ChatGPT has gained a lot of coverage in the news over the past month and for good reason. This new language model chatbot developed by OpenAI has the chance to revolutionise SEO and digital marketing. 

ChatGPT’s growth has been phenomenal, hitting 1 million users in just 5 days, (according to Greg Brockman, President and Co-Founder of OpenAI). It’s fascinating to compare this adoption rate to other revolutionary technologies (which you can see below), for example Instagram, took 2.5 months to get to the same user level.

We thought it would be useful to share some of the team’s thoughts on the new software and what our approach will be to using it in 2023. We will cover its full impact on search marketing covering Varn’s 4 key service lines for delivering ‘full service SEO’. 

What is ChatGPT? 

Before we get into its impact on search marketing, let’s provide a bit of background on the software and why it is causing such a stir. 

ChatGPT has taken the digital marketing world by storm over the last month and many have started to incorporate it into their content development strategy, using it to contribute to articles and other forms of content be it writing video scripts and coming up with blog ideas. 

So what is ChatGPT? Well let’s see what the software has to say for itself….

“ChatGPT is a language model developed by OpenAI that uses deep learning to generate human-like text. It is trained on a large dataset of text and can be fine-tuned for specific tasks such as language translation, question answering, and text summarization. ChatGPT can generate text that is similar to that written by a human and is often used in chatbots and other natural language processing applications.”

Impact on Technical SEO

As far as Technical SEO goes, ChatGPT could potentially help streamline the process of optimising websites. 

One important element of Technical SEO is a website’s navigation. It is important that the navigation makes sense to users and has a clear hierarchy. Historically this has always been something that takes a reasonable amount of time to manually review. However, an advanced machine learning algorithm like GPT should be able to think similarly to a human and predict what a user of a website would expect from the site’s navigation. For example, it is possible that GPT would be able to review your site navigation, and suggest which content should be moved to make more sense from a user and hierarchical point of view. The resulting recommendations are still something that should be manually reviewed by an SEO professional, but it could potentially save a reasonable amount of time.

Another much more dubious technique, (one that we would not recommend), is that people could use ChatGPT for Tech SEO in order to create content related to your target keywords. In order to get a page to rank on Google, it helps to have a decent amount of body copy on the page, copy which is focused on the keywords you want to rank for. Using ChatGPT to generate this content could potentially help to get a site ranking more quickly, whilst making content creation easier for your website admin. However, there are a number of problems with this approach. Firstly, AI generated content goes against Google’s guidelines. This means that if Google were to identify your content as AI generated then they could potentially penalise your rankings. 

It’s interesting to note that ChatGPT has been working to add a watermark to its generated content so that AI generated copy can be identified more easily. This watermark would be difficult to remove as it is a statistical pattern that is embedded into individual words or even punctuation marks within the generated content. This watermark is another potential way for Google to recognise that the copy hasn’t been manually produced, which again could lead to penalisation. There is also no guarantee that another user will never be presented with the same AI generated content, thus also leading to potential issues with duplicate content.

Impact on Content and Digital PR 

When it comes to digital PR and content, the software seems to have a lot of potential applications, but for now at least, human insights, input and creativity will be needed to create content that gets cut through online. 

Some of the potential applications when it comes to content assistance include: 

The above is not an exhaustive list, but it is an exciting time for those in content marketing and digital as we see more sophisticated AI tools come to market which should get better over time. 

It’s vital not to forget that from an SEO perspective, Google states on it’s website that when a user enters a query, their machines search the index for matching pages and return the results they believe are the highest quality and most relevant to the user’s query. 

The big question is whether Google thinks bot created content is the highest quality, and we would suggest that it probably isn’t yet. Therefore we have a note of caution – be careful of any agency who says they are going to use ChatGPT to get you to the top of Google. They are most likely seeing ChatGPT as a shortcut/cheat to generating content, rather than a legitimate way to create ‘the highest quality content’. This may obviously change in time though. 

Under it’s ‘Google Search Essentials’ page, Google states under its ‘Key best practice’:

“While there are many things you can do to improve your site’s SEO, there are a few core practices that can have the most impact on your web content’s ranking and appearance on Google Search.”

