PORTFOLIO copywriting & communications projects
www.rhiannonbull.com firstname.lastname@example.org 07538 188606
PROJECTS Hi. I'm Rhiannon. From researching and writing blog posts that accelerate your audience growth, to writing sales copy that makes people one-click, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m here to help you find the right words to tell your story. Here are a few of the copywriting and communications projects I'm proudest of.
THE GAMES HUB // Blog content Writing for web On-page SEO Website structure
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SOIL ASSOCIATION CERTIFICATION // Blog content Communicating environmental content to a non-specialist audience
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SOIL ASSOCIATION SCOTLAND // Writing for web On-page SEO Website structure Writing up interviews Writing social media content
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UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX PROSPECTUS // 'Challenger brand' copy Print Youth audience
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UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX EMAIL // Email marketing Youth audience
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BLOG CONTENT // THE GAMES HUB Launching a blog and writing regular, creative blog posts to drive more traffic to the website
APPROACH // Redesigning the website to showcase existing programme participants' work Ensuring all site copy was optimised Writing regular blog posts and organising guest posts from industry contacts to drive traffic and establish authority of the programme
RESULTS // The first month after the redesign work, the number of users on the website increased from tens in a month to approximately 150 Within a year, the number of monthly users increased by a further 262% This was achieved with no marketing budget
THE GAMES HUB // KEY INFORMATION
FULL TEXT // The five most important things about writing for the video games industry You love writing and you love video games. So a job as a writer in the games industry would be your dream come true, right?
It might be. But before you start polishing up your CV, you should be aware that writing for video games is a totally different process to penning your novel, a short story, or a graphic novel. Writing for the video games industry means you have less creative control over your words. Instead of a reader, you're writing for a player. Your medium extends beyond words to the game environment, the characters, and the rules. Your writing is only one part of the completed story. Here are the five things we think it's most important to get your head around if you think you want to write for the video games industry. 1. Not all games writing jobs are the same
What's required of a video games writer can vary radically between different studios, and even between the games produced by those studios. You could be asked to to write a story for a particular part of a game, or you could be asked to write a story from beginning to end. You could be creating character biographies, or scripts, or instructions which tell the player what to do. Very generally, the kinds of work you might be asked to do can be split into two types: narrative design and games writing. Narrative designers shape the overall arc of a game. They design quests, figure out character arcs, and make sure there's an overarching story to the game, all of which dictates how a player experiences the game. This has to be maintained throughout the course of the game's development â&#x20AC;&#x201C; which might involve scenes being cut, reworking pacing, or accounting for gameplay changes which affect the storyline.
By comparison, a games writer is asked to create a story within a game which has already been designed. You get a brief which tells you what the game is about, who the characters are, and what the world is like, and then it's your job to write the story from there.
THE GAMES HUB // FULL TEXT
2. Writing for video games is a collaborative job
You'll read it everywhere: writing for the games industry means working as part of a team. Your story needs to work alongside everything the designers, artists, animators, programmers, and sound team are also doing on the game. This is radically different from the writing you might have done before. Most writers can shut themselves off from the rest of the world, carefully refining their prose for as long as it takes, until they're ready to share it with the rest of the world. Not so for video games writers. On the plus side, this forces you to be less precious about your writing. It also means there's less risk you'll wind up fused to the sofa, living off cereal and not getting out of your pyjamas for three days solid as you perfect that opening passageâ&#x20AC;Ś 3. â&#x20AC;Ś the downside is that you're not going to have total control over the writing
The fact is, there are other elements of game design which are more important than writing. Gameplay and level design, programming, artwork, and even budget cuts can all mean that your story has to change. All of this means you'll need to be comfortable reworking your original idea so that it works with the way that the game production is progressing. You'll end up with some of your story cut because the decision has been made to scrap a level. You'll rewrite what happens after those scenes because the story doesn't make as much sense without them. Some of your favourite dialogue will be removed because the art department no longer have time to build the dramatic backdrop required for it. If you want to write for the video games industry, you have to accept that a significant amount of your time will be spent trying to fix problems caused by your collaborators on the game. 4. You need to actually play video games
It might sound obvious, but if you're interested in writing for the video games industry you need to play games. A lot of games. The fact is, just being a good writer isn't enough. You need to understand everything about video games to think broadly enough about how to use that medium to tell your story â&#x20AC;&#x201C; beyond just using words.
