These days, copywriters and other creatives are constantly being told that we have to ‘niche’. That in order to succeed, we must specialise in one particular sector and become well-established within it.
I understand the arguments for this, and agree that it makes some sense. However, I just find the whole idea pretty limiting. I mean, why close yourself off to different opportunities? I enjoy the fact that my working week involves such a diverse range of projects. On any given day I can be writing about anything from spring fashion to spirit levels! And if I had to spend all my time writing about either one of those subjects, I know I would get pretty bored.
I also learn so much about a huge range of different topics and industries. Granted, not all of it sticks, but I’m sure it must be good for the ol’ grey matter to be constantly learning new things.
First ever hospice in the city of Bethlehem
If I had decided to niche, I almost certainly wouldn’t have found myself working with my latest client, Bethlehem Care and Hospice Trust, whose mission is to establish the first ever hospice in the city of Bethlehem.
I’ve worked with a few charities before, so I can’t say that the third sector is completely new to me. But I’ve always worked with their marketing teams as an extra pair of hands, or simply delivered a piece of copy. For this client, I acted as part-time marketing manager for 6 months, working directly with the Trustees. Again, I learnt so much from them.
I learnt about the situation faced by elderly and terminally ill people in Bethlehem, who have no welfare system to act as a safety net at the end of their lives. And I learnt what an uphill battle it is to raise awareness about small charities, particularly during a global pandemic.
Schools for Bethlehem
In December, we completed the Schools for Bethlehem campaign, which took place in the run-up to Christmas, with hundreds of school pupils around the country creating their own crib scenes at home to raise money for the charity. In normal times, the cribs would have formed an exhibition within schools, with parents coming to view them whilst enjoying a mulled wine and a mince pie. This year, we had to be creative, and ask participating families (where possible) to hold a twilight walk in their neighbourhood, to see how many of the crib scenes they could spot in people’s windows.
To support the campaign, I worked with their designer to create a new section of the website, produce a fundraising pack for schools, plus posters and other promotional materials. I also created a communications plan and managed the social media around the campaign.
In all, we had around 30 schools take part, and many more signed up for information. 2020 was the first time the campaign had gone national, and with so much pressure on schools due to the pandemic, I think we achieved a great result. I’m looking forward to seeing the campaign grow in 2021.
To find out more about the charity, visit Bethlehem Care & Hospice Trust.