James McKenna

The Making of a Copywriter

I learned to write the way I learned to cook: with a kitchen and a deadline. Something was due and I had to make it. I learned to listen and whip up things that delight people.

Listening is the first copywriting skill.

The dish that comes out needs to be what you ordered from the menu. Getting it right is the baseline. The magic is making it better than you expected.

I wrote in agency kitchens for ten years. Since 2008, I’ve been writing in my own. You can hand me a project with confidence, knowing you’ll get back what you wanted and a little bit more.

Some copywriters settle in and write the same pieces over and over. Sometimes that’s the right approach. Often it’s not. In most projects, freshness matters.

  • Writing for Healthcare

    I write often for hospitals. If this is your business, you know that many times the audiences—the people—we’re speaking to are at a difficult point in their lives. They may need reassurance or maybe just some quick facts.

    I give your audiences the information they need in a voice that tells them you care. Your messages blend in perfectly for a communication that’s genuinely helpful and reinforces your brand.

  • He does a great job of asking the right questions in order to get to the heart of the matter, whether it is developing and understanding client strategy or interviewing employees or customers. He is seasoned, and unflappable. Steve Schaeffer, Creative Director/CEO, Creative Dimensions