THE GAMES HUB // FULL TEXT
We recommend playing as many different games as possible, and really paying attention as you do. Look for the visual cues which help progress the story. Look at when and where text is used. Listen to the dialogue. All of this will help you learn what makes a great story for a game. 5. Even better than playing games... You should get some experience making games
The best way of learning is doing â&#x20AC;&#x201C; so once you've got your head around what makes great game narrative, then why not try it out for yourself? Working on a project gives you valuable experience seeing just what goes into writing for the games industry, adds to your portfolio, and gives you first-hand experience of what other members of a game dev team are doing (who knew as a writer you were going to need to learn about computer programming, hey?). This can be something which really makes you stand out when you're pitching yourself to a studio. In the age of indie games, luckily you can gain this experience even without being hired by a games company. And what's that you say? The Games Hub offers a free, 40-week programme where you can gain experience making video games? Well, sign me up! If you're not based in the East of England, we recommend looking up a local game jam or checking computer science department bulletin boards for game dev groups. I've read all this and I'm still keen â&#x20AC;&#x201C; so how do I land a job?
It's hard. And because every studio is looking for something different from their writers, no two writers have broken into the industry in quite the same way. For some general advice, here's a great article by a narrative designer for BioWare with some advice on how to get started. If you want to know more about becoming a video games writer, there's also really detailed information available from the Writers' Guild.
THE GAMES HUB // FULL TEXT
SCOTTISH ORGANIC PRODUCTS BLOG POST // SOIL ASSOCIATION CERTIFICATION Writing a blog post on Scottish retailers selling organic products, supporting the Organic September campaign
BRIEF // Highlight the environmental benefits of organic in a way that will resonate with a nonspecialist audience â&#x20AC;&#x201C; encouraging ethical consumers to see choosing organic as an environmental choice Promote Soil Association-certified licensees to Scottish consumers Establish Soil Association as an environmental brand
ORGANIC SWAPS // KEY INFORMATION
FULL TEXT // Five organic, Scottish swaps you can make this September to help save the planet Soil Association Certification’s Organic September is a month-long campaign celebrating the benefits of organic food, farming, textiles, and beauty. Following a year of unprecedented environmental protest, this month we’re highlighting the easy, affordable swaps you can make to organic, Scottish-sourced products to help combat climate change.
Every day, the climate emergency dominates the headlines. With stories of melting icecaps, burning rainforests, and mass extinction, it’s easy to feel powerless in the face of the huge issues threatening our planet. This Organic September, why not take the opportunity to explore small, sustainable, Scottish-sourced swaps you can make which have a positive impact on the environment? By choosing organic, you can help create havens for wildlife, improve the health of our soils, and lower carbon emissions: Havens for wildlife: Organic farming avoids chemicals, so wildlife thrives. Studies have shown that wildlife is 50% more abundant on organic farms because of the complete absence of manufactured herbicides and the severely restricted use of pesticides. Healthier soils: Our survival depends on our soil – 95% of our food comes from it! A tablespoon of healthy soil holds about 10 billion organisms, and healthy, organic soils help prevent flooding and droughts, acting like a sponge to store as much as one and a half Olympic swimming pools of water per hectare. Sadly, we’re losing about 30 football pitches of fertile soil every minute because of industrial farming techniques. Lowered emissions: Healthy soils are also a major store of carbon, containing three times as much carbon as the atmosphere and five times as much as forests. If all UK farming was converted to organic, at least 1.3 million tonnes of carbon would be taken up by the soil each year - the equivalent of taking nearly 1 million cars off the road!
