Freelance Round-up: This month in writing

How to marry a web designer

Over on Technorati, blogger Jamie Fairbairn suggests that more writers and web designers should say “I do” and work together rather than beavering away separately.

He writes: “Working in partnership to create fantastic websites that bring in sales for clients is a lot easier if the process starts with a blank canvas rather than a copywriter trying to shoehorn their words into a specific design.

“Equally, a freelance web designer may be fed up having to build their design around the number of words written by a copywriter.”

He goes on to guide the freelance writer and web designer, who may be wary of the other unfamiliar species, through the three stages of their ‘courtship’, from the first date (meeting up), to the honeymoon period (working together) though to their happy ever-after or divorce, depending on how things go.

PCC publishes press guidance for bereaved families

Whatever your stance on them, so-called ‘death knocks’ are not going to go away in journalism in circumstances where someone dies in unusual or dramatic circumstances. The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) has now published a leaflet – Media attention following a death – to help bereaved families know where they stand and how to protect themselves if necessary.

As well as having input from Facebook, the Samaritans, Members of Parliament and the police, the PCC says the guidance also reflects the views of representatives from newspapers and magazines, so that members of the public can understand their approach.

The advice includes:

· what to do if a friend or relative of the deceased wants to speak to the press and what to do if they don’t;

· information about material available on social networking sites;

· how to prevent unwanted approaches from journalists or photographers;

· how to make concerns clear to the press both pre- and post-publication;

· what can happen when deaths occur abroad.

Gendered writing?

Nobel Laureate winner VS Naipaul raised eyebrows earlier this month by saying that he can’t name a woman writer who is equal to him. In an interview at the Royal Geographic Society, he said he felt that women writers were "quite different", adding: "I read a piece of writing and within a paragraph or two I know whether it is by a woman or not. I think [it is] unequal to me."

For bad measure, he reportedly added: "And inevitably for a woman, she is not a complete master of a house, so that comes over in her writing too,"

Moving swiftly on, though, the Guardian laid on a test for the rest of us – to see whether we too can tell within a paragraph or two the gender of a writer. See how you get on.

Advertising taglines through time

Need some creative inspiration for a tagline? Let BBDO New York copywriter Jim Darlington take you back in time using his old-school, hand-drawn tagline timeline to recount some of the most effective straplines and slogans in advertising history.

On his What the What? blog, he takes us back as far as 1879 to “The greatest show on earth”, right up to the modern day with Old Spice’s “Smell like a man” and Microsoft’s “Life without walls”.

What are your favourite straplines/slogans of all time? Tell us in the copywriting forum.

Sarah Wray

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