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Archive for the ‘video production’ Category

wet cat final

“Charleston in the summertime: Like breathing through a wet cat!”

How was your Charleston copywriting summer? Hot and sticky like mine? I’m thinking this Friday before Labor Day might be the most humid day of the year. As I often say, “Copywriting is one per cent inspiration and 99 per cent perspiration – especially in Charleston!”

So what’s happening here at the Exchange?

Seems like a lot of existing client maintenance lately, and that’s just fine. But there’s always room for more at this party, so come on along! For web, print, video and social media copy and content, contact livelyexchange (at) gmail (dot) com!

Photo credits: Fine Art America (bridge), BuyCostumes.com (mask), Dreamz Time (cat)

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My knowledge of Floriculture extends to learning the word “Floriculture.”

Well, more like social media content. Blogging, to be precise. And another example of diving in, learning a topic, and being able to produce – no matter how foreign the subject matter. In this case…FLOWERS.

I have been working with/for Floralife of Walterboro SC for about 5 years. An old Philips connection. Started out rewriting their website, did some video production and then a ton of social. Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn and Google+ all emanating from the Hootsuite platform. And, of course, blogging.

So here’s the latest. An article in Better Homes & Gardens set off alarm bells at Flower Central, both here and in Belgium. A profile on some famous flower grower and author revealed a previously unknown preference for a certain Floralife flower preservative. This set the Batphone at stately Lively Manor a-glowing…by Gar, let’s blog about that!

So here ye be! Please to enjoy “Industry Recognition for Floralife Crystal Clear!

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chas no 1

Watch your step for giant Palmetto bugs and random typewriters

Today we learned that Travel + Leisure magazine has once again named Charleston SC the America’s No. 1 city, and No. 2 in the world. “Readers were asked to rate cities they had visited on sights/landmarks, culture/arts, restaurants/food, people/friendliness, shopping and value.”

Of course, that’s a survey of people who are just passing through. What’s it like for those who live here and try to make a living in the copywriting trade? I am referring specifically to ME.

Humble Copywriting Origins

I hit town in 2006, knowing precisely nobody. I fanned out in every direction, burning up my 28K dialup internet (!) carpet-bombing every web design, marketing, advertising and video production agency from here to hell-and-gone. (Hell-and-gone includes Asheville, Raleigh, Charlotte, Greenville, Columbia, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Hilton Head, Savannah, and Augusta. Mostly due to “good timing” I got a few bites, a few initial gigs, and things slowly (SLOWLY) took root.

Mixed success, as you can imagine. I can say that the agency relationships I have made here in Charleston, including great names such as Colophon New Media and Metatation have endured.

Charleston Copywriting Must-haves

I have done my share of writing for two big Charleston staples, real estate and travel & tourism. Both have been very good to me. Check out my thoughts on local Real Estate writing here. And some fun travel and tourism stuff here. (Scroll down to Charleston Travel/Tourism Blog)

Now, there’s also Technical Writing.  The type of writing where (in Charleston anyway)  “tab A into slot B equals cruise missile.”  I can do it, I even completed some tech writing coursework at Trident Tech, but I guess I have never pursued it aggressively enough.

I ended up doing quite a bit of technical writing at Philips, though. That wasn’t the plan; it just turned out that way. Ah, Philips Consumer Lifestyle, the one that quite literally got away. (They closed the office and it got away!) But before it did, one of my pieces for them won a Bronze Addy award, so there’s that.

Ten years later, how’s it going? Well, it’s definitely going. Social is bigger than ever, and a big part of my mix. I went and earned a Social Marketing Certification from Hootsuite. This has been pretty helpful in framing the conversation when discussing a client’s digital marketing options.

Charleston Copywriting Outlook: 2017

Meanwhile, businesses are shaking off the cobwebs, and celebrating the new economic optimism that seems to be going around. Meaning, lots of web refreshes going on, from a six-page interior designer website, to a 30-page dentist’s site to a FIFTY page digital marketing agency website! (2017: the year the cobbler’s kids get shoes!!) Now, 2017 is setting no records, but it sure beats the windswept desert that was 2016!!

So that’s the copywriting life in America’s Number One city. As the Bedouins say, the dogs bark and the caravan moves on. If you’d like to be part of this rich copywriting pageant, contact me at  LivelyExchange (at) gmail (dot) com!

Photo: Charleston Post and Courier

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Um, that’s me

Welcome to aLivelyExchange! I am an award-winning copywriter of web, social media, print and video content. I am based in Charleston SC, but serve clients across the US.

