search weareyeomans.co.uk


Shining the spotlight on Yeomans Services – Copywriting (Part 1)

By Claire Fuller | Copywriting Creative Marketing Fundraising | 22 August 2016

No, we don’t mean copyright! – Though that’s important too!

It’s true that eye-catching artwork and the presence of a trusted brand’s logo can cause you to stop in your tracks and read a promotional leaflet or watch an advert, but the words (or copy) of a campaign are at its’ heart.

Whilst these words are largely responsible for ensuring that a campaign message is conveyed appropriately to your audience, their vital work begins long before this. The words that are spoken or written within organisations, behind the scenes and during the development of a campaign can have a large impact on decisions concerning branding, tone of voice and the style of images and straplines used in campaigns. Put simply, we should be careful not to underestimate the power of having the right words on the page or screen and be aware of the importance of copy in the development of effective campaigns!

Over the years, the professional and creative team at Yeomans have provided their copywriting skills to many charities and organisations, enabling them to accurately and effectively convey their messages and equipping them to create thought-provoking and attention-grabbing campaigns.

But what’s the secret behind great copywriting?

It’s not just about writing words on a page. When we work with our clients to develop a new campaign, brochure, letter or advert, writing is only part of the process. Our copywriters are gifted communicators who take care to craft clear and effective messages with their words. They spend time researching the subject to be covered and may carry out interviews and review previous campaigns. They immerse themselves in the organisations they write for, equipping themselves to deliver copy which is knowledgeably written and has the ability to passionately and appropriately convey a message to the intended audience.

There are several different types of copywriting to explore (stay tuned for future articles on types of copywriting our team can assist you with) but for many, the largest hurdle can be knowing where to start when telling your story. Following simple tips concerning “plot lines” and “story arcs” can be a great help in planning and building engaging campaigns.


Stack of books


What is the plot of your campaign?

In the simplest terms, a story is anything told or recounted, therefore a fundraising campaign in which you are raising awareness of a need and asking for financial help to meet it, can be considered a form of storytelling.

One popular school of thought says that every story we tell, read, or write is based around “seven basic plot types” which are:

  • The quest
  • Voyage and return
  • Comedy
  • Tragedy
  • Rebirth
  • Overcoming the monster
  • Rags to riches

Identifying that your campaign fits one (or more) of these plot types can be extremely helpful. Your story now has a basic structure enabling you to more easily identify the “journey” that you want to take your reader on, helping you to craft a compelling campaign.

What is a story arc?

Having identified the main plot of your story, a story arc is another great tool to help organise your communications!

A story arc provides a way of “mapping” a story and has the potential to help you generate inspiring copy for your fundraising and marketing campaigns.

The concept of a story arc is simple –every story (whatever the plot) should include the following 5 components:

The 5 components for mapping a story

  1. Exposition – The introduction of your story, the point at which you set the scene by describing the current situation and the broad plot of your story becomes clear. During this stage you are laying the foundations for your story, introducing the characters and location
  2. Rising Action – At this point, your story starts to unfold and move forwards. What events are happening and what has triggered them? Where are any conflicts and challenges? Is there a critical choice to be made?
  3. Climax – The high point of your story, the most exciting part. This is the tipping point, where tension is highest
  4. Falling Action – Here, the tension starts to ease off as you’ve moved beyond the climax of the story. Your readers are being eased towards the point of conclusion, which is also known as…
  5. Resolution - Where your story reaches its conclusion, problems are resolved and loose ends are tied up

This structure may seem straightforward if you’re writing a fairy-tale, but it can also be applied effectively when writing fundraising campaigns. By knowing your plot type and using the concept of story arcs to take your reader on a structured journey the process of copywriting can become less daunting.


Story Arc Graphic


In fact, as the above diagram shows, it’s also possible to tell complex stories in this way, where the end of 1 story arc can mark the beginning of a new one which together advance a larger, over-arching story.

For help with telling your organisation’s story in print or online, please contact us and talk to Phil.


Darcy Pattison Blog for story arc graphic
Images courtesy of istock

Contact Us


Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

related posts

Field of poppies
Armistice Day - We will remember them Posted by Claire Fuller Date: 07 11 2018

This week as remembrance services take place across the country during the centenary year of the first World War we're remembering the legacy that the generation of the First World War left behind and saying “Thank You” for their service and sacrifice.

Read More
Yeomans really is MAD and this is the reason why... Posted by Claire Fuller Date: 20 09 2018

We’ve enjoyed compiling the following infographic highlighting the impact our clients have made over a year and the part that we’ve played in helping to support, equip and encourage them in Making A Difference (MAD). How could we help you?

Read More
Not all briefs need to be pants
Not all briefs need to be pants! Posted by Claire Fuller Date: 10 09 2018

How often have you briefed a project to your team & found the end result wasn't quite what you expected? Our template for writing briefs is here to help!

Read More
Hands of child and adult holding a red heart
Should Young People be a target audience for your charity? Posted by Claire Fuller Date: 03 09 2018

Recent research has suggested that young people should be a desirable target audience for the fundraising campaigns of many charities, but how can you engage the next generation of supporters without forgetting your current, vital supporters too?

Read More
Time flies
How Time Flies! Posted by Andy Quickende… Date: 15 08 2018

It’s been nearly 3 months since GDPR finally came into UK law – how time flies! To help ensure your data is up-to-date and legal we’ve produced a helpful “Data Best Practice” information sheet that offers some handy tips and can be downloaded from our resources page.

Read More
Being immersed in a story
Why stories are so important to charities Posted by Andy Heald Date: 10 08 2018

Stories become catalysts to inspire and move people to act - making the world a better place for those in need. Find out why stories are more effective than bare facts.

Read More
Hands up for applicants
Opportunities like this are rare... Posted by Claire Fuller Date: 18 07 2018

We are currently looking for an Account Manager to join our busy Client Services team. Could it be you? Find out more about the role and how to apply.

Read More
Alarm clock wake up
What gets you out of bed in the morning? Posted by Claire Fuller Date: 12 07 2018

What drives you to take certain actions, or support particular causes? It's interesting to discover how worldviews can shape behaviour throughout life and how this could have a real impact on relationships with supporters

Read More

Yeomans Press Limited, trading as Yeomans. Registered in England and Wales. Company Registration No. 5306145
Website Terms & Conditions | Room Hire Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | Cookies Policy
Data Protection PolicyFundraising Compliance Statement | Modern Slavery Statement