A copywriter is a person who writes text, or copy, for clients. Most copywriters work in advertising or marketing, producing copy that's intended to persuade a reader to buy a product or service or otherwise take action.
Copywriting can include body copy, slogans, headlines, direct mail pieces, taglines, jingle lyrics, World Wide Web and Internet content, television or radio commercial scripts, press releases and other written material incorporated into advertising media. Copywriters can contribute words and ideas to print ads, catalogs, billboards, commercials, brochures, postcards, online sites, e-mail, letters and other advertising media. Ultimately, the kinds of ads and media a copywriter will work in depend on his or her own inclination and what clients ask for.
Copywriters can work for themselves, freelancing for a variety of clients. They may also work within larger organizations, including advertising agencies, public relations firms, advertising departments within larger companies, TV or radio stations, newspapers and magazines.
A copywriter often works as part of an advertising team. Agencies and advertising departments partner copywriters with art directors. The copywriter has ultimate responsibility for their ads' verbal and textual content, the art director has ultimate responsibility for the visual look and appeal, and both are responsible for coming up with big, effective, persuasive ideas.
Copywriters are similar to technical writers, and the careers may overlap. Broadly speaking, however, technical writing is dedicated to informing readers rather than persuading them. A copywriter would write an ad designed to sell you a car, while a technical writer would write the operator's manual designed to tell you how to use it.
Because the words sound alike, many people confuse copywriters with people who work in copyright law. The careers are unrelated.