MGI Tipster Volume 1, Issue 12

Do you know…copy, and creative, and how are they built and how do they support your messaging?

Copy and creative are key elements of the personality your association or organization presents to members, clients, and the world at large. The words you choose and the images you select tell a lot about who you are. That’s why organizations must be so attentive to their messaging and why creating appropriate messaging can be such a challenge.

Tip: With today’s increasing clutter, it’s more and more difficult to stand out in a crowd. That’s why it is vital to pay close attention to good creative that properly complements the message.


Ours is an increasingly visual society and each of us is bombarded by thousands of messages every day. For most of us, time is at a premium, too. Good copy and strong creative must work hand-in-hand and accomplish several things at once: grab attention, convey the message immediately and reliably, and engage sufficiently to be memorable. Three key steps should be taken before messaging is developed. First, establish a position—the one message that, if nothing else, the audience understands. Second, complement the position with a creative strategy— what the organization stands for and how the message fits. Third, ensure the communication is consistent with established branding guidelines to make certain all elements are coherent and supportive.

Tip: Times have changed; attention is difficult to capture and hold; and markets have become more fluid, dynamic, and demanding, but one truth remains: successful communications must be personal, from one individual to another.


Copy and creative in marketing pieces and other communications— whether for products, services, or membership—requires careful and painstaking research. Copywriters and designers must know what is being communicated and who will see it. They should consult the positioning statement and establish a creative strategy that defines to whom they are communicating, why they are communicating it, whether the intent is clear, and how to clearly define what they want recipients to do. Each of these issues should be addressed before pen is put to paper—or fingers tap the keyboard. Each communication to members, clients, customers, and the larger community beyond should be carefully crafted to ensure it is consistent with brand identity.

Tip: Overall creative guidelines specify messaging, look, and feel to establish and maintain an instantly recognizable identity no matter what the communications venue.


Copy and creative in every communication—announcements, letters, brochures, catalogs, e-mails,member communications, non-member communications, or Web sites—should engage and motivate the reader to act. Words and visuals must appear coordinated and work together to establish a one-to-one and personalized message. Successful engagement means generating interest quickly and maintaining it through appropriate content,well-written copy, and consistent presentation. These are the building blocks of successful copy and creative.

Tip: Engagement is more than a message and a pretty picture…it is knowing what is most important and being consistent in tone and presentation. To do that requires research, review, analysis, testing, and consistent reconfirmation.

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