Jumping in: Work Experience at JUMP
After three years of teaching primary school, I decided that I wanted a change from the classroom. I had loved my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in literature where my focus had been on close readings; understanding how subtle shifts in language can alter the whole feel of a text and can create a deliberate impression. The impact of words on their readers is more than just their dictionary definition. Once I knew that I wanted to work with words again, a careers advisor pointed me in the direction of marketing, specifically copywriting.
Talking to Lucy and Andy before I started was perfect. They explained about JUMP as a branding company and their approach was to look at the whole, rather than trying to sell the product or business. I was also given links to some of their different projects to look at (Newcastle University START UP, Port of Tyne and Shared Interest) so I could get a feel for the type of work JUMP produces and explore various types of copy.
Actually, starting the work experience was surreal. Part of what I wanted to get out of my week was to experience a different working environment. I am used to stress and pressure and at least three people talking at once, so the calm and the quiet was a bit of a shock to the system – albeit a pleasant one! It didn’t take me long to realise that the whole office is productively peaceful and the concentration is on the creativity.
After the tour and induction, I was given a desk, a Mac, and a brief on a brochure project where the copy needed a slight rewrite. Then it was on to the research. Trying to understand this completely alien product and what made this business stand out was a brilliant challenge to start my internship. The content was provided by the company, just some creative editing was needed. Everyone in the design team was kind and patient with my questions, taking the time to show me their own projects and explain the different stages they go through to get to the final design. The feedback on my first drafts from Andy and Danielle was great and helped me to refine my copy further. I did find it quite tricky to pick up the tone and how specific the content needed to be, but I enjoyed the challenge and it reminded me why I love writing.
I have also really enjoyed the research aspect to this week, both in terms of understanding the product and getting to grips with the client’s tone of voice. My favourite research though was on Instagram. As a teacher, I was warned off any kind of social media for fear of inadvertent professional suicide, so returning to the 21st century and exploring the new ways of communicating was eye-opening. Adrian was really helpful in showing me a social media plan that had been put in place for another client and went through the Golden Rules. It is easy to see how businesses have to be careful in their use of social media, but it is equally easy to see the benefits, if used correctly. There are so many nuances in combining imagery and language to balance promotion without being pushy.
Sitting in on design meetings was really useful to see how collaborative the design process is an it was great to see how everyone bounced ideas off each other or combined ideas to create something new. From a copywriting perspective, it was interesting to see how the concepts and reasoning behind the design could be then communicated in the content or tied in with a strap-line. The creative process is also full of joy, especially when there are criticisms like “That wiggle is too wiggly” and “We’re going to have a family of otters” is casually announced.
I want to say thank you to JUMP and especially the design team for letting me try my hand at copywriting. I know that this is something that I am now going to pursue as part of my career.