When people and ideas connect through words…
…wonderful things happen. Barriers are overcome. Synergies are achieved. Business leads are created.
And if you need the right words to connect with an audience, then perhaps we should be talking.
I am, essentially, a conduit… in Douglas Adams’ terms, a Babel Fish. I take on board what someone wants to convey, carefully consider the intended audience as well as the medium through which the words will be delivered…and then craft messages that will resonate and spark a positive reaction.
During a (long) career I’ve worked as a journalist, a PR and a marketer as well as (latterly) a freelance writer. I’ve edited national newspapers, ghostwritten for cabinet ministers, interviewed international celebrities, penned hundreds of speeches and videos… and helped launch countless companies, products and services.
I’ve been writing websites since they were a new-fangled thing, and lost count of the blogs I’ve written.
The service I provide is personal and direct. No juniors or lackeys. I take the brief, apply a lifetime of professional experience and generate copy that really works – for businesses, charities and public bodies as well as some very respected agencies.
Over the years, I’ve written on every topic imaginable for almost every conceivable audience, and in styles ranging from light and frothy through to technical and corporate. Because of that, nothing fazes me: give me a good brief and no-one will come up with copy that works harder to achieve your objectives. But that’s quite enough for this page. Do browse through some of the others… and if you like what you read, get in touch.
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What I do
My 30 second elevator pitch: I’m a highly experienced writer, communicator, campaigner and strategist who has worked in the interconnecting disciplines of PR, journalism and marketing for many years. I’m based near Bristol but work for a host of regional and national clients – including businesses, charities and marketing agencies.
The longer pitch is that, at the drop of a hat, I can generate (on any topic and for any audience)…
Social media campaigns
Technical case studies
Speeches and presentations
What my clients say
Tony has a unique ability to distill large amounts of communication in to concise and simple ideas. I have used him again and again and he has always delivered in all sectors and all mediums. He is especially good at getting to grips with large and often complex technical or governmental briefs. He is also a very nice gent!
Jonathon Galvin Wright
Managing Director, Stuff Marketing Agency, Bristol
Tony is the copywriter of choice for technical and creative writing. He has deep knowledge of the over 50s and property markets, and a whole host of other sectors besides. He has always been on time on budget and on brief. I have no hesitation in recommending his services.
Senior Graphic and Web Designer
I have worked with Tony since 2000 on a variety of projects. His knowledge and expertise on a diverse range of subjects never ceases to amaze me. He approaches every project with genuine enthusiasm and brings fresh thinking to ensure great results. More than that he is a delightful person to work with – I cannot recommend him highly enough.
Co-Owner, Draycott Studio
Specialist areas of expertise
While I can make any topic interesting to any reader, I do have several specialist areas:
Many people will know my work in the 50+ market over the last 30+ years. I was the founding editor of Mature Times, I’ve written supplements on retirement issues in The Guardian and the two Telegraph titles and penned several books on retirement and care. That makes me one of the most experienced writers in this huge (but often misunderstood) sector.
In a voluntary capacity, I chair of one of the UK’s regional Forums on Ageing, act as Housing Champion for older people in the South West and look after comms for the national EngAgeNet network – so I really do know this market.
Property and Inward Investment
I began freelancing for Property Week in 1997, and later for the Sunday Times, and I still work regularly for a range of commercial property agencies writing press releases, feature articles and websites. Each year I generate a definitive report on the Bristol property scene. Equally I have written for national, regional and sub-regional development agencies on issues such as regeneration and inward investment.
However, a glance at my current and recent clients will show you that I really can write about any topic.
Take a look at my blog – The Sticky Patch
Who I work for
Directly and indirectly, lots of people (much of my work is commissioned through marketing agencies). I also work very closely with some excellent specialists who will provide design and production for projects where you need a broader communications job undertaken. Current and recent clients include:
Business West (press materials, presentations and brochureware)
Jordans Corporate Law (company launch, PR
Bristol Property Agents Association (annual market reports)
Shropshire Social Services (website, PR and collateral on fostering)
Centurion Financial Planning (website)
RetireEasy (website, videos, press releases and blogs)
Bristol After Stroke charity (rebrand website, PR and information sheets)
Durkan Cahill Insolvency (website and video scripts)
Propath Molecular Pathology (website)
Royal Canin petfood (in-store collateral)
But I work for smaller organisations too – from credit referencing businesses and accountants through to career coaches and osteopaths.
And what do I charge…?
The words “sensible rates” spring to mind – especially as I write quickly, accurately and effectively. I also recognise that smaller enterprises and charities don’t have deep pockets and charge accordingly.
Latest from the Sticky Patch blog
Sainsbury’s recently reversed their decision to make one of their stores till-free only. Thank God, says Tony Watts OBE I like to think that – despite the advancing years – I haven’t (yet) turned into Victor Meldrew. OK, I have the odd rant about over-loud car stereos and young men displaying disturbingly large expanses of […]
Tony Watts ponders upon the existential question of what “reality” has to do with our current crop of “TV reality shows” I was recently pondering the nature of reality. As you do. I think it was when I was watching (behind my fingers, from behind the sofa) the bit on Planet Earth II where some […]
Can we counterbalance the bad and fake news that assaults us from all directions? A new space on Facebook plans to do just that. Look closely at some of the spectacular images of Earth from space and you can see the fragile, shimmering skin of our atmosphere – the vast majority of it a wafer-thin […]
Film buffs amongst you may have noticed a recent study from the United States telling us something we already knew… but probably couldn’t be bothered to make a fuss about: that older people are significantly underrepresented in movies. But does it really matter? Because when they do appear, they are rarely in lead parts, or […]
A bit about me
When I’m not typing immortal prose into my iMac, I enjoy cycling, blues music, politics and following the mixed fortunes of Bristol City FC.
Part of my life is set aside for campaigning and speaking up on behalf of older people. I’ve been involved in this sector for over 30 years, so it’s a personal as well as a professional passion and I act in a number of voluntary capacities. I was very proud to be appointed an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours List for ‘Services to Older People’.
I regularly get asked by the media to act as a spokesperson on ageing issues, so feel free to get in touch if you’d like some informed comment. Call me on 07738 167788.
Yes, he sounds good. I must get in touch with this chap, you’re thinking. You can call me direct on
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