I am considering coming to your workshops next year but I was just wondering if it would be worth it as I'm not taking a degree in an advertising related subject.
To succeed in advertising you don't need to have a degree in advertising or an advertising related subject. Most of the people who come along to my workshops don't have any kind of background in advertising but that doesn't seem to have stopped them finding jobs in ad agencies!
I am considering going to your next workshop on copywriting/art directing. Do you think this will be useful for me as a student who knows very little but is trying to head in that direction?
You're very welcome to apply for my next workshop - am sure it would be useful to you. You will meet others in the same boat and also maybe find someone you could work with in the future. You will also get the opportunity to do some practical work and find out whether you actually enjoy doing it or not (and if you have a talent for it). If you want to bring some work you've done with you, I'd be happy to look at it and give you some feedback.
I am looking to get into copywriting but have no experience at all but have a degree in Fine Art. Would I struggle in one of your workshops? I am a real beginner.
The workshops are designed to help people get started and are often attended by complete beginners.
May I ask how much fees for the workshop are. Do you offer any concessions at all?
The workshop fee is £185. However, there is a reduced fee of £98 for those who are registered job seekers or hold a student card. There is also a 10% reduction for those who book early or apply for two workshops at the same time. The fee includes lunch, all refreshments, an information pack, course materials and (with the exception of the Book Day) a copy of the day's slides.
How many people come on the workshops?
The groups are normally limited to ten participants. This helps maintain an informal atmosphere and means that people can receive individual attention.
I do not have any advertising experience and I am not studying anything to do with advertising, marketing or communications. Can I still come to your workshop?
Of course. Most people who come along have not had any previous experience. The one thing you all have in common is that you want to work in some aspect of the advertising, media and marketing communications industry. Sometimes people come along who are hoping to make a career change or who want to find a creative partner.
I want to work as a copywriter but I can't draw. Does this matter?
Not at all. You don't need to be able to draw to work as a copywriter.
I can't decide which of your workshops would suit me best. Can I come to both?
You're very welcome to come to both – many people do. And there's a 10% discount when you book for two at the same time!
Are all the workshop attendees university students?
A large proportion are undergraduates or postgraduates. Some are sixth formers. I also meet people in their 20s and 30s who are wishing to make a career change. What's more, many have successfully done so after attending only one workshop!
If I were to attend one of your workshops, would you provide help with getting into a job/interviews or, once I have acquired the skill, is it up to me?
I give help, advice and information at the workshop but I can't find you a job – that's down to you! However, I do suggest useful contacts, websites etc. I also give advice on CVs and how to apply for work including cover letters and interviews.
I'm only 16 years old but am seriously considering a career in advertising preferably as an art director or copywriter. With A-level options approaching fast this year I would appreciate if you could send me some advice and information on the advertising industry such as good A-level choices and degree choices.
To work in advertising, there is no need to have studied advertising! For A-levels and uni options you should choose the subjects you're best at and the ones you most enjoy. Remember that many of the best unis don't count what they consider to be the "soft" options such as media studies so be careful in your choices!
If you want to work as an art director in the future then you might want to consider A-level art as an option (if you're talented in that direction).
Agencies will be looking to see if you are an ideas person with good communication skills (written and spoken). They will look at your whole personality - attributes, skills etc and not just at your qualifications. However, if you want to do graduate training (mainly for account management positions) then you will need a good degree from a good university - otherwise qualifications will not be as important as what you can offer in the way of talent and skills.
You will find my book, "How to get into advertising" (Cengage Learning) useful - it was written for students just like yourself. It can be obtained from amazon or ordered from any bookshop.
Just out of interest, what is your background in advertising? I am always intrigued about how people made it in the industry.
I started out as a copywriter in advertising, worked in London ad agencies and originated many long running ad campaigns for TV, radio and press. I then taught on the copywriting course at Watford while working freelance as a copywriter. After a while I became the course director of the Watford Postgraduate in Advertising course. More recently I have worked as an advertising consultant and copywriter. Among recent clients have been two major international charities. In 2000 I wrote "How to get into advertising" (Cengage Learning) which is still selling well. I now, of course, also run these workshops.