Here are six easy, affordable organic swaps – all from local, Scottish producers – you can make this Organic September:
ORGANIC SWAPS // FULL TEXT
1. Order an organic vegetable box
Organic veg box schemes bring multiple environmental benefits. Shopping locally means fewer food miles. You know you'll be cooking with fresh, seasonal, Scottish ingredients. And since vegetables for veg boxes don't need to be perfectly shaped – unlike in most supermarkets – they also mean less waste. You can find a veg box that's local to you on the Soil Association website. https://www.soilassociation.org/organic-living/buy-organic/find-an-organic-boxscheme/box-schemes-scotland/ 2. Drink organic milk
In addition to the environmental benefits, organic farming has the highest animal welfare standards of any international farming system. This means animals are truly free range, with plenty of space to forage, graze and roam. Mossgiel Farm radically changed their farming system in 2015, when plunging milk prices forced Farmer Bryce Cunningham to recognise that sustainable farming would be better for him and his family. They became an organic dairy farm, and installed a pasteuriser on farm to reduce their food miles to zero. You can now buy Mossgiel milk for delivery direct from the farm. https://mossgielfarm.co.uk/ 3. Start the day right with organic oats
Based in the Scottish Borders, Eden Valley Oats have been growing and harvesting oats on their organic farm for more than 30 years. They say that working with nature, not against it, means they get the best quality, naturally delicious oat crop. This way of farming also means they have healthier soils, cleaner water, more carbon capture, and more wildlife – their farm is home to otters, deer, herons, kingfishers, and more. Start the day by doing good – knowing you're supporting wildlife as you tuck into your bowl of morning porridge. https://edenvalleyoats.co.uk/
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4. Keep warm with organic wool
Crafters as well as foodies can also make small swaps to help save the planet, with Scottish spinners New Lanark Spinning Co. producing high-quality, organic woollen yarns. Keen knitters can choose from over 40 different colours across Aran, Chunky, and Double Knitting yarns produced from British wool. https://www.newlanarkspinning.com/ 5. Soothe your skin with organic skin care
Organic beauty products are created using only organically farmed ingredients. They aren't testing on animals, don't use synthetic dyes or fragrances, and don't contain nano particles. They do mean sustainably sourced ingredients, and require minimal packaging with maximum recycled content. ORGANii are a Scottish small business offering ethical, organic toiletries which are suitable for vegans. https://www.pravera.co.uk/organii-everyday-organics
ORGANIC SWAPS // FULL TEXT
MOB GRAZING WEBPAGES // SOIL ASSOCIATION SCOTLAND Writing compelling SEO copy & restructuring webpages to drive more traffic and increase engagement
APPROACH // Focusing on SEO copywriting, page metadata, and website structure Using farmers' own voices to improve engagement and brand authenticity
RESULTS THE MONTH AFTER LAUNCH // Double the amount of web traffic from users searching for “mob grazing” (the top google search driving users to the Scotland section) – both the number of searches, and the number of users clicking through to the website A total of 1,160 pageviews, compared to 249 pageviews for the existing mob grazing resources the prior month, and exceeding the target of 1,000 pageviews over the sixmonth project Users spending an average of 5:40 minutes on these pages (compared to an average of 1:50 across the Scotland pages) Accompanying social media content saw an 81% increase in views of the Soil Association Scotland Facebook page, a 36% increase in reach, and a 580% increase in engagement
MOB GRAZING // KEY INFORMATION
FULL TEXT // Planning for wellbeing as a new entrant using a mob grazing system New entrant Katharine Sharp of Achpopuli Farm, Inverness-shire, explains how she planned her farming system around being able to enjoy her work on the farm – and take time away from it! – and how mob grazing has enabled her to do that.
