Email: shoveller@internode.on.net

COPYWRITING

I've been writing copy for over 20 years. These days, clients want to know three things:
(1) do you write for websites? (2) we need it really urgently, can you do it by tomorrow? and (3) what do you charge?

If you have the same questions, the answers are (1) yes, (2) sometimes and (3) please feel free to email me for my hourly rates.

 

RECENT WORK

CLIENT: Pat Kent, Peterborough Tourism 

PROJECT: The Town Carriage Museum 

BRIEF: To conceive, research, curate, install and sign a new museum experience that tells the story of Peterborough. The space? A 1917 first class sleeper compartment. 

The job took around six months to complete, from concept to opening in April 2017. The cabinets were hand-made, and the quirky collection of iconic display objects work beautfiully with the information panels. I was especially proud of securing the loan of George W Goyder's ceremonial cockade for the display.   

In a stroke of genius, Pat Kent reserved the two sleeper compartments (at rear of the display) for a virtual reality exhibit. He commissioned Hollywood sound maven John Simpson (Mad Max, Happy Feet et al) to recreate the scrolling vista that passengers would have experienced aboard a steam train on the Broken Hill to Port Pirie Line, circa 1930. The effect is so authentic that older visitors have been moved to tears.   


CLIENT: Pat Kent, Peterborough Tourism

PROJECT: The Heritage Rail Trail 

BRIEF: To work with Peterborough Tourism in researching, creating and copywriting a new tourism product -- one that would resurrect an extraordinary industrial legacy, tell a fresh story and ultimately encourage people to look again at a string of almost forgotten towns in Outback South Australia.

In January 2015 I joined Pat Kent and ex-guardsman Colin Workman on a 400km drive from the town of Silverton to Port Pirie. We followed a barely-there relic of a little 3.6" guage railway. This was the line that became one of the busiest and most profitable stretches of railway on the planet, allowing the world's largest mining company to consolidate and ultimately transform Australia from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy.

Within eight months, the Heritage Rail Trail had a finely wrought 18-panel brochure, a thorough online mobile app (made by Mark Potter of Daytrippa) and had increased visitation to Peterborough's Steamtown by 30%.

In November 2015 it walked away with the Award for Destination Marketing, presented at the 2015 South Australian Tourism Awards.  


 

CLIENT: Pat Kent, Peterborough Council 

PROJECT: Peterborough Council Website 

BRIEF: Strategise, design and write a website for the good burghers of Peterborough... 

There was a simple bottom line on this project: get visitors to spend a little more time in the historic Southern Flinders town of Peterborough. I spent three days on site, coming to see that the place had a surfeit of interesting, quirky attractions born of two things -- a true industrial legacy and a small population of good-hearted country people. 

I kept the website simple and clean, and built it around the three things that make the place: its legacy, its landscapes and its locals.

My favourite bit is the welcome vision of the steam train coming out of the screen (never tire of seeing that!), one of the elements that make this site (done on a shoestring) look a million bucks.


  

CLIENT: Damien Hanger, Australian Motoring Services

PROJECT: Star Ratings website 

BRIEF: Write and consult a B2B and B2C website.

Whenever you see a five-star hotel (or, indeed, a one-star hotel) that property has been judged and accredited by Star Ratings on behalf of the Automobile Clubs of Australia (NRMA, RACV, RACQ, RAA, RAC, and RACT). The Star Ratings website was big and complicated, but a solid brief, a straight-talking client and a clear head (at least on most mornings) made light work of it.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLIENT: Stefan Ahrens 

PROJECT: Kingsford Homestead 

BRIEF: Consult on new five-star property; write copy for website, media campaign and printed collateral

Loved working on this project!

I first visited the property early 2012 during the multi-million rennovation of the 1850s homestead (famous to millions as 'Drover's Run on McLeod's Daughters). I'd been brought in to assess it as a five-star experience. Opinons were dutifully given including two suggestions for substantial infrastructure changes. One of these was the installation and provision of an outdoor bath, located beside a beautiful stretch of creek on the property.

The 'bush bath' was a runaway success and made it onto America's 2013 Conde Nast Hot List. 


  

CLIENT: Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology (South Australian government)

PROJECT: Skills for All website 

BRIEF: To write and edit some 50,000 words for a single site.

Arguably one of the biggest online projects to be undertaken by the South Australian government, Skills for All required the online content of six government directorates to be reworked into a single site. I was commissioned to take raw (mostly government-centric) content and restructure it for use by three types of customer, including unemployed job seekers qualifying for free or subsidised training. As much 'process' as 'word-process', this taxing two-phase project took over three months, most of it on-site, working with four content providers, site architect and project manager.


CLIENTS: Responsible Travel (UK) and the South Australian Tourism Commission 

PROJECT: Insider's Guide to South Australia website

BRIEF: To write a 14,000-word online travel guide promoting South Australia to Reponsible Travel customers in the UK.

Both clients were content to let me push the boundaries a little and offer an unusually intimate and irreverent tour of the state. Rather to my surprise it still includes the line: "Next you’ll find the State Parliament and the Casino: one is full of shady characters who happily take our money; the other is the Casino."    


CLIENT: Department of Trade and Economic Development (South Australian government)

PROJECT: Make the Move website

BRIEF: To compile a 100-page website to attract skilled migrants to South Australia.

Copy brief required pages to attract prospective migrants, inform visa applicants and support migrants who had already ‘made the move’.


CLIENT: Northern Territory Tourism

PROJECT: Seven Days of the Red Centre

BRIEF: To devise, research and compile seven different broadsheet pages showing the Red Centre as a place where progressive people are leading interesting and colourful lives.

The two-month job (including nine days in the Territory) saw some 50 news-worthy features written on Alice Springs and surrounds. The seven advertorial ‘dailies’ ran in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald


CLIENT: The Tailor

PROJECT: The Tailor website

BRIEF: Australia’s largest luxury inbound tour operator (Outback Encounter) needed a new website to go with its re-brand as The Tailor.

The site had to showcase over 80 luxury operators. The trick: keep it simple, keep it chic.


In decades previous, I've also undertaken copywriting for various wine companies, international education, Microsoft software, Telstra and Toyota.

Rates available on request.