We asked our questions to Peter Rowe a former copywriter who now does a Drive shift on 91.7 The Wave in Mandurah, Western Australia (in full disclosure – that’s the same station that I work at too) and he also does music programming for the same station.
What ‘Copywriting’ experience you have had before?
Originally I filled in for a workmate in my first radio station job who was going on holiday. I was an announcer not a copy writer, but I loved it. Having never done it before it was really challenging, but I did an OK job.
The biggest and best response from an ad you wrote was…
I wrote, voiced and produced an ad for Time-Zone in the 90’s. [That’s a video game arcade franchise here in Australia] The client noted a ‘marked increase in patronage’.
The best advice I ever got about my writing ads was… Why?
Did the ad get more enquiries/sales/phone calls etc. In other words, regardless of how clever I thought the ad was, the question was, did it work?
The best mentor I ever had was… Why?
Rick Cairns, Creative Director – Brandino Brand Communications Fremantle.
Most rewarding thing about radio is…
Making the invisible, visible. As an announcer, I love trying to make the connection with my listener as real as possible. They can’t see me and I can’t see them. That makes communication and the relationship very challenging and it’s an art most radio announcers simply don’t understand. The same has to be said for creating ads that connect with listeners needs and inspire them to purchase the product they heard advertised.
What does “Theatre of the mind” mean to you?
When we hear a commercial we are automatically drawn into creating an image or images based on the information we’re hearing. So, the better the ad, the clearer the image. We can even see ourselves using the product in our mind. That makes us want to have it. Every purchase any of us ever makes is based on Greed, Laziness or Fear. If the ad you write captures all three, you have a much better chance of it working.
What was/is the best tool you have ever used as a copywriter?
Imagination or the desire to truly understand the product/service the client is selling.
My most hated ‘radio cliché’ is… and why?
“One stop shop!” Clichéd and overused. However, it does succinctly sum up many benefits. But, there are many ways to convey the same message.
What was the weirdest thing you ever experienced in Radio?
I worked for a Christian radio station in 1988, on air from 8pm till midnight. We had counsellors off air taking calls from listeners going through stuff. As announcers we had to give out the number for people to call. The call to action was fairly standard, but one night I made it more personal and thoughtful, encouraging anyone who just wasn’t coping with life that there was hope. 30 minutes later I had a call in the studio from a police officer asking me if I was the person on air who gave the intimate, personal chat and I said yes I was. He told me he had a call from a woman who was in her car in the garage with a hose pipe pumping carbon monoxide into her car as she was writing a goodbye letter to her husband. She had the radio on listening to me. After hearing what I said she turned off the engine and called 000 (Emergency Services in Australia). Had she not, she would have died. That is the power of radio.
See Peter Rowe’s station profile – HERE