#writerscrawl2018 Q&A with RAPP, OLIVER and Lab | DMA

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#writerscrawl2018 Q&A with RAPP, OLIVER and Lab


#writerscrawl is here – and the creativity is palpable.

Catching up with a few of the week’s hosts - Julie Adams, head of copy at RAPP, Sam Jacobs, design director at OLIVER and Daryll Scott, director of human technology at Lab - we asked everything from what words mean to them to the importance of linking imaginative minds.

Q: First up, The theme for the #writerscrawl2018 this year is words without boundaries. What does this theme mean to you and how do you think words are breaking down prejudices and stereotypes in the industry today?

Lab: Are they? In the world of the meme and the echo chamber we need to be careful that what we consider to be pushing boundaries is not actually conformist. Opinionated, progressive, but conformist. As a writer, do we have the courage to speak our truth regardless of how many ‘likes’ it will get?

RAPP: Our interpretation of ‘Words without boundaries’ is that there are no rules. Who says one word can’t go with another? Want to make up words? Go for it. It makes language more exciting, more fun, when there are no limitations.

OLIVER: How we protect freedom of speech and creativity in language, in the current landscape of fake news and bots churning out clickbait has never been more relevant. Words when crafted carefully, has the power to cut through. Brilliantly chosen words can change minds and make people think again about brands, products and most importantly, society.

Q: Do you think words and words alone can influence positive action in the world? If so, how?

RAPP: It happens all the time. Someone speaking of their plight in another country is enough to galvanise a whole nation to petition their government for support, or dig deep to send vital donations.

Lab: Influence and action can only be achieved through narrative. Our future is shaped by the stories we share. It always has been and it always will be because that’s how we are wired.

Q: How important do you feel events like #writerscrawl are in terms of linking creative minds?

RAPP: It’s a fantastic way for people with creative minds and stories to tell to get together and share their love for words.

Lab: So many meetings in business are merely opportunities for superficial networking. To create a context for the sharing of ideas is the most valuable experience an organisation can provide.

OLIVER: Any opportunity for people to come together and talk and share ideas is a positive one, it’s so important to connect and learn from those around you working in a similar field.

Q: Which campaigns or movements from the previous year have stood out for you from a copy perspective?

OLIVER: The #timesup and #metoo movements. Two phrases simply and incredibly powerfully bringing together a generation of women and (hopefully) signalling a change in thinking, where unacceptable behaviour in the workplace and beyond is eradicated.

Lab: The path to engagement is through relevancy. When the copy we read mirrors what we experience in the context we read it something magical happens. We love it when the writer has truly empathised with the emotion, mind set and experience of the reader at the time they will be reading. We loved this example from ‘Audible’.

Q: Finally, What does it mean to you to be part of the festival this year?

Lab: We are always grateful to be associated with the DMA. The theme this year is excellent. We love to take the memes and issues of the day and scrape back the veneer of superficial agreement to unpack what needs to happen, word by word, sentence by sentence, for such ambitions to be met.

RAPP: We are proud to be part of a movement that is promoting great writing.

OLIVER: It’s lovely to be part of the festival talking on behalf of OLIVER and The Guardian, the project was a real joy to work on, so we’re really happy to have been asked to discuss it in detail.

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