I have many years’ experience serving clients in the health care, consumer electronics, manufacturing, retail, graphic arts, sporting goods, real estate, automotive, tourism, military, governmental and nonprofit arenas. I also have nearly 20 years of video production experience as a writer, producer, director and editor.

Please take a few minutes to check out some internal links, including:

Thanks again for stopping by. Please contact me at LivelyExchange (at) gmail (dot) com!

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Downtown Charleston Homes: Lots of Charm for LOADS of Cheddar!

And now a few thoughts on Real Estate writing – Charleston’s third most popular professional writing topic (behind Old World Charm and Missile Guidance Systems!)
Writing for Real Estate is tricky, especially in a town the size of Charleston SC. Whenever a realtor comes to me, he or she needs writeups on the usual things like Home, About, Services, etc. So far so good. 

But then they want me to write charming descriptions of the part of Charleston SC where they specialize. And, in a town this size, “everywhere” is our specialty!

When I first got to town I had no clue about West Ashley or Mt. Pleasant or Park West…or anywhere. So it was research, research, research. I believe the pieces I wrote were fine, especially considering my lack of knowledge of the area. They did the trick and got the Google hits. I don’t believe, however, that the reader would get the sense that the author had “lived it.”

Time took care of that. Now, all these years later, I know the Charleston SC area pretty darn well. The stuff I write about Isle of Palms or South Windermere actually DO sound like they were written by a local.

home sale

Cozy and charming. And in Downtown Charleston, it’s only $575,000!

The final piece of the puzzle was Historic Downtown Charleston. That’s how you’re supposed to say it. Downtown had always been a once-every-few-weeks occurrence for me. Usually a Saturday, and usually to chill on a lawn chair at the Battery or something.

My 8-month stint at Philips changed that. I only worked a 20-hour week, but I was there every day. Working in Ansonborough, lunching on East Bay, vendor meetings in the French Quarter, happy hour on Upper King, and so on. The feel of Downtown started slowly seeping in.

So, when a realtor asked me to write a big SEO-drenched essay on Historic Downtown Charleston, I was ready. Now, I can say “Ansonborough is a charming neighborhood of Charleston Singles and Doubles, refurbished row houses and even modern condos with harbor views” with confidence! I LIVED it, by gar!

Anyway, check out my Historic Downtown Charleston SC Homes article! And a special shout out to Realtor extraordinaire Heather Lord!

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If YOU need compelling copy  – real estate or otherwise – that feels like it’s been lived in, please contact livelyexchange (at) gmail (dot) com!

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An awards logo that's bold, proactive and in your face!

Welcome to Lively Exchange, where our shakes are thick and creamy and our horns are self-tooting!

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Usually, it’s the first thing you learn about me after my name, as in “Michael Lively, comma, award-winning copywriter…”

Why? Because, as a potential client said to me today, “this is a business of perceptions.” I agree, and one perception is that if you don’t have a bunch of awards up on your wall for your copywriting or web design or video production, you are something less than truly successful. I think that’s BS. On the other hand, I have my share of awards.

Which is the long, tortured way of saying that a piece I wrote copy for just got a Bronze Addy from The Charleston SC Advertising Federation. You’ve seen me mention it a couple of times: The Dead Battery Anxiety website for Philips. The wacky videos were recognized in the “Internet Commercials” category. So, kudos to Philips Art Director Kit Hughes, the gang of creative creatives at Slant Media… and me!

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If YOU would like to see what the award-winnin’ is all about, contact LivelyExchange (at) gmail.com!

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ImageMatrix Halloween Party, City View Tavern, Cincinnati 1989

For those of you who aren’t Cincinnati Krauts, that means “Beer please!” As I was going to press last time (or whatever) I learned that the long-gestating Kroger Supermarkets beer web page I had written had gone live.

This one was fun. Working with a Cincinnati web marketing firm that I can’t name, I had to dig in to all kinds of beer ephemera to write web copy about beer trivia, food pairings, beer history in America and so on.

As I said previously, I have done a bunch of beer writing for Anheuser Busch, Miller Coors and Kroger – mostly for video. And of course, being some internal merchandising or training video, I almost never get to see the final product. So it’s really fun to see it all come to life. Especially the timeline of Beer in America. So check it out!

And now, I leave you with the words of Norm from Cheers: “Women! Can’t live with ’em, pass me the beer nuts!”

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And if YOU can’t live without compelling copy for web, print, social media or video, Please contact LivelyExchange (at) gmail.com!

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