When are the workshops held?
They are usually held once a month, on Sundays.
I'm interested in your copywriting workshop. I've met someone who spoke very highly of you and the course, so please pencil me in and I'll get back to you soon.
It's great to know I've been recommended to you. Places are limited and the workshops fill up quickly – often a month in advance. If you wait to book you might be disappointed. I suggest you download an application form from the "apply" page of my website and send it to me.
Where are the workshops held?
We meet in a University of London Hall of Residence. It's centrally located and close to a number of tube stations, mainline railway stations and bus routes. We all sit around the same table in a bright and pleasant room. The environment is informal and friendly.
If I book and then I'm unable to attend, can I postpone to another date?
Yes, no problem - as long as you give me reasonable notice.
I don't have a degree or any advertising experience whatsoever. Can I still come on a workshop?
Of course! The majority of workshop participants have not had any previous advertising experience.
I would be very grateful if you could be really honest about whether I would be out of my depth going to one of your workshops.
It is highly unlikely that you would feel out of your depth. The workshops will help give you insight and focus. You will have a better idea of whether or not this is the right career for you - although I am sure you appreciate that it is a very competitive business and not everyone is successful in finding work.
I am interested in the get into advertising workshop later in the year as I am sure it will be extremely beneficial for me. I just wanted to confirm that I should send off the application form with the fee? As no one is guaranteed a place and places are limited does our fee get returned to us or what happens? Or firstly shall I apply and when notified of my position then send off the fee?
If a workshop becomes full (or gets cancelled/postponed by me for any reason) you would receive a full refund. Hope that puts your mind at rest! If you wait till the last minute to apply then there is a good chance you will be disappointed. It is always best to email me first to check - as you have done.
I understand the fee for a student for the workshop is £98. On the form it states there is also a non-refundable deposit fee of £30. Is that included in the overall fee of £98 or is it separate?
The £30 deposit is included in the fee you pay. However, if you had to postpone the workshop for any reason, your fee could (if you wished) be carried forward to another workshop in the future and you would not lose your deposit. If I have to postpone for any reason (eg if I should have the misfortune to be ill) you would, of course, receive a full refund.
I'm a junior copywriter working at Grey Worldwide and would love to get into the UK Advertising industry. I've heard that the industry over there is a lot more 'cut-throat' and a tough nail to crack and want to know if your workshops are available to anyone?
It is very tough to get in but you will probably have a head start as you already have some creative work under your belt. Most creative teams here work on placements for quite a long time before they land a "proper" paid agency job. The workshops are open to anyone who wants to succeed in what is, as you know, a competitive and tough career.
What do people think of your workshops?
The feedback has been very positive to date. Everyone who came to my last workshop said it was excellent and people often book for the second one once they have attended the first! Have a look at the feedback on my website.
I can't get to your workshops. Would you be able to come to my university?
I often get asked to visit universities and over the past couple of years have given a number of presentations to different groups of students. Talk to your tutor or careers advisor and ask them to contact me. You will find some information on the consultancy page of my website.
I am interested in attending your 'Get into Advertising' workshop but it says to be a student I need proof of student status. What documents would you be looking for?
Most students send me a photo copy of their student ID. Or you can scan it and send it to me by email.
How much money I am looking at earning per annum (in £'s if possible) if I start my career as a junior copy writer?
Difficult to answer. Depends on where you're working and how good you are at your job! There is no set salary. Most people start with quite low salaries but these increase quickly if their work is any good. It is important to know that the majority of creative teams work on placements (unpaid or just on expenses) for quite a long time before they are employed and paid a full salary.
I have attached two examples of my creative work along with a cover letter and my most recent CV. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
I regret that I do not look at CVs other than those of the people who attend my workshops. My best advice would be to try and find a work placement in an ad agency. You might also find my book, "How to get into advertising" (Cengage Learning) helpful especially the chapters on "the creative team" and on "selling yourself".