My week copywriting at Open

Monday, July 2nd, 2018
Kirsty Marrins' week of copywriting experience at Open.

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.

So, I called upon an old friend Paul.

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.

Kirsty Marrins


2018: Resolutions worth sticking to…

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

Gosh, January is a long month isn’t it?! Just three weeks into 2018, and the twinkle of Christmas lights and the NYE fizz feels like a distant memory. So how are your NY resolutions going?

We’ve already passed the week that 31% of New Years resolutions will fail, so in an effort to make sure ours stick, we invited Openers to shout loud and proud about their best intentions for 2018.

Take a look, hopefully we can offer a sprinkle of inspiration for the weeks and months ahead!

Self improvement?

We’ve got that covered! 2018 will be the year Openers…

“refresh and improve my Spanish”

“learn Italian”

“learn to play the accordion”

“learn how to make ravioli”

“(Re)learn the guitar”

“get this baby out! (literally)”

Maintaining mindfulness?

Us too! We’ll be…

“working smarter, building a good work/life balance”

“taking things slowly and keeping perspective”

Building the world we want to see.

In 2018, our amazing team will make this world a better place by…

“Giving away or selling more stuff than I buy”

“Volunteering at the food bank round the corner from my house”

“Cutting out dairy. Save the cows!”

“Significantly cutting down on the amount of plastic (but also unnecessary packaging and general waste) I use. Recycling isn’t good enough any more!”

“Building this community”

And finally, here’s what we’ll be doing to bring more great thinking for our clients.

“Seeking inspiration from outside of the sector bubble and bringing it in.”

“Cancelling all my charity direct debits and starting again. Using a mix of emotional and rational decision making processes I’ll reassess all my charitable giving to ensure the amount I give reflects the issues I care about and where I think my money can make a real difference (and so that I can look at whether welcome and stewardship actually does the job!)”

Whatever 2018 brings you and your charity – we hope it will be a great one. And at the end of it all, you can look forward to hearing Open’s first accordion concert at the 2018 Christmas party!

Ali


A welcome new conversation #IFC2017

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

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As the dust (sand, really) settles from IFC 2017, a surge of energy has swept across Open.

 

Despite our digitally connected world, nothing beats being in the same space as our peers from across the world to share, listen and debate.

 

The theme was ‘A New Conversation’ and Jeremy Heimans’ opening plenary hit the mark with his progressive thinking about building movements with impact. If you weren’t there you can watch it back here.

 

We also loved Zack Exley and Kenneth Pennington’s Big Room Session News from the Resistance: Big Organising and Beyond. At their session last year no one would have believed what we’ve since seen in American politics. But in that time we’ve been privileged to work with the ACLU, fighting back, and it was great to see Michelle Ehrhardt (Deputy Director of Membership) up on the stage with them discussing a vision for a post-Trump world. Check out their joint grassroots movement People Power here.

 

Finally Jo Wolfe teamed up with Paul de Gregorio to run a Masterclass and two workshops about Open and Breast Cancer Care’s experience of using mobile strategically in fundraising. 2017 felt like the right year to converge our conversations about mobile and digital – and as Paul keeps saying…

 

Mobile is Digital, Digital is Mobile.

 

There really is no distinction. Drop Paul a note if you’re interested to hear more.

 

Fiona