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When a company needs to produce publicly viewable documentation, it's a good idea to hire a copywriter to ensure clean, effective, professional copy.

Herschell Gordon Lewis, author of Direct Mail Copy That Sells, suggests the following procedure for choosing a copywriter:

  • When advertising for a copywriter, list enough specifics about the job to keep novices away.
  • Ask for samples; then ask questions about the samples to validate authorship. If the candidate is boastful or seems more concerned with ego defense than with any admission of participation by others, be cautious.
  • Conduct a personal interview in which you lead the candidate to believe he or she actually has the job and the conversation is just a formality. While closely examining the dialogue, look for two Achilles' heels (a) phony sincerity, and (b) contempt for whatever you're selling. Disqualify any candidate on either basis.
  • Have the candidate take a timed writing test assignment. Lace the instructions with weak words from the list below. If the writer regurgitates more than a couple of those words or uses platitudes and cliches, it could fortell a lack of originality.
  • Give the top three candidates an actual, for-pay assignment. One really good way to find the right writer.

A number of sources are available to help you find the writer that best suits your company's needs. The classified sections in AdWeek and Advertising Age, for example, are probably the best places to find the names of copywriters or place an advertisement.

Other recommended resources include:

Dial-A-Writer
1501 Broadway, Suite 302
New York, NY 10036
(212) 398-1934

Dial-A-Writer connects more than 800 well-published, independent freelance writers with anyone needing a skilled professional.

The One Club for Art & Copy
32 East 21st Street
New York, NY 10010
(212) 979-1900

The One Club has a membership of some 700 advertising art directors and copywriters and is another good referral source for professional writers.

And also contact these headhunters:

Baedar Chiu
9538 Brighton Way, Suite 306
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 274-0051

Greenberg & Associates 1133 Broadway, Suite 1204 New York, NY 10010 (212) 463-0020
Howsam & Weingarten 275 Madison Avenue, Suite 1518 New York, NY 10016 (212) 682-5151
Sandy Wade 1 IBM Plaza, Suite 2901 Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 595-3200
The Watts Group 11601 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 500 Los Angeles, CA 90025 (310) 575-4882
Westerfield & Associates 15150 S. Florida Avenue, #307 Lakeland, FL 33813 (813) 644-1216

 

Weak Words

administration facilitate product
affinity features purchase
amendment fond quality
approximately formulate replacement
attractive humorous requested
configuration indeed respond
constructed merchant rethink
contradictory moderate service
"Dear Friends" needs (as a noun) standards
define pamphlet utilize
dispatch peruse value
earn prearranged work