IoIC Award is The Smell of Success for Coast Copywriting

Marketing Awards and the New Fragrant Me

Three years ago, if you’d questioned me about the merits of perfumes and aftershaves I’d have looked at you like you were insane.

Why are you asking me about smelly coloured liquids people dab on their bodies? My education in fragrance began and ended at age 16 with Brut 33, Old Spice, and similar ‘man’s man’ scents best worn with a chunky lip rug.

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A brown suit, a moustache, and an eye-watering fragrance – like Ron Swanson I was the classic unreconstructed male.

Times have changed. I am now a mini industry of opinions about base notes, top notes and heart notes. I have things to say about Lady Gaga Fame, Madonna Truth or Dare, and Peter Andre Conditional. And I express these opinions in a woman’s tone of voice, somewhere between Grazia and Look!

Please – let me explain.

My metrosexual makeover is all down to the internal communications magazine The Nose. For three years I’ve been managing editor of this staff magazine for The Perfume Shop, on behalf of Indigodog Publishing Limited. In that time I’ve dived into the deep end of the perfume industry, discovering everything from the history of fragrance to the subtle art of using blotters (those little perfume sample sticks) to help win a sale in store. I’ve also worked with my colleagues at Indigodog to develop a tone of voice and look for The Nose, to match our client’s demographic.

To sum up, we’re all deeply involved in the world of perfume retail internal comms. And so we were delighted to learn The Nose had won an Award of Excellence from the Institute of Internal Communications (IOiC].

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Now I wear Le Beau Male. Which means I smell nice, but unfortunately still look more like Ron Swanson than pretty boy here.

A big thank you to Indigodog Publishing for asking me to take on the Managing Editor role at The Nose. Having the opportunity to develop a tone of voice and an editorial strategy for a whole magazine is a joy for a copywriter. Working regularly on a title like this – and getting such great positive feedback from staff and the client – has also deepened my knowledge of internal comms.

I also know a lot more about perfume. In fact, these days I’m far less likely to wear aftershaves that take the hairs off your nostrils – definitely a good thing for anyone who meets me at the water cooler.

Martin Philp is a freelance copywriter who offers professional copywriting services to brands, SMEs and agencies. Get in touch now.


Copywriting Tips for Small Businesses #5.5

Copywriting Bad ‘Uns.


A massive thank you to the people who sent me some examples of ‘underperforming’ copy, following my request on the Coast Copywriting Facebook page. (Please Like etc etc)

In fact, I’ve received so many I’m going to post a few Copywriting Bad ‘Uns from time to time. Think of them as pit stops between the main Copywriting Tips for Small Businesses posts.

Here’s a couple to get started.

I know, I know – ‘Ha ha ha, isn’t it funny when foreigners try to write English?’ I’m trying not to go too far down that road, but quite a few examples come from Ishaan from California (thanks, Ishaan) who’s been travelling the world for about two years. From a copy point of view, I would say this piece of writing starts well enough. ‘Toilet’ is short and descriptive. The first of the two sentences below ‘Toilet’ does the job, as it were, although the ‘cross’ ‘crossing’ repetition is a shame. It’s the third sentence where it really hits the fan…  Although personally I have a soft spot for the word ‘perform’ in this context.

Thanks to Catherine from Hayle in Cornwall for sharing this next one. As she pointed out, this was probably written by a Cockney, or more likely Dick Van Dyke doing an impression of a Cockney, because I’m not sure even Cockneys say pillars for pillows. Interestingly (or not) the pillars/pillows thing is a homonym – an example of two words that sound the same, but read differently. Only it’s not really, because only Cockneys/ Dick Van Dyke say pillars for pillows, of course. Glad we’ve cleared that up. Anyway, it’s surprising how often homonyms slip into copy. Remain eagle I’d.

Please keep sending examples of underperforming copy to wordsbymartin@gmail.com.

Martin Philp is a freelance copywriter for SMEs and brands. Get in touch now.

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