New Zealand

4 Mar 2021

If You Can’t Do, Copywrite

by Jenny Barrett

I’m one of those people you meet who tell you their job title and you are none the wiser. Some nod knowingly, some reluctantly ask the question, “So what is a copywriter?”

I write marketing copy, white papers, award submissions and tender responses. And in between for CX Magazine, I get some light relief interviewing people who are still doing what I used to do, before children, dogs and an alpaca farm made travel too hard.

My baptism of fire into the professional audio-visual sector began with a Heineken. A New Zealand-wide AV reseller had recently secured the distribution rights for a well-known brand of interactive whiteboards and his highly qualified team of audio-visual integrators were at a loss.


Schools wanted to find the rolling dice. University lecturers wanted to drag photos around Mission Impossible style. Corporates wanted to blow away their clients with whizz bang brainstorming sessions, recorded for posterity.

The boss rang me up, bought me a beer and asked if I could help. As I was just about to lose my job lecturing and supporting teaching staff with AV and technology at Unitec, it seemed a golden opportunity. Two weeks later I sold my first interactive whiteboards to a landscape gardening company and an architect firm.

Jenny Barrett

No idea what difference it made to their bottom line, but my ability to dazzle with an interactive marker pen seemed to make up for my complete lack of system integration qualifications with the rest of the team.

I spent the next ten years on the AV sales frontline, branching out from predominantly visual, to audio, and even dabbling in lighting under strict supervision! Over time I picked up the training and marketing mantle for the company.

We ran a few innovative campaigns that saw manufacturers invite us to present to their other international resellers, and connections across the globe were the result.

I genuinely loved that feeling that all salespeople harp on about, and no one ever believes them, the satisfaction of delivering a solution that surpasses expectations.

Relatively new to New Zealand (from the UK), I made friendships with clients across the country that continue to this day. And I’ve seen a lot more of New Zealand than the average Kiwi. Even Rūnanga. Find that on the map.

Faced with the challenge of school hours, it was time to pick up a new, less interactive pen. Having created significant amounts of marketing copy, white papers and training resources for our manufacturers and distributors over the years, I spread the word about my new venture, “The Writing Room.”

Fortunately, my business has gone from strength to strength, morphing as these things do, from working solely with audio-visual companies, to technology start-ups, and over the last few years, the engineering and construction sectors.

Home and the responsibilities, Tauranga

It appears the ability to translate AV engineerlish and turn it into marketable English is a transferable skill. And keeping me sane in between concocting the relevant experience and track record section of an RFP is my CX gig.

An Australian contact at Hitachi mentioned my name to Julius, and five years and fifty-five features later I am still enjoying my monthly opportunity to connect with the Kiwi audio-visual industry.

If you want to feature in the NZ e-news or the monthly CX Magazine, or you need help with your marketing, award submissions or tenders email me on or +64 027 598 4071.

The Writing Room

CX Magazine – March 2021 

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