Magali Roman, CE Student
What’s your profession?
I'm a copywriter and content manager at Rikumo, a Japanese home decor and lifestyle brand based in Philadelphia. It's a small company so we all do a lot of different things, but I work in the marketing team to develop our voice and make sure our brand's story is communicated in the best possible way. I also run our blog and help plan monthly store events.
You took the Effective Writing for Digital Content this past summer, I was lucky enough to see your student presentation walking through the project where you focused on new pages for Rikumo's Miami store. Can you elaborate on your project?
Our assignment was to create a digital campaign of any kind, choosing a client and creating an digital identity for that brand (making a website, creating social media accounts, etc.). At the time Rikumo was looking to open a second store in Miami, so I thought it'd be a good chance to kill two birds with one stone and make a digital campaign I could eventually use at the office. For my final project I created a website for our second store, wrote a bunch of copy, and developed an ad campaign to promote our store opening. Even though Rikumo chose not to move forward with that project in the end, it was great practice for promoting a future store opening!
What were your takeaways from the class?
Honestly, I learned that writing copy is, like, 25% of digital copywriting. That's a big percentage of it, of course, but it's also developing content, event-planning, and a surprising amount of psychology. It's important to understand your customer's perspective and what they want to see from your company. The internet is open to pretty much everyone (as opposed to the people who have to physically visit a store), so when you're creating digital campaigns you're essentially shaping the personality and identity of your brand, which is so exciting!
Can you describe your favorite tip you learned?
Staying super realistic, putting yourself in the mindset of a reader, and trusting your instincts are the three things that ultimately differentiate a good writer from a mediocre one. I would constantly ask myself if I, as a consumer, would be convinced by what I was writing, and try to respond as honestly as possible. Readers are really smart, and the constant slew of clickbait we read through every day on Facebook and Buzzfeed has built this kind of filter within all of us. It's left us with short attention spans for anything that's not 100% clear and understandable within the first 140 characters. I'm a pretty opinionated person, so using myself as a filter was essential. If I wasn't convinced by something I wrote, I couldn't really expect anyone else to, right?
How does writing for web differs from writing for print, based on your experience in the class?
I think you have a lot fewer chances to get someone's attention on the internet. When people read print, most of the time they're making a commitment to finish reading the paragraph. In the internet there are ten open tabs that are all vying for your attention. This means that you have to be 10 times more careful with how you fragment and craft a sentence, because everyone's too rushed to read anything too carefully. A single word can make a huge difference on intriguing or confusing a reader. Make your copy as short, clear, and un-frilly as possible. Avoid adverbs. And avoid the temptation to write clickbait, which is cheap and just makes people angry in the long run.
What surprised you about this course content?
I was dreading the ad writing assignments, because I have a few friends who work in advertising and coming up with a brilliant ad with less than 10 words always seemed like a super stressful thing to do. But once I tried my hand at it, I ended up coming up with a lot more ideas than I thought I would. I think this class was great at unlocking potential I never knew I had, because it gave me the chance to try assignments I just hadn't had the chance to try before. I majored in English and History, so my background before my current job was mainly academic. I think it's just a matter of getting a project and seeing what you can do, and getting the feedback you need to incorporate those lessons into your day job. It's also really nice to use the classroom as a test-run for any ideas you have before suggesting them at work.
Do you have any Social Media handles that you would like us to link to, or share?
I run our Twitter account, which is @rikumojapanOur creative team runs the instagram account, which i'll sometimes contribute a few stories to: @rikumo
I feel like my LinkedIn is kind of lame but here it is! www.linkedin.com/in/magali-roman
If you would like to learn more about Rikumo or read more by Magali you can visit the Rikumo online store (www.rikumo.com). She also runs the store’s blog, Rikumo Journal (journal.rikumo.com) where they talk about Japanese culture, design, craft history, anything that's inspiring us behind the scenes. You can visit Rikumo, their concept store at 1216 Walnut (between 12th and 13th st.)