After working on a city farm in London, new entrant Katharine moved to the hills of Abriachan on the north side of Loch Ness She currently farms cattle, sheep, ducks and geese on her upland farm, where she mob grazes her sheep As a new entrant, Katharine was able to plan for wellbeing in how she wanted her farm business to run Mob grazing her sheep has enabled to her to take time away from the farm when needed Katharine tells us: “We all farm because we love it – so it’s about making sure you get to love it a little bit every day!” Swapping life in London for 70 acres of farmland in the hills of Abriachan on the north side of Loch Ness, Katharine Sharp knew she wanted to plan a farm business that allowed her to make the farm work for her, and to enjoy time away from the farm, too. She currently farms cattle, sheep, ducks and geese on her upland farm, producing pasturefed meat, fleece and eggs. As a new entrant, Katharine was able to decide exactly how she wanted her farm business to look. Farm business planning as a new entrant
“Something I was very aware of when I bought the farm and was planning how I would build up my business was thinking about how I wanted to manage it by myself, to have some flexibility in there, and to not grow too big too fast,” says Katharine. “I had worked on a little city farm in London, which I loved but which totally took over my life, and I got massive burnout. I work slowly and wanted to be aware that’s my pace. “My first winter here I just wanted to get sheep here really quickly, and I really wanted to plant loads of trees, and it was just really full on. The first thing I did with my trees was to put in a perimeter hedge because I knew I would want that no matter what else, but since then I’ve slowed down.
MOB GRAZING // FULL TEXT
“I’ve tried to think more about what I actually need to do, what can wait, and to accept that I’m going to do lots of things but really slowly – and that that approach might be beneficial in the end! If I’d put in all the stuff I’d planned to in year one, I’d now be regretting it. The weather and other things that have happened this year that have made me see where there wasn’t a good idea.” How mob grazing sheep has been important for wellbeing
Mob grazing her sheep has also been an important part of how Katharine has grown her farm business while making sure she enjoys her farming practice. “One of the main benefits of mob grazing for me is the relationship building with the sheep. At the moment they’re in a big field for tupping, and with set stocking it could take me an hour and a half to find them all – but with mob grazing I know exactly where they are, I can check them as they run through when I move them, and I don’t worry about them having enough to eat. The pasture isn’t very diverse so I do provide salt licks and seaweed occasionally, but it’s very easy to monitor that. “It probably takes me the same amount of time to move them and set up the fences than to find them in the big field, and it’s just really enjoyable seeing them be happy with some nice fresh food! I think it’s a much more satisfying way of spending time with them than wandering around the field thinking where are they, oh they’re right in the rushes at the other end!” How mob grazing sheep has allowed time away from the farm
Using a mob grazing system with her sheep has also meant Katharine has found it easier to make time for being away from the farm. “I love farming, and I’m quite happy not leaving the farm for a really long time, but I know it is good for me. So it’s reminding myself of that and trying to get off farm regularly to do other things. That’s something I’ve been trying to work on this year – not just thinking about how I’m farming and how that’s working for me, but also thinking about not farming, and other things that I enjoy doing too! “Mob grazing has given me that flexibility. So I went away for a couple of days a few months ago, and just gave the sheep a bigger paddock, so my family – who don’t farm – could just go and check they’d got water. “I’m now trying to use a holistic grazing plan to figure out how I can do some other stuff at certain times of the year by making sure I’ve got a bit of rough grazing I want to put them onto just for a few days every few months.”
MOB GRAZING // FULL TEXT
Planning to love your farm business
And how does Katharine suggest that other farmers factor wellbeing into their lives, no matter what their farming practices look like? “I make sure I do something I really enjoy every day, or if I think I haven’t been to the bog in a while I will go for a little wander to see what vegetation’s out, or if there’s any wildlife there. “We all farm because we love it – so it’s about making sure you get to love it a little bit every day!”
