Client brief: Write content for Macdonald Hotels’ brochures and website
Usually, if well prepared, the festive period begins in January for large hotel groups. That’s because many guests rebook their next Christmas party as soon as they’ve finished celebrating the season.
Macdonald Hotels has over 30 UK luxury hotels and in early 2016 they approached me for help with writing their Christmas brochures – all 38 of them. However, this wasn’t to be purely a copywriting role; Macdonald Hotels asked me to coordinate the copy, design and brochure printing too. So, working alongside the group’s design and print firms, I set about gathering key messages from the hotels. Each general manager had autonomy to promote products and services that best served his or her local market: some offered Hogmanay party nights, some sold relaxing festive breaks and others hosted family friendly events or fine dining. It meant each brief was different and had a unique objective – but each brochure was to conform to the group’s brand style and layout.
The project lasted several months, and I was assigned to it two years in a row. It involved:
- working within a pre-agreed brochure template and word count, supplied by the design agency
- writing copy to mirror the group’s tone of voice
- adhering to strict deadlines
- liaising with 38 hotel sales, events and management teams across the UK, as well as Macdonald Hotels’ head office in Scotland
- coordinating copy amends and sign-off within a defined timescale and budget
- proofreading brochures to ensure accuracy
Having strong experience in the hotel industry was especially useful. For instance, knowing who to speak to within each hotel and being fluent in the lingo meant I could hit the ground running – everything Macdonald Hotels was looking for in a freelancer.
As a result of successfully delivering their Christmas brochures, I was assigned further copywriting jobs, including website recruitment copy, and a book about the history of their flagship hotel.