Making words work

My lifetime’s craft has been working with words and managing where they’re used, in print and online – from press releases to feature articles, business/trade magazines to newspapers, sales brochures to technical manuals.

By 2013 my walking and general immobility had become a handicap to working in marketing communications, where regularly meeting many people at their own places of work is a prerequisite.

I decided to retire from paid employment. Now, I write freely for local newspapers and magazines, and help my local parish church and local charities: writing press releases and articles, and publishing newsletters and web sites.

A career by accident

Like many people, I fell into my career by accident. I’d always enjoyed writing and had a background in science and technology. I was interested in finding out how things happen, how things were made and how things work. Then I was able to explain it clearly to others  using their level of technical understanding.

I soon found I could make a living doing it, which led to a career in marketing communications. I worked in-house for various companies selling products and services to other businesses, on practically every type of marketing communications activity: managing relations with the press, researching and writing press releases and feature articles, copywriting for adverts, newsletters, brochures, spec sheets and websites. I’ve written for and edited magazines for employees and  customers.

My speciality was in press relations: I researched, wrote and placed thousands of articles and press releases, published in the trade and general press.

Wide variety of subjects

Outside my day job, I wrote articles on music (artists, records and recording) and press releases and articles for charities and churches.

The range of subjects I covered even amazed me when I came to list them. It includes processes for making things, from foodstuffs to metals to chemicals; music and music making; charities, choirs and churches; industrial control systems; and saving energy and water. For several years, no one in the UK matched my long experience of writing for magazines serving the heating, plumbing and building services trades.

I also turned basic copy (such as notes and papers by in-house staff) and translations of foreign language materials into crystal-clear articles for newspapers, magazines, websites and corporate publications: the style was chatty, formal or technical, as appropriate.

It was an interesting career. And now I’m enjoying being able to relax a little, and to work around my mobility limitations to help a small number of deserving causes.

Royer Slater
Revised May 2015

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