MOB GRAZING // FULL TEXT
CHALLENGER BRAND COPY // UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX Writing creative copy in the university's 'challenger' tone of voice for the 2017 undergraduate prospectus
APPROACH // Rewriting the front section of the prospectus through taking a more user-centred approach Embedding the university's 'challenger brand' into all copy
RESULTS // Issuu stats demonstrated that where previously users skipped straight to the relevant subject pages, they began reading the front section in a linear way
CHALLENGER // KEY INFORMATION
FULL TEXT // Prospectus opening pages Want to see the world? If you've got the Essex spirit of adventure, you're probably as crazy about travel as we are. So if you study abroad for a full academic year, you can do this as part of your Essex degree at no extra cost. Make your friends at home jealous with snaps of new food and faraway places, immerse yourself in another culture, and prove you've got the inquisitive, independent, able-to-cope-with-anything attitude that employers love. Love to chat? Whether it's to take your first step towards an international career, to talk your way into an upgrade from the hostel dorm, or even just because you love to chat, learning a language introduces you to new conversations and cultures. At Essex, we want you to add your voice to a global discussion, so we make language learning easy. Our Languages for All programme means you can learn a language alongside your degree at no extra cost for a year. Can't wait to get stuck in? Always wanted to test your ultimate frisbee skills? See yourself dazzling under the bright lights of the stage? Want to help change the world? We've got something for everyone â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from live music to debating, paintball to cheese and wine â&#x20AC;&#x201C; so you can feel completely happy expressing your football-kicking, world cinema-watching, Harry Potter-loving self. With over 165 clubs and societies to join, we'll help you develop career-enhancing transferable skills, and will make sure that your Essex experience is completely unforgettable. Love to move? Get your kit on, break a sweat, pump some iron. Exercise improves your wellbeing, can keep you calm during those stressful exam periods, and can help you do better in your studies. So at Essex, we make sure you can access a whole range of sports. Whether you're the next Usain Bolt or simply want to try out something new, you'll have access to our indoor and outdoor pitches and courts, all-weather pitch, sports hall, squash courts, and climbing wall. And, if this isn't enough for you, we also offer great value for money gym memberships. ESSEX LIVING
University life extends well beyond the lecture hall. At Essex, there's so much going on that you could never leave campus and still find something new to do. Step outside and you'll find that there's even more to explore throughout the local area. From parks to promenades, witchcraft to WAGS. From an ever-so-easy trip in London to hidden
CHALLENGER // FULL TEXT
historical treasures, pretty villages, and picturesque countryside. We want you to throw yourself in at the deep end and soak up life. At Essex, we're a bunch of risk-takers and opinion-makers, stereotype-breakers and world-shakers. And now it's your turn to keep the Essex spirit alive. Whichever campus you're based at, you'll soon feel like a member of the Essex community. COLCHESTER CAMPUS
It's hard to explain the atmosphere on campus. With so much going on, it's impossible to get bored. Bag a bargain at our bustling Thursday street market. Settle into an afternoon of people watching by the lakes. Explore the Latin American artworks hidden in the midst of our bold, brutalist buildings. You'll always find something to do, whatever your mood. Community on campus The squares are always buzzing with life. There are loads of opportunities to catch up with friends, have a pint outside the SU bar, or grab lunch between lectures. Get cakes and curries on market days, piping hot pies on the No. 64 campus bus, or mega milkshakes in our Happy Days diner. Or you could join in with karaoke, quizzes, and a game of pool in one of our many bars, catch a film in our cinema, Cine10, or dance the night away in our award-winning nightclub, SubZero. Sports and societies This is your chance to pursue your passions. Meet likeminded people or try out something new with our SU's 165 sports clubs and societies. As well as providing opportunities for high-performing athletes, with our first-class gym, professional fitness staff, and competitive sport provision, we make sure everyone can get involved. There are over 30 drop-in sport sessions a week, as well as regular leagues and tournaments that are more relaxed. Creative Colchester Our campus is an inspiring place to be â&#x20AC;&#x201C; did you know that artist John Constable painted Wivenhoe Park (now home to our Edge Hotel School) in 1816? And we're still mad about the arts today. We bring both internationally famous and emerging artists into the heart of our campus, and offer you the chance to work with them. We're the proud home of ESCALA, a world-renowned Latin American collection, and also offer opportunities for students to hone their creative skills at our Art Exchange gallery. Never satisfied with the ordinary, Art Exchange has so far released 15 lobsters, singing post boxes, and a pair of Victorians onto campus. What they do next could be up to you. Our Lakeside Theatre also hosts internationally acclaimed plays, live music, performances by our own (incredibly talented) drama students, and you can get involved through regular open mic nights, show auditions, and creative workshops.
