What sports radio can teach us about copywriting

Sports commentating isn’t the most obvious source of inspiration for copywriters like me, but it can provide some valuable lessons when we sit down at the keyboard and start typing.

Specifically, when you listen to a football match or other sport on the radio, the commentator has to paint a picture with words, if you can pardon the cliché, so their listeners know what’s going on.

In a similar way, if you’re writing words to describe something, and you haven’t got any images to help, then you need your reader to be confident they can visualize what’s being written about.

I always used to wonder why radio commentators tell us which team is playing left to right and vice versa – surely it depends which side of the pitch you’re looking from? I now think this is just a subtle tactic to help us form a mental picture of the game.

Similarly, try including more concrete, tangible descriptions in your copywriting, even if they’re not strictly needed. If your readers can easily ‘see’ what you’re describing, they’ll read further and pay more attention. I tried to do this in my first sentence above – when I mention sitting down and typing. Did it work?

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