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Vicks Ward

Vicks Ward on copywriting with a conscience

By Vicks Ward

Freelance Copywriter - Vicks Ward Copywriter

Conscientious and purpose-led storytelling resounds from the work of Vicks Ward, who is passionate about conveying client’s purpose-led work by creating an engaging narrative.

Having spent her early career account handling at marketing agencies McCann Erickson and Lawton Communications; for the last eight years, Vicks has been a freelance specialist in the art of the written word: her compendium of copywriting covers subjects like renewable energy, plastic pollution, healthcare, sensor technology, sustainable agriculture, and marine.

With a diverse anthology to her name, Vicks is drawing out a new dialogue for B Corp businesses making a positive impact.

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Are there pieces you've written that have been highlights for you?

There have been lots of highlights because every job is a surprise; you never know what's coming next.

I've done a lot in the female healthcare arena. I wrote the Lil-Lets website, which was a lovely job to do. I repurposed their product and advice copy for teenagers and for women going through menopause – it was an honour to write advice pages for a global brand and articulate important messages for them.

I recently wrote for a contract farmer, which included a piece on the next generation of farmers.

Another highlight was writing for SOS (Save Our Species) a card game supported by WWF and invented by a 15-year-old in lockdown to teach kids about building biomes, biodiversity, and the impact of natural disasters.

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Do you have a method for articulating your clients’ stories?

I think sometimes there’s a gap between the great work that people are doing and the way they communicate it to the world.

I like to get my clients talking. I have a creative briefing form if a client prefers to jot something down, but I steer them towards talking because I like to hear them tell me about their product/service, the challenges they face, hear the terminology they use, and the passion they have for their subject. That’s what helps me harness and write in their brand voice.

I did a recent writing job for Mozzo Coffee – hearing them talk about conflict in the coffee industry and what they were doing for their community of farmers really helped me create their brand voice. Listening is key.

What’s your take on AI in the world of copywriting?

I think what it can do visually is incredible, but with the written word, I have dabbled with it post-writing to see if it could come up with anything better and I’ve been disappointed in the results so far. I found it quite static, quite staid. But that’s not to say I won’t use it in the future.

It has its place, and it’s great that we have access to it, but to convey the human element of storytelling – the personality – there will always be a place for a writer and a human brain.

Instinct and intuition also play a big part in what I do – experience and having seen what’s worked and what hasn’t, gives you a foresight that shouldn’t be underestimated.

" think it's much more important than people give it credit – the power that good words have to arrest the reader, retain their attention, and enable them to understand something."

You’re passionate about writing for brands focused on positive impact; how can writing make a difference?

We have words in front of us all day, every day – good writing can stop you in your tracks and hold you there. The job of a writer is to engage the reader, so they want to read on, understand, and then tell their friends.

I think it’s much more important than people give it credit – the power that good words have to arrest the reader, retain their attention, and enable them to understand something.

I find technical writing quite interesting – to decipher, translate, and articulate complex subjects into understandable language.

It’s a privilege to do this job. I feel very honoured to be able to work for amazing people doing great work. I love solving problems for clients; flushing out the benefit, helping them articulate a sell, tell a story, overcome perception, and find a (written) voice.

If you could write about anything; what would it be?

I’d really love to write for Hilltop Honey. I wrote about the 2023 commercial partnerships for Osprey Rugby in Wales, and one was with Hilltop Honey who had just innovated a new energy gel that the rugby teams were trialling for the season. I’d love to write Hilltop’s B Corp impact report.

I’d also like to do more writing to promote EDI. I wrote an article recently about sustainable EDI in the workplace stemming from education and tackling racism in schools and I’d like to do more with diversity and inclusion.

"To convey the human element of storytelling – the personality - there will always be a place for a writer and a human brain."

Vicks Ward - Freelance Copywriter, Vicks Ward Copywriter

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

I enjoy spending time with my family: my husband, our two kids and Luna the lab.

I love yoga and Pilates; I’m in a choir; about to tackle Grade 6 singing exam, I enjoy open water swimming; and I’m slowly re-discovering rollerblades!

I also do some volunteer copywriting for Julia’s House, a charity that supports families with a terminally ill child. It’s an important thing for me to be able to give back.

What do you enjoy reading?

I love reading; I’ve generally got about three books on the go at the same time. On my current reading list are A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins; Breath by James Nestor; and I’ve just finished Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus.

Where is your favourite place to visit when you need to get some perspective?

I spend a lot of time on the sea wall in Lymington or walking the forest or coast. Part of my writing process is moving. My best ideas come when I’m on the move, so I’m always out walking!

Vicks Ward