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THE ESSEX WAY OF LIFE
A county famous for its big skies, and even bigger ideas. Let's face it â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Essex has got it all. From arts, culture, and water sports to vintage shopping and ghost walks; from high tea in country estates to the hottest gigs around. The hardest part will be fitting it all in... Festivals and arts There are bags of arts opportunities in both Colchester and Southend. We've got galleries, live music venues, and theatres aplenty, so you can gorge yourself silly on music, comedy, photography, and art. Essex is a festival-goer's paradise, too, from giants of the scene like V-Festival to smaller, kookier affairs such as the Southend Carnival, Leigh-on-Sea folk festival, and Colchester Oyster festival. Eating and drinking Award-winning Rossi ice cream. Tea in the park. A slap-up meal somewhere swanky. Chips on the seafront. Local beers by the pretty Wivenhoe waterside. Where do we even start? Essex is a foodie's dream. Later on at night, the county really lights up, catering for everyone. Whether you want a chilled catch up or a buzzing night out, we've got bars that serve cocktails in teapots, real ale pubs, wine bars, and top nightclubs. Life in Essex doesn't stop just because the sun goes down. History and culture Essex is full of hidden historical gems. Get your geek on at Colchester Castle, where you can learn about our gory local history or dress up like a soldier (your call). Take a stroll around the gorgeous Castle Park, where you can watch fireworks in winter or big-screen tennis in summer. Discover the tucked-away Roman walls, priory ruins, and our iconic water tower, 'Jumbo'. Out and about When you're in Colchester, make sure you head down Sir Issac's Walk and Eld Lane, two of the quirkiest streets in the town centre, where you'll find retro clothing, old-fashioned sweet shops, and quaint tearooms. For the animal-lovers among you, Southend has a fab aquarium, and Colchester Zoo is definitely worth a visit â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it's one of the best zoos in Europe, and Top 2 in the UK. Meanwhile, just along the coast from Southend, Leigh-onSea boasts a broadway full of independent shops and eateries.
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EMAIL MARKETING // UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX Increasing conversions through engaging, quirky email content sent to applicants
BRIEF // Ensure applicants feel part of the university community before they arrive on campus Embed the university's 'challenger brand' into email copy
EMAIL MARKETING // KEY INFORMATION
FULL TEXT // You're our Valentine This Valentine's Day, we want to give you a big, sloppy (albeit virtual) kiss, to say thanks for choosing us. It seems we're a match made in heaven. But at Essex, it's not just us you'll be bonding with. There's a whole heap of other relationships you'll be forging on campus... New friends Are you a sporting hero? Have you already packed your wellies for Glastonbury? Are you the queen of crochet? Or are you still gutted that you didn't get into Hogwarts? With over 165 student societies, from Sports or Live Music to Knit and Stitch or Harry Potter, there's somewhere you can meet people like you â&#x20AC;&#x201C; whatever your interests. Best friends The friends who decorated your room with tin foil. The friends who brought you toast and cup-a-soup when you were struck down by freshers flu. The friends who were with you through essay deadlines, summer holiday travels, and watching films on duvet days. The friends who saw you graduate with the degree you wanted, and the experiences of a lifetime. These are the friends you'll keep for life. Feathered friends When you're tired of chatting about lab work and reading lists, take a break and sit in the squares with our friendly campus ducks, or take a seaside stroll with the Southend seagulls. Future business partners Could you and your flatmate be the next Ben and Jerry? Four of our Essex Business School students turned their friendship into a business venture, launching a sparkling tea product which is now sold in Wivenhoe House Hotel, and is rapidly acquiring interest from several major restaurant and hospitality chains. The one... Maybe we can even help you find someone to snuggle up with on Valentine's Days still to come... We can't wait to see you in October. 'Til then, Happy Valentine's Day LOVE ESSEX
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MORE ABOUT ME Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a freelance writer based in Edinburgh who loves using pictures and words to tell stories. As a copywriter and content marketer, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll help make sure that your copy is clear and compelling, that your story is woven into your marketing, and, most importantly, that your words make your audience really feel something. I also help get those words out to your audience via web, email, advertising, and social media.
WORK WITH ME www.rhiannonbull.com email@example.com 07538 188606