Copywriting Blog


Pet Peeve: The Forbes.com Interstitial

Dan O'SullivanKvetching, WebLeave a Comment

Kvetching about the petty annoyances of modern life is a tradition at The Hired Pens. With that in mind, let’s shine the spotlight on the website of the global media brand Forbes. Suppose you’re starting a business and need to write a business plan. You Google “how to write a business plan” and review the results. Here are a few … Read More

Someone Profiles The Hired Pens for a Change

Dan O'SullivanNewsLeave a Comment

True story: A few weeks ago, I mentioned to Anna that given all the interviews we conduct for work, it would be nice if someone interviewed us. The next day, someone emailed me about being profiled for Boston Voyager Magazine. I’ll be honest; I wasn’t yet familiar with Boston Voyager. But this was an opportunity to be the one answering … Read More

Meet Our Newest Pen, Betty Egan

Anna GoldsmithNewsLeave a Comment

Hey everyone, it’s time again to play “Meet a Pen”! Today we’re chatting with Betty Egan, who left her big agency life at Arnold Advertising for a home in the wilds of New Hampshire. Luckily for us, she’s game for the occasional long drive to visit clients in Greater Boston. So let’s get to our questions … What did you … Read More

A Belated Postmortem on the Super Bowl LII Commercials

Dan O'SullivanAdvertisingLeave a Comment

Doing an annual roundup of the Super Bowl commercials is practically a job requirement in our line of work. But after my beloved Patriots lost to the Eagles, I didn’t want to relive anything about the game. Besides, the consensus in many quarters was that this year’s spots were disappointing or derivative. Why add to the noise by complaining about … Read More

How to Handle Prospects Who Have No Respect for Your Work

Anna GoldsmithKvetchingLeave a Comment

After 15 years in business, Dan and I have gotten pretty good at screening for clients who don’t seem like a good fit. Sometimes it’s a personality or subject-matter mismatch, but more often it’s because they have an unrealistic idea of budget. When there’s a financial disconnect, we respectfully explain why we can’t write their annual report for $150, and … Read More

Dear Ford Motor Company: Please Stop Advertising Your ‘Ford Freedom Sales Event’

Dan O'SullivanAdvertising, KvetchingLeave a Comment

I’ve written before about the downside of my love for listening to Red Sox games on the radio: the dreaded overplayed ad. Every year, there’s an ad or two that emerges as an unavoidable irritation. The problem could be a failed attempt at humor, an overly enthusiastic spokesperson or an obnoxious jingle. Whatever the case, when you hear that same … Read More