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Copywriters on the rack #32: Jo Millett

Hello and welcome to Copywriters