The first is ‘Create helpful, reliable, people-first content.’ When expanding on this Google states:

‘Google’s automated ranking systems are designed to present helpful, reliable information that’s primarily created to benefit people, not to gain search engine rankings, in the top Search results.’ 

Our recommendation if you are involved in Search Marketing, keep up to date with the latest developments and trends emerging with ChatGPT, but importantly spend time making sure you comply with the advice from Google about content which you can find here.

Impact on Paid Search and Social  

We’ve been here before, haven’t we? Automated Bidding, Smart Shopping, Performance Max. It’s been proven that we can combine a strategic human touch with the power of automation to enhance performance marketing.   

Two areas of research needed before running a paid campaign are the keywords you choose to bid on and the messaging you put in your ads. This will determine who sees your ads and the likelihood of them clicking and converting. ChatGPT can be very useful as a starting point for both of these areas. It can offer up fresh ideas in an unbiased way.

Keyword Research

Ad Copy Research 

Whilst ChatGPT does provide really high quality content to use for campaigns, it may not be as high quality and personal as a person writing that copy, with a touch of human insight and copywriting flair. As a human, and not an AI, we are able to factor in elements such as USPs, brand knowledge, target demographics and audience that you would want to appeal to in the ad copy. However, ChatGPT is certainly a good starting point for generating ad copy and keyword research. 

Impact on Data Analytics and Reporting 

Data Analytics and Reporting is one of the most important areas of search marketing. If you don’t have adequate reporting setup, you are not able to evaluate how your strategies are performing and which strategies you should push for going forward.

One way a machine learning service like ChatGPT could be useful for Data Analytics is as a provider of information. Not only can you ask GPT questions and get a concise answer, you can also add a correction or modifier to that question after the fact, and GPT is smart enough to understand. For example, here we asked about how to track a certain metric in Looker Studio, and after not being satisfied with the answer, were able to quickly modify our request without retyping the original question.

Varn: How do I track average page views in Looker Studio

GPT: To track average page views in Looker Studio, you will need to use a score card. First, create a blank report from the Looker Studio home screen. Then, use the formula box to type in ‘Views/Sessions’ and save the calculated field. Finally, add the score card to your report. You will then be able to track your average page views.

Varn: No, I meant as a graph

GPT: To create a graph of average page views in Looker Studio, you will need to use a line chart. First, create a blank report from the Looker Studio home screen. Then, use the formula box to type in ‘Views/Sessions’ and save the calculated field. Next, select your metrics and dimensions and add a new chart. Finally, add the line chart to your report. You will then be able to track your average page views in a visual graph format.

This ability for ChatGPT to condense complex information into simple text format allows us to treat the service like a co-pilot when working out tricky problems in analytics software.

ChatGPT and your Search Marketing Strategy 

Our view is that ChatGPT has the potential to revolutionise the way we approach search marketing, but at the moment it should be seen as a useful place to start to help you to quickly and conveniently curate information. We think it’s critical to remember that whilst ChatGPT is a great tool, (and will only get better), you need to use it as a starting point or springboard for creating content. 

The value of excellence in search marketing deliverables, will always come by adding in the human touch.

Having an understanding of your company’s tone of voice, what works with the audience and an in-depth understanding of what you are looking to achieve is essential. This is the human bit that AI and robots simply can’t replicate. 

ChatGPT will be unable to grasp the intricacies and nuances of human behaviour and responses. As people we can inherently tap into the very unique asset of our 5 senses, to ensure any AI generated content is then made relevant, engaging and meaningful. Our view is that the human power of creativity, innovative ideas and strategic understanding make content, ads and SEO insights impactful and actionable, and will always trump a ‘cut and paste’ of AI generated content. In addition, we know that for successful long-term SEO strategy, it’s critical to understand your competition and to have a clear strategy. ChatGPT will only be helpful up to a point for this… we liken it to having a football-playing robot. They’ll only be helpful if they are told what team to play on!

Our recommendation is to now let’s carefully watch this space. The search marketing landscape may well evolve and change quickly and with Microsoft reportedly to add ChatGPT to it’s Bing search engine, it’s worth keeping your eyes out for what happens to Bing market share, and Google’s response to this immediate challenge

Finally, if you are interested ChatGPT’s opinion about how it will influence search marketing, this is what it ‘thinks’….

