Meet the team - Mike Shaw
What do you do?
I’m the Digital Editor, which means I look after all content across our brand websites and platforms. Basically everything that isn’t social media. Very little of what I do is pure copywriting – I do a lot of editing, strategising, planning and getting involved in marketing campaigns, the creation of new products and brands. It’s very varied, and there are a lot of things that you can get involved in if you’re hungry for it.
How did you get into it?
Originally I trained as a journalist, and then for ten years or so I jumped between journalism and copywriting. I eventually made the plunge to focus solely on copywriting. I was the first copywriter to join DLG Digital four years ago, and as the Digital team grew, I recognised the need for an editor. When I moved into that role I went about recruiting other copywriters to join me.
What’s your favourite thing about your role?
The variety of work I get involved in. It always surprises me how small a part insurance actually plays in what I do. We may be one of the UK’s largest insurers, but DLG Digital is a 21st century digital company that just happens to work in the financial services space. What we do here can be applied anywhere.
What’s the biggest challenge you face?
There are things that you could write without a second thought in other industries, but as we’re a financial services organisation and are subject to strict regulation, we have to be very careful. There can be a lot of constraints, but they can often lead you to think in a more creative way about a problem. So it can be of benefit, but that doesn’t mean it’s always pain-free.
Do you think there are a lot of opportunities to develop here?
Yes, if you’re working in a particular role but like the idea of doing something else, the company is very open to helping you move across. There are also lots of opportunities for secondments. For example, one of my copywriters is currently covering the deputy social media editor while she’s on maternity leave. It’s giving her the chance to meet new people and learn new skills, and then a year later she can bring all that experience back to her original role and use it to help her develop.
Also, the company really cares about individuals. So if there’s a lot going on in your personal life, such as illness in your family, it’s good at making allowances and helping you with your work life balance.
Do you like working in Bromley?
Yes I do. My commute is fairly long (depending on traffic it can take between 1-3 hours to reach the office) but that gives me plenty of time to listen to podcasts and audiobooks in the car.
What advice would you give someone thinking about getting into copywriting?
Just write. Do as much as possible for whatever outlets you can find. As someone who recruits copywriters I look a lot more for drive, personality and evidence of being able to write than I do for qualifications.