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Copywriting Case Study: Claire House
Claire House is a Wirral-based children’s hospice which helps seriously and terminally ill children live life to the full by creating wonderful experiences and bringing back a sense of normality to family life, offering specialist nursing care and emotional support to families in the toughest of circumstances.
What the client wanted
Claire House’s website was being completely overhauled and they needed new content. As a hospice which provides care for children with terminal and life-changing illnesses, it was very important that the content was written extremely sensitively, as the audience was likely to be the parents and family of those children. There were also sections which needed to be written very differently, as they were being aimed at larger corporations and their financial contributions which Claire House relies upon.
The content needed to be caring and gentle in some sections and business-like in others, but always clear, understandable and well written.
What we did
Working with the sitemap that had been drawn up and decided with the web design company, I set about filling each section. In some cases – such as the potted biographies of some of the trustees – the raw material was already there from the earlier incarnation of the website, but needed to be re-crafted in the Claire House “voice” to fit the new site. In many others, I needed to resource the content as well as write it, which involved telephone, email and face-to-face interviews with many Claire House staff and volunteers, ranging from CEO David Pastor to shop manager Karen Carr.
The copy, which also had to fit a very specific word limit, was delivered over an allotted time period to the charity’s Head of Communications Hannah Shannon before the new site could go live, which it duly did at the end of 2016.
Much of the work I did for Claire House can be seen on their website, although I am particularly proud of my piece about Claire Cain, the brave little girl whose death in 1989 directly led to the formation of Claire House. That can be read here.
Working with Andrew is great. His broad range of skills mean that he can help out on a number of marketing tasks and ensure that a small organisation like ours is able to call in extra support and expertise when needed.
Hannah Shannon, Head of Communications, Claire House
Are you running your own business? If so, why?
It’s a serious question, especially if you’re just getting started or just about to.
Whoever you are and whatever you do, chances are there is an organisation you know which would benefit from some extra publicity.
That could be a business you run, a group you are a part of – from the local Brownies troupe to the pub darts team – or a cafe or shop you like to frequent.
Do you have a love/hate relationship with Twitter and Facebook?
If you’re a business owner, then at some point you have undoubtedly been told that you need to be on Twitter and Facebook and probably LinkedIn too. You may well be heartily sick of being told it and be stubbornly refusing to acknowledge that there is any such thing as social media.
I am a professional writer and blogger.
I web design too but much of what business advisers call my “offer” or my “USP” (ie what I can do for you and your business) revolves around the fact that I have lots of experience as a writer.
Let’s get one thing out of the way immediately: I build school websites, so a blog on what school websites should be like could be interpreted by some as a blog about Why Schools Should Use Me To Build Their Websites.
I’m no business expert but I have learned several things since being in business and I thought it would be helpful to others starting their own businesses. I’ve limited it to five because nobody wants War and Peace from a blog entry and because I don’t want to overwhelm anyone.
Graphic design tips don’t come much more basic than keep it simple. In this blog I’ll be explaining why that is my golden rule for any kind of graphic design.
Copywriting jobs don’t come much more enjoyable than going away to a zoo/theme park/holiday resort for a family weekend.
That was where I ended up recently when I was asked to do some freelance travel writing for Trinity Mirror.
One Wednesday lunchtime I was talking to an accountant friend of mine. It being the day of the Europa League Final, and him being a season-ticket holding staunch fan of Liverpool FC, he had something a bit special planned for that night’s game.