“Its advanced natural language processing capabilities can help businesses to create high-quality, unique content and improve their search engine rankings. Additionally, ChatGPT can also be used to create chatbots that can provide faster and more efficient customer service, helping businesses to improve the user experience and increase customer satisfaction. As the capabilities of ChatGPT continue to evolve, it is likely that we will see even more ways in which it can be used to improve search marketing and other areas of business.”

Communications agency unveils new name, brand, website and company values

Built environment-focussed comms agency MPC has revealed an overhaul of its brand identity, name, website and values, as it launches as Meeting Place.

Established in 2006, the business is one of the sector’s most established agencies, working with clients across the built environment to deliver positive change for new developments through planning comms and public relations.

On the back of several recent client wins, the rebrand coincides with record revenues for Meeting Place across its regional offices, a 28% boost in like-for-like revenues over the last six months, and a headcount growth from 26 to 37 over the last year.

According to Meeting Place’s Managing Director, Nikki Davies, the changes underpin a new direction for the business as it sets its sight on growth across streamlined core services – planning communications and public relatio

Meeting Place’s new website outlines how its planning comms team will utilise public affairs, social value and digital campaign experience in an effort to bring communities together to recognise the potential of the built environment.

And combining its sector knowledge with an integrated approach to PR, its public relations team will shape client campaigns to build awareness and understanding

Nikki said: “We’re thrilled with the outcome of our new rebrand, which coincides nicely with a period of growth across our teams, as we start the year on a strong footing

“Our new values – insight, inclusivity and courage – dovetail with our clearly defined mission to use the built environment as a catalyst for positive change; whether that’s environmental, social or economic benefits.

“We believe our streamlined approach of planning comms and PR will serve as a key differentiator in the industry, and one which champions best-practice and delivers for communities, clients and the media alike

“Whether we’re gaining support for a new hospital in East Anglia, homes for first-time buyers in Devon, establishing a housebuilder’s ESG strategy, or driving awareness through PR – we’re on a mission to use the built environment as a force for good.”

Meeting Place’s client roster, which includes Legal & General and Places for People was recently strengthened following several client wins, including Regal London, Longfellow Real Estate and several solar energy providers. Headquartered in Bristol, Meeting Place has staff working remotely in locations across England and Wales following a move to a flexible working model.

The agency’s Regional Director for Midlands, Western & the North, Helen Goral, said: “Having bolstered our public relations, digital and design offering, our expanded teams will be central to the company’s growth targets this year. Across the region, we have seen a significant increase in demand for planning communications expertise and we are working on numerous high-profile projects which have contributed to a 20% like-for-like revenue increase year on year.

“The range and calibre of our recent wins underpin our ability to deliver return on investment and impactful comms for clients. Despite the recent economic situation, we’re still seeing a lot of confidence across the built environment, with our breadth of services allowing us to take a holistic, integrated view of client needs

“It’s incredibly exciting to be starting the year on a high, with record revenues, project wins and a vibrant new brand. We believe the built environment has so much potential as a force for good and we can’t wait to see what 2023 brings.”

For more information on Meeting Place, please visit: 

Just 4 months on from the launch of AgencyUK’s awareness campaign, Our Future Health has surpassed the significant milestone of 150,000 volunteer sign-ups.

Our Future Health aims to become the UK’s largest ever health programme, creating a 5 million strong database of adults to enable new ways to prevent, detect and treat human diseases.

Information will be collected from millions of volunteers across the UK to create one of the most detailed pictures of public health we’ve ever had.

By analysing this data, researchers hope to unlock new ways to detect diseases at an earlier stage and identify demographics that are most at risk.

Volunteers are asked to complete a consent form and a health and lifestyle questionnaire before arranging an appointment to collect a small blood sample, where they can receive feedback on aspects of their health, including blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

AgencyUK have been working with Our Future Health since their public launch, planning and executing targeted marketing campaigns in Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Huddersfield and London aimed at raising brand awareness among the general public. The campaigns leverage creative and messaging that references specific health challenges most commonly faced by the population in each region.

They have been activated across multiple digital channels including social and advertising, as well as out of home with the aim of reaching a broad audience across a range of demographics. Out of home placements have included public transport, print and digital posters.

