For a while, I’d been contemplating doing some work experience in copywriting. But not just any copywriting, because I write copy all the time. I wanted to write as a charity.
I bet you’re thinking I should have just volunteered my time at a charity and helped them write emails, social media copy, website copy – the list goes on. But what I really wanted was critical feedback, and I knew a charity was unlikely to give that to me.
I’ve been a huge admirer of Open for years. They’ve worked on some amazing campaigns, many of which I’ve covered in sector press. I knew that I would gain so much experience, if they were willing to offer it to me. But would they say ‘yes’?
I was nervous.
By contacting Paul, I was putting myself out there. Even though I’ve known Paul for years, I honestly wasn’t sure if he would say ‘yes’ – but I had to take the chance. I explained that I was looking to do work experience and that there were two things I was looking to get out of it: experience of copywriting as a charity and to experience what it’s like to work for an agency. Paul spoke with the creative team and thankfully they said ‘yes’.
Fast forward a few weeks later and I arrived at Open on a Monday morning in June, eager and willing to learn although also slightly terrified. What if it turned out that I’m not a good writer? What if my ideas were boring or cliché? Would I fit in?
Mid-weight copywriter Alfie took me under his wing and I instantly felt at ease because he was so lovely and likeable and clearly passionate about what he does. Over the week, I worked alongside Alfie, James, Anna, Liz and others on a couple of charity campaigns. I got to write some emails for a client, brainstorm for a pitch and write some concepts for a DM campaign.
In that time, I also got walked through the process from brief to final product and sat through a presentation with the British Heart Foundation to celebrate the launch of their Champions campaign. There was lots of cheering, clapping and beers afterwards – it was clear that when you work with Open, they become part of your team.
With the explicit understanding that everything was confidential, Open allowed me to look at past campaigns – from inception through to delivery. I really got a flavour of agency life. And I rather liked it.
Throughout the week, Alfie gave me helpful, constructive feedback on my copywriting. And it was a relief to know that I am a good writer. According to Alfie, I’m ‘a natural’. PHEW. Take that, Impostor Syndrome!
If that weren’t enough, my week was made even more enjoyable with the daily walk along the canal to the office, the lovely weather (bar Tuesday, which was freakishly cold), having Arlo the dog in the office on Wednesday and spotting the HotTug – a floating hot tub (yes really), pizza with Paul and salad with Sarah (which are non-intended alliterations…)
I’d just like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Open for offering me the opportunity to come in and absorb, learn and reflect. I loved every minute of my week with you.