#AMA Bilingual Senior Copywriter living in Post-Maria Puerto Rico.

Javier Valcárcel
May 12, 2018

I've been making a living off copywriting for 12 years here in Puerto Rico, but nevertheless I've worked on campaigns for the Virgin Islands, Florida, Jamaica, Trinidad and LATAM market. 

Starting in 2006, I've seen the industry change from simple radio, TV and print advertisements to the digital-centric, social landscape of today. 

Come ask me whatever comes to mind: 

• How to get a job as a copywriter

• How do I start

• Copywriting tips

• Idea generation tips

• Content marketing 

• Or even what is like living in PR during and after María and how the industry reacted after the whole ordeal.

Or anything else that comes to mind. Here's my LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/javivalca/


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How many more or less hours are you working on a daily/weekly basis?
May 18, 2:55AM EDT0
Have you ever considered learning another language? Yes or No and why?
May 17, 9:38PM EDT0
Do you have a social life? How do you go about managing the demands of life, work and play?
May 17, 6:59PM EDT0
How much easier or more difficult is it to be an independent writer/author than you thought it would be?
May 17, 8:08AM EDT0
How do you write in someone else's voice?
May 15, 9:40AM EDT0
What type of clients should a copywriter avoid and why?
May 15, 6:18AM EDT0
What rules to you follow as a copywriter with regards to an assignment and why do you have these rules in place?
May 15, 12:57AM EDT0
Who is your favourite copyeditor of all time and why?
May 14, 11:48PM EDT0
What was the most difficult piece of content you have ever had to write and what made it so difficult?
May 14, 5:09PM EDT0

I don't know about ever, but I can say some case studies can be really hard to write. 

When you write for award show judges, you're BS'ing the biggest BS'ers. These are people who are exposed to tons of case studies with great ideas and yours has to be better than all of them. 

Finding the right way to tell the story about your idea and making it seem larger than life can be a big challenge. 

May 14, 10:53PM EDT0
What do you think about the social landscape of copywriting in today's time? What do you think is currently working and what not?
May 14, 8:23AM EDT0

The social landscape has broadened the scope of work and more importantly, turned everything into a two-way conversation. We're able to know our audience much better than ever. 

What works today is either really fun, creative and interesting content or something that's clear, benefit oriented and in front of the right audience.

What doesn't work is anything that asks too much of the user/consumer. Get their interest first, then ask what you need of them. 

May 14, 10:50PM EDT0
Do you like to read blogs in your spare time and if you do, what blogs do you read on regular basis?
May 14, 7:13AM EDT0

I read a massive amount of articles and blogs a day. I love Medium so I'll read a lot from there. Also whatever I seem to run into on Twitter that captures my interest. 

May 14, 10:45PM EDT0
What unique skills must one have in order to be an effective copywriter?
May 14, 6:46AM EDT0

• A love for writing

• An ability to write quickly and think fast

• Creativity

• Lots of patience

• The ability to immerse yourself and take interest in different topics

May 14, 10:41PM EDT0
How can one go from writing blogs/content to strategizing and marketing?
May 14, 2:26AM EDT0

Use the content you already got and put together a portfolio, lots of agencies are hiring content writers and your past work could definitely help. Read books and articles on the subject, like copyblogger.com, and get familiar with the difference between copywriting and content writing.

May 14, 10:38PM EDT0
How long do you see yourself writing? Do you want to switch to a different style of work ever?
May 13, 7:12PM EDT0

I see myself writing forever to be honest. Sure I can try other forms of writing if the opportunity comes along. Copywriting is something I'm doing full time now, but I may transition into something more freelance down the road. 

May 14, 10:35PM EDT0
What are the educational requirements to become a professional copywriter? Did you take any copywriting courses ?
May 13, 5:52AM EDT0

I majored in marketing and advertising, and got interested in copywriting because of a class. From there I went on to read every book I could on the subject, practiced, built a spec portfolio and applied for an internship. 

With copywriting, it's all about practice, doing it, and learning from mistakes and bad results. 

May 14, 10:30PM EDT0
As a copywriter, is it important to write fast? Or does it hurts creativity?
May 12, 8:12PM EDT0

Being able to write fast is a necessity in today's hyper social world. Speed and rush projects may hinder creativity, but in the end it's about what's needed for that particular project. Sometimes a client needs to have it fast, sometimes an effective, innovative idea is what's needed.

May 14, 3:06PM EDT0
What would you say is your best work as a copywriter?
May 12, 5:04PM EDT0

Never really thought about this to be honest, I don't have a particular favorite, I'll think of some random ones:

• Advil "Cursing" - I'm pretty critical of my work but I like these series of ads that draws on the fact that cursing provides some degree of relief from pain. But Advil provides real relief. Here's one of them: www.facebook.com/AdvilPuertoRico/videos/vl.196631727619882/701384953319285/?type=1

• Until recently, our content for Cottonelle, where we were basically the only major toilet paper brand talking about the obvious, poop and getting real with what goes on in the bathroom, all in a tasteful manner. This one won awards last year.

• We created an award show for Filler Potato Chips' Facebook fans, where we got them all together under one roof and gave unique awards to the best commenters of the year. Basically awarding them for engaging with the brand cargocollective.com/javivalca/Filler-Empapate-Awards

Here's a link to my portfolio - cargocollective.com/javivalca

May 12, 7:49PM EDT0
Which languages do you write in? What language do you think in?
May 12, 3:57PM EDT0

I write in Spanish and English every day. My mind's bilingual also 😊 I'll switch between both. 

May 12, 7:17PM EDT0
Do you have an approach and process you apply to all your projects or is it different every time?
May 12, 11:47AM EDT0

I always start every project knowing everything I can and internalizing the brief and strategy. 

Then, it depends. It may lead to a group brainstorming session or solo. I mostly like to combine brainstorming with a group with just thinking for myself. From there, it varies depending on the project. 

May 12, 12:51PM EDT0
Are you currently based on Puerto Rico? How hard has it been after Hurricane Maria?
May 12, 10:48AM EDT0

Yes, I'm based in Puerto Rico. Right now we're pretty much back to normal, with the exception of the frequent power outages that take place today. There are also many remote areas where power STILL hasn't come back. 

Those first days were a challenge, to have your normalcy taken away just like that. We went back to work the Monday after the storm and we were basically working with power generators and very little Internet. 

At first, radio was the only mass medium available, then, the Internet started coming back. So given that we're a digital agency, we were able to tough it out, but many people lost their jobs because of the storm in other places. 

Power in my home came back on the last week of November. We went through a real challenge but thankfully we've recovered.

May 12, 12:47PM EDT0
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