“We are really pleased with early results of the AgencyUK campaign, and we are seeing great levels of engagement across the various formats and platforms. The out of home executions have been high-impact and well targeted in support of our regional hubs. All of this has been delivered at pace and always with an eye on our next location. AgencyUK has added a lot of value to our communications activity as well as being a really decent bunch of people to work with,” says Peter Wilson, Strategic Communications Lead, Our Future Health UK.

“We are delighted to have been part of hitting the first milestone and that the programme is on track for building one of the largest health databases in the world, but we are just at the beginning and there remains a lot to do. Maintaining a high level of national exposure over the period and using creativity to maintain the public interest will be the challenge, but it’s one we’re prepared for,” says Amy Mansourpour, Director, AgencyUK.

The impressive milestone comes just 6 months on from the programme piloting in four Boots pharmacies, and two months since the first regional hub was opened in Leeds.

Since then, hubs have opened in Birmingham, Bradford, Huddersfield, London and Manchester, with national expansion into more areas in local Boots pharmacies planned this year.

For more information on the programme, including how you can volunteer to take part yourself, go to

Read the full article here…

Neil Berry – Head of Development at Proctor + Stevenson

What does a back-end developer do?

The core of my work as a Back-End Developer, is of course writing code using the framework or language for the task or project. But there’s more to it than that.

On any given day, I might be building out a feature to an established application or altering how something works to provide better value to our clients. I may be investigating a scenario that is leading to undesired outcomes on the application and then proposing a solution to the team or client.

Or sometimes I’m tasked with thinking about how best to address a business need with an established system – either using a solution Proctors has previously created in a new context or using something entirely new.

Solutions we work with at Proctors are based on DrupalSymfony or AWS and across the lifecycle of a project, a back-end developer will work closely with all parts of Proctors Technology.

There are also times when we’ll work directly with our clients to understand their needs or demo how progress is going.

Watch video here.

What does a typical day look like at P+S?

A typical day is a good mix of collaboration and focus time. That can be in the office or remote, thanks to our hybrid flexible working policy.

Usually, we’ll have a brief check in with the project team we’re working with. Then there’s either a follow up with some team members to discuss a specific aspect of the work, or I’m head down working on a feature until lunch.

If I’m in the office, I’ll join everyone in the canteen – especially if it’s a pop-up lunch day or (even better) one of our monthly pre-paid lunches. If I’m at home, I may take a long lunch and go for a run or catch up with friends.

My afternoons vary depending on the day. Sometimes I dive back into working on a feature, or sometimes there’s an internal workshop or meeting with a client to talk through a piece of work.

It could also be that the day is set aside for planning and estimating forthcoming work, or training. This is in support of the training roadmaps that are set out based on the goals discussed with the leadership team.

Working with clients

We work with marketing departments across various industries. And while most have similar needs, they all face unique challenges. It’s up to the development team to craft bespoke solutions that work for them.

We have some complex systems that require varying skillsets and experience so working as a team and sharing knowledge can be crucial. In some cases, we find a solution we’ve used in one project that might lend itself well to another. This is why it’s important to build simplicity and flexibility into our solutions to help us manage time efficiently, rather than starting from zero each and every time.

Why Proctor + Stevenson?

Proctor + Stevenson is more than a company people work for; it has a real sense of community. There’s a strong support network so if you ever need to talk to someone, there will always be someone to listen. On top of that, P+S have some great initiatives. From our weekly Wednesday quiz nights to our Friday socials and even pop-up lunches, there’s always something fun going on to get involved with.

There are also plenty of charity fundraising events and other community projects we get involved with which is fantastic. And we host the annual South West Design and Digital Student Awards which is a great way for students to kickstart their career in the industry.

And it goes further than doing good for people, we also have a number of initiatives surrounding our sustainability, and we’re currently working towards our B-corp certification.

These are just a few of the ways Proctor + Stevenson works to be a positive environment for employees and clients alike. Everyone is incredibly friendly and always happy to help each other out, it’s genuinely a really welcoming community of people.

If you’re interested in working with us at Proctor + Stevenson, check out our careers page to see if any of our opportunities suit you.

Getting traction online can be tricky without the right approach, but with a bit of creative thinking, generating online awareness can be done for even the most seemingly ‘stuffy’ brands. 

