Tiddles the cat: “Over at house #5, Aurelia was feeling outraged by an opinion piece in one of the national newspapers. The article discussed how moral ‘outrage’ has become an outrageous tool of bullying in itself and seeks to silence sensible discussion. The author gave a few recent examples. Aurelia was perplexed and was having none of it, especially from what she deemed to be a nasty right-leaning publication.”

Copywriter Ted ‘Mad Dog’ McTeddy is sitting by his home office window watching the heavy Sunday afternoon rain falling outside. He loves watching and listening to torrential rain, and lets his thoughts wander over the work he has to complete the following week.

While client projects filter through his mind, he listens to Tiddles the strange and slightly soggy talking cat, sharing her daily review of her travels through Content Crescent, the street on which Copywriter Ted lives.

From what he’s gathered so far, the wandering cat seems to have visited the famous American author and avid social media user, living a few doors down.

Tiddles: “As I sat on her table, I watched her composing a Twitter thread lambasting the author for his outrageous opinions and his underhand attempts at censorship of important social matters. She was telling herself out-loud that she hoped her 8 million followers would email the writer and enlighten him as to why he was mistaken.”

Copywriter Ted – social media profile writer and outrageously good status updater – smiles gently as he images Aurelia earnestly drafting her Twitter thread, with outrage and concealed excitement plastered across her face.

The copywriter thinks it’s probably safe for a famous, popular, and hugely rich author to say pretty much anything on social media, but for businesses it’s a different matter entirely. The same goes for their blogging output.

Ted is reminded of how many a brand has been tarnished by angry outbursts or insensitive content put out by their marketing or social media team – or even the company’s boss.

It can be especially damaging for small businesses and it is why content in whatever form needs to be professionally written and very carefully tailored to specific audiences, scenarios and times.

Good copywriting and marketing is consistent with the company ethos.

Tiddles continues: “Over at house #3, Rupert was reading aloud to his wife Henrietta an article he’d found in an online magazine. The article detailed how male fertility in the western world had declined by 50-60% between 1973 and 2011. Rupert seemed to know precisely why sperm count was falling, even though scientists were unsure.”

The copywriter uncrosses his legs and glances nervously at the cat sitting nearby on the windowsill.

Tiddles had also been to visit Rupert, the local Conservative member of parliament, and his aristocratic wife Henrietta.

“Rupert told his wife, in no uncertain terms, that men are losing sperm count because they have been feminized over the last few decades and have turned away from being real men. A man cannot be a man anymore without being castigated, he declared confidently.”

Copywriter Ted – epitome of manly typing – assumes Rupert is wrong as to the reasons why sperm counts are falling but can’t help feeling there’s a smidgen of truth in what he says about modern manliness. Not that he would ever say so in polite company, in case said polite company became outrageously impolite, as a result.

Tiddles the cat begins to give Ted a soul-searching glare as she concludes her roundup of her day’s observations:

“Henrietta rolled her eyes as Rupert continued to assail modern un-manly norms and declared that maybe he himself might need to check his manliness. She reminded her husband it was only this morning that he ordered luxury soap, scents, and bath salts from a prestigious Paris boutique, and not for her use either.”

As he shifts in his seat uncomfortably, under the piercing glare of the cat, the copywriter is reminded how all good sales and marketing copy needs to avoid any contradictions and to maintain consistency of message. Saying one thing in the website copy but something contradictory in a brochure, white paper, or email newsletter, no matter how small, can quickly destroy trust and confidence in that company’s abilities.

And no business wants to make a fool of themselves, like Rupert obviously did in front of his wife Henrietta.

Ted wonders whether Rupert managed to acquire those Flemish tapestries he was after, for either side of the fireplace.

The copywriter watches the now-drier cat break eye-contact, jump off the windowsill, and wander slowly into the hallway.

As usual, he spends a few seconds speculating as to just where the strange little feline is off to, before returning his focus to the rain outside and his work for next week.

You’ve been reading an episode in The Copywriter’s Cat series.

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