Why should you book onto CIM's Copywriting Masterclass?

I'll tell you why.

And you can book a place here.

I always try to take away just one new thing from every course that I attend; I feel that I’ve learned so much on this one. Definitely taking away more than one! Vlatka Lake, Space Station

Your course was extremely helpful and ignited my passion for writing. In fact, you have given me some confidence, which is something that has always been an issue for me. Everything I learned from this course will most definitely be take on board. Thank you very much. Jane Smith [pseudonym], freelance copywriter

I have a new hero. His name is Alan Barker. As the Course Director of  CIM's 'virtual' copywriting masterclass, he has given me the most wonderful writing advice over the past two days. I've thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you, sir. Paul Bingley, Freelance aviation expert

One of the best training courses I ever did - I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to improve their overall communication but also critical thinking skills. A really fun, progressive and insightful few days! Sign up! John McCarrick, Policy & Communication, amfori

I've also written posts about copywriting here, here , and here.


Kairos Online: a new portfolio of courses

Here's my new portfolio of online courses.

Download Kairos_Online_prospectus_June2020_v5

The schedule runs till August, at which point it will almost certainly grow.


Why every good cause deserves good copy

If you work in a not-for-profit, you don’t need me to tell you that effective copy is at the heart of effective campaigning.

You know, to use the buzz words of the moment, that the third sector marketing space is increasingly crowded. You know that your organisation’s key messages need to cut through the noise. And you probably also know that charity communication is coming under increasing scrutiny: targeting your supporters must not become harassment. New data protection legislation, and the Fundraising Preference Service instituted by the Fundraising Regulator, quite rightly help people manage their communication with charities more easily – but they’ll also make campaigning more challenging.

The only copy that will work will be smart copy.

Many not-for-profits enjoy a productive relationship with copywriting agencies. But not every agency delivers what a charity wants or needs; and many charities simply lack the budget to go outside. Growing your internal skills is often preferable – and sometimes it’s the only option.

Where to start? How can you catch and hold your reader’s attention?  Get inside their heads and tug their heart strings?  How can you nudge them to act, donate or simply open the email?

And how can you convince your manager that your copy will do the job better?

The Directory of Social Change one-day copywriting course reveals some of the secrets of the copywriter’s craft.  If you produce marketing or promotional copy – from flyers to blog posts, from newsletters to direct mail – this course is essential. You’ll explore a range of copywriting techniques and have the chance to apply them immediately to some of your own copy. You’ll generate new ideas, organise them persuasively, and make your copy zing.  You’ll have a lot of fun.  And you’ll leave brimming with confidence. 

(OK. Full declaration of interest. I run this course.)

To find out more, take a look at the course outline. And then book your place.

Because good causes deserve good copy.

Creativity and Problem Solving: materials for a course at Gloucestershire County Council

This workbook and slidedeck support the course that I am currently running at Gloucestershire County Council. Feel free to download both.

Download GloucestershireCC_man3_Creativity_and_Problem_Solving_backgroundmanual

Download GCC_Creativity_and_problem_solving_slidedeck

Bring your training to life: creating a vibrant learning experience

These notes complement my session for the Central London branch of CIPD on 2 February 2015.  Cipd-logo

Download Bring your training to life_notes

In these notes, you'll find:

  • How we motivate ourselves to learn
  • Three key needs that all training should meet
  • Bringing your training to life: the 10 commandments
  • Making training memorable
  • Good preparation
  • On setting objectives
  • How to use handouts and workbooks
  • Perfect PowerPoint for training
  • ILM assessment principles

You'll also find a trainer observation report form, which you can use to assess a training session or to monitor your own competence.

'Training delivery' is not a phrase I like.

We all know that good training is not a parcel to be delivered, but a journey to be enjoyed.  Training should be lively, absorbing and memorable.  Training should awaken the imagination and stimulate new ideas.  Training should inspire.

How do we encourage our learners to co-create their own learning?  How do we make the most of our own talent and the potential of the people we’re working with?  How do we transform unpromising training assignments into worthwhile experiences? 

And, if you are commissioning training, how can you judge the quality of a trainer’s work?  What do you look for?

Learning design has come a long way in recent years.  In this session, we looked at some interesting recent ideas that reveal new possibilities for reinvigorating training and learning. 

Thanks to Susan Kan and the team at the Central London branch of CIPD for hosting me.