Digital PR is very important when it comes to SEO, links are crucial to the algorithm for Google, and other metrics like social mentions and branded mentions are great for building your brand online. 

Digital PR and creative content outreach is one of the key pillars of Varn’s full service approach to SEO, and covers a wide range of tactics and strategies around research and competitor analysis, content creation, and digital PR/link building. 

Here we take a closer look at digital PR and why it is crucial if you weren’t your business to succeed online and your website to rank well in search engines. 


What’s the difference between digital PR and traditional PR?

There are a few key differences between digital PR and traditional PR even though they are often two complimentary channels. 

Digital PR is a term which typically applies to more online activities and covers but is not limited to the following:

Traditional PR can often work as a stand-alone push and in many instances targets traditional media like print and television advertisements and placements. The ways that you measure success are also more apparent than with traditional PR. 

Whereas a television campaign or print media advert may have reached a certain target demographic, tracking the actual numbers of people that saw it can be difficult and tracking the revenue impact is often even more challenging. 

Whilst the tracking and right KPIs need to be set up in advance, measuring success is often easier with digital PR. 

Brand mentions social media interactions and link coverage are all easier to track and set key performance indicators against. Other follow-on metrics can also be used like ranking increases when looking at SEO and the potential increased revenue impact from these increases in SERP performance. 

What is the process for digital PR? 

Once you have content to reach out with (be it survey data, products, commentary or infographics) it is time to put together the target publication list. We work with the client to understand their ideal placements and tie it in with data on sites that we know move the needle when it comes to SEO value. 

Before we start with the outreach, we ensure we have a list of ideal target rankings that we want to improve. You need to drive the right keywords to the right pages, which is why developing a proper keyword map is crucial, this is typically done as part of the Technical SEO onboarding process in the form of an audit. 

Once we have developed the list we work through it in our quality control process then start with the outreach. Leveraging a tool like Buzzstream is great as you can scale the outreach and gain better insights into how each campaign is performing. 

After that comes the outreach, email scheduling software helps you greatly scale up the efforts, from that we can then get a more targeted plan together to get placements on sites depending on the individual publications content guidelines and tone of writing.

After the outreach, we report on the links attained and over time are able to measure the impact on rankings. If we are working on an ongoing campaign, then these reports are more regular and can help build up a better picture when it comes to the digital PR impact on SEO in terms of rankings. 

The diagram below shows one of the key differences in the method of outreach for digital and traditional PR. Whereas with traditional PR you want to get the content in front of the right audience straight away, with digital PR you are just as concerned with getting coverage on high-authority websites and increasing your rankings within Google. This way you are able to interact with potential customers when they are browsing content, but more importantly when they are seeking out relevant services that you want to rank for. 

How to measure success? 

When it comes to measuring success with digital PR, the following metrics are great to have within your reporting toolkit: 

All of the above are great ways to measure the success of campaigns, of course the ultimate aim is to build revenue and grow the business in a profitable way, but with more top of the funnel activities like digital PR having the above metrics to benchmark against is a great way to show the value of campaigns to clients and senior management. 

Some of our digital PR case studies 

Digital PR is a great way to create noise in your industry whilst also benefiting your SEO, at Varn our approach to digital PR is as transparent as it is effective. We always report on campaigns, and some get amazing results, others a slightly more muted, but we are always up front with performance. 

Some of our favourite case studies include the Thought Clothing Black Friday survey push and the Festival Bag from Paper Bag Co. These are examples of two great digital PR tactics: 

The above tactics are great for getting a large hit of links from news relevant sites and also consistent links to support your SEO over the long run. 

Get in touch to learn more 

Digital PR is a growing industry and is a very important part of a strong ongoing SEO strategy. If you would like to learn more about digital PR and the benefits it could bring to your business then get in touch with a member of the Varn team. 

We have put together campaigns in the past which have driven great results for clients both in terms of coverage and impact on SEO. Our campaigns are set up with performance in mind, which is why we are trusted to deliver on our promises. 

Count is a collaborative data tool that aims to go beyond insights and bring data into decision-making. 

