word business journal articles for use in Ohio and Florida. These are basically the same, but the first 300 words or so highlight local disasters that impacted area business – Hurricane Charley in Florida and that Day of Wind Ohio suffered after Hurricane Ike. I finished the articles back in April, I think, and then waited.

Finally, a few weeks ago, I got an interesting request: cut the Ohio article to 750 words, and the Florida article to 4 PARAGRAPHS.  Tackling the 750-word piece first, I was not hopeful but I began to chip away – 1450, 1315, 1170, 980, and so on. I finally got to 750, and dang if it weren’t a tight, coherent piece. There’s a lesson here about self editing. I don’t know what it is, but it’s there.  After that, the 4 paragraph piece was a breeze. I believe that one is going to become an email blast or something, leading potential clients to their website. Speaking of which…

The client (a data backup and recovery business) has posted the original, 1500-word articles as sort-of white papers on their site. Take a look, but don’t ask me why they posted them as Word files complete with my header and footer, word count, “draft 2,” and other behind-the-curtain awesomeness.  Florida articleOhio article.

Well, it’s Friday, muchachos. Here in flavor country, that means Nacho Nite! So if you’ll excuse me, I have to go brown the meat.*

* that’s what she said.

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It occurred to me that I just completed my most visible copywriting job ever: an in-store PA announcement script for Kroger Supermarkets, a name instantly recognizable to anyone in OH-KY-IN-WV and thereabouts.

Growing up in Ohio, long before Wal*Mart had busted out of its Arkansas ghetto, Kroger was just Kroger, THE premiere name in grocery shopping, having been founded in Cincinnati in 1880 or so.

Today Kroger is everywhere, though you might not know it. They bought up tons of regional players, and then very wisely kept the regional monikers including Ralph’s, King Soopers, City Market, Dillons, Smith’s, Fry’s, QFC, Baker’s, Owen’s, JayC, Hilander, Gerbes, Pay Less and Scott’s.

My longtime associate GG, who I have known since the ¾ SP video days, happens to be the media production director there, and he suggested me to their agency of choice. It has been a fruitful relationship, and I have done several internal merchandising pieces for Kroger—mostly video scripts.

This latest project takes it to a whole new level…into the grocery store. You see, September is Wine Month, and Kroger is promoting the crap out of it. I wrote two scripts, a :30 and a :15, that play in between the Muzak. Here then is the :30…

When I entertain, fine wine is always on the menu—and so is a visit to the Kroger wine department.

In September, Kroger is “Celebrating the Crush” – the annual salute to the grape harvest, when vintners begin crafting the wines we love.

Kroger’s huge selection and great prices make it easy to branch out and try new wines. And they always offer helpful tips for new and interesting food pairings.

Fine wine is one of life’s little pleasures. The Kroger wine department makes it even more pleasurable.

I assume they substitute the regional name for Kroger in each market. At any rate, it is clearly the widest exposure I have ever had. (This includes the time I was floor-directing the 7pm news in Dayton.We went to a break and I called “We’re clear!” and broadcasting legend Don Wayne said, “Finally–I’ve got to go to the can!” But, in fact we weren’t clear and 100,000 people heard both of us. Good times.)

I would like to see a statistic on how many people live within the realm of Krogerdom, the Krogosphere or el Krogomundo, if you prefer. I would look it up, but that reeks of effort! I would rather have a glass of wine.

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Yeah, well, now you know how I feel!

Yeah, well, now you know how I feel!

A while back I mentioned the therapeutic little ritual I perform every so often. I sit and list everything that’s going on at The Exchange, either to assure myself that things aren’t as quiet as they seem or (in the current instance) to try to get a handle on the swirl of projects at their various stages of completion. Right now I am in Swirl mode. So, come. Circle the bowl with me!

Community College web copy. I am rewriting an online course catalog. It’s a modest start, but one that promises to explode later. A nice project because, other than some brochure work for a vocational/college prep high school in Dayton, education is not a niche I have spent much time in. I like it because it speaks of opportunity, hope, growth and other aspirational wonderfulness.

Various web copy, article writing and blog projects for area realtors. Sort of the opposite of opportunity, hope and growth. It’s a nice challenge working in a “down” business. But it can be emotionally draining working with folks who are in various stages of panic about their futures (hey, I should point them to the Community College!) Also tough because they all feel the need to step up their marketing, which is good, but they don’t have any money. I want to be part of the solution, but….

Various websites for clients in:

  • Insurance/benefits/investments,
  • Custom home plans-for-purchase,
  • Home HVAC,
  • Commercial construction,
  • Forensic psychiatry,
  • Commercial cleaning, and
  • Commercial in-building wireless signal enhancement and bridging (which is a thing now, apparently.)

Like I said, a swirl. Next time, we’ll do a “Where Are They Now?” of old projects. Try not to let the anticipation ruin your Labor Day weekend…because that’s Jerry Lewis’ job!*

* Oh, snap!

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