Count’s previously simple SQL notebook had evolved into something unique. They approached Fiasco Design with the challenge to bring their brand in-line with their vision for an ambitious platform that could transform how product teams make data-driven decisions. 

Too often data platforms are branded for a technically-minded (often male) audience. Count wanted to turn this on its head. The design challenge therefore was to help reposition the brand by creating a visual identity that would open up the complex world of data analysis.

Fiasco’s identity for Count draws on the ‘aha’ moment when data insight can totally change the perspective on a problem or solution. It’s the concept of seeing something familiar but in a completely new light.

Overlapping shapes emulate the process of bringing different data sets and perspectives together. Much like Count itself, it’s about bringing together information in a way that presents the whole picture and allows teams to make more empowered decisions.  

The new identity needed to work seamlessly across marketing communications, as well as the platform itself. Online, a set of styles and elements were developed to weave the brand into the product, creating a more seamless customer experience. 

The Fiasco team were fantastic to work with. We gave them a tough brief and we couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. They worked with us side-by-side through the brand process and then helped us deliver vision in digital form.” – Ollie Hughes, CEO, Count.  

You can view the full case study here.

Working with Ben The Illustrator, Fiasco created an interactive glossary of terms to make the world of theatre more accessible to people from different backgrounds. 

Developed as part of The Hub, The Old Vic Theatre offers free digital learning resources designed to welcome anyone of any age, experience or ability, into the world of theatre. Playing a key role is an “interactive glossary” of theatre-related terms, created by Fiasco Design. 

The educational microsite aims to debunk the jargon often associated with theatre. Setting the experience on a stage, visitors are guided through an animated performance that explores the different roles, responsibilities and inner-workings of the theatre. Exploring the site, visitors learn about the many different people who help to run the theatre on a day-to-day basis. Visitors can watch and explore at their own pace, scrubbing back and forth to discover, revisit and learn.

“We want viewers to feel like they’ve stepped into our world and discovered something new and unexpected on their own terms.” Magid Elbushra, Digital Content Producer, The Old Vic Theatre.

It was a pleasure to collaborate with Ben The Illustrator and The Old Vic on this microsite. Right from the start we were aligned on a more experiential approach, turning the passive action of watching into something active, engaging and fun.” Mike Frost, Digital Lead, Fiasco Design.

The colours are inspired by The Old Vic’s interior: opulent shades of reds and gold contrast a suite of deep and electric blues. The aim was to capture the atmospheric qualities of stage lighting by splitting the colour into ‘light’ and ‘dark’ themes, which mimic theatrical lighting effects. 

“I’m very proud of what we collaborated on, it was a pleasure to work with the Fiasco team and will always state that setting the whole experience on-stage with the lit/unlit approach was a stroke of Fiasco genius!” Ben O’Brien – Ben the Illustrator.

You can view the project case study on Fiasco’s site here. 

We are delighted to have won the Best Use of Search B2B and Most Innovative PPC Campaign at the UK Search Awards 2022 UK.  

The UK Search Awards took place at the Bloomsbury Big Top in London this month, November 30. The evening is the premiere annual event for the digital industry in the UK, celebrating the best of SEO, PPC and content marketing across the country. 

The two awards were in recognition of our work driving global revenue for an ISO consultancy firm based in the UK. It follows hot on the heels of Launch winning PPC Campaign of the Year for the same client at the UK Agency Awards in October. 

The judges said: “The Launch campaign had a great innovative approach with value-based bidding. They had clear, ambitious targets which were all achieved. Overall, an impressive and successful campaign.” 

Jaye Cowle, Founder and Managing Director of Launch, was delighted with the award: “Our mission is to be the happiest performance agency. I believe that happy people do great work, and by empowering our team to do their best, we continue to get impressive results for our clients.”  

See the full list of winners on the UK Search Awards 2022 website here. 

Writing for marketing purposes is a little different from other types of writing. You can forget some of the rules you were taught at school, but that’s not to say grammar and fact-checking should go out the window. Longer pieces such as feature articles and business blogs might be a bit daunting for those new to marketing, or even those who are suffering from creative block, so here are a few top tips that might not only help get you started, but also keep the words flowing.

Have a plan – For longer pieces it’s helpful to start with bullet points. Map out what you want to say to make sure there’s a sensible flow to the whole piece. You may be perfectly confident in everything you want to say but pouring out what’s in your head onto the page, without planning the structure first can be a costly mistake. Bullet points don’t need to be massively detailed, and don’t need to take hours of your time, but they might save you hours of editing, so they’re a worthwhile investment.

Just write – Once you have your broad structure, start writing. I have worked with many copywriters in the past and some feel the need to agonise over every sentence to make them word perfect as they write. But when you have finished the whole piece, sentences will get cut and you will find better ways to phrase the points you’ve made. So, the important thing is to make a start.

An empty page is so much more intimidating than a page full of copy. You can and indeed should always edit when you’ve finished anyway, to make sure the piece works as a whole and flows as you intended, so you don’t need to aim for perfection on your first draft. I’m not suggesting you produce substandard work, but if you spend an inordinate amount of time trying to perfect every sentence as you go, you will leave yourself no time for the all-important editing process. I have witnessed deadlines being missed before because a writer was so determined to achieve perfection, which obviously isn’t going to meet anyone’s objectives!

Get your facts straight – Whether you are writing a profile piece on your business, or a blog about an important issue in your industry, it’s often useful to include some facts and figures to provide context. To give you an example, when I write an article about blogging for business, I might start with a statistic about how many businesses blog. With some words wrapped around this figure, it shows readers why it’s important that they read on. Or why I am writing about that topic. It also demonstrates that you have done your research and what you say can be trusted, building authority for the brand you’re writing for.

Be useful – It can be tempting to make your copy all about you, but the most interesting copy offers thoughts, opinions, advice, or market information that are useful to your target audience. It’s sometimes helpful to think about one person – someone you would really like to work with – and write for them. What would they like to know? What would make their lives easier? Don’t take your experience for granted – other people want to know what you know. If you identify who you’re writing for at the beginning of the process and keep them in mind throughout, it will also help you ensure you stay on message for the entirety of the piece.

Edit. I read any piece of written work I create multiple times once I’ve finished it, making sure I have a break in between readings too. It is possible to stop seeing what’s right in front of you when you are constantly looking at the same piece of work.

Sometimes you get so caught up trying to get just the right phrase and then fall in love with the way you’ve said something that you lose sight of the fact it doesn’t fit in that spot or isn’t relevant to the overall argument of the piece at all. This is less likely to happen if you have written your bullet points up front, but we all veer off course sometimes.

Read your copy through on completion by all means – I always find reading it out loud helps identify any glaring errors – but then move onto something else, go for a walk, have your lunch, or ideally come back to it the next day. Take a break from the copy before completing your final one or two edits. The more changes you make, the more likely you are to need to take a break before reading it through again.

Writing longer copy can be a daunting task, especially if you have to do it consistently with regular marketing features or business blog posts. But if you take it one step at a time, plan it carefully, remember who you’re writing for and why you’re writing it, and edit it at the end, you will soon have the pages of copy you want.


UWE Bristol has unveiled its new immersive Sound Shower experience at Bristol’s Cribbs Causeway and Cabot Circus. Showing a mesmeric snapshot of campus life, the film was created by Skylark Media.

Filming took place at the university’s Frenchay campus and city with the support of student contributors. Multiple locations include the Atrium cafe, Centre for Sport, student union, library, as well as at the Arnolfini in the city centre.

The UWE Bristol sound shower experience at the Mall at Cribbs.

Stephanie Lee, Marketing Communications Manager at UWE Bristol says, ‘This is a really exciting film project with Skylark Media where we’re creating a film for a specific sound shower unit which will sit in Cabot Circus and Cribbs Causeway shopping centres to promote the university and bring campus life to the people of Bristol, so they can get a real immersive experience and sense of what it’s like to study here on our campuses.’

Skylark Media MD Jo Haywood adds, ‘For a unique out of home experience, we came up with a fully immersive concept using an Insta 360 camera on an extendable pole. It sits within the stitch line which then becomes invisible in post-production. The result is a fully immersive film that mimics a FPV drone – flying around from location to location or locking into subjects for detail. Diegetic sound is added in so that the viewer can eavesdrop into those private moments.’

You can experience UWE Bristol’s immersive Sound Shower at Cribbs Causeway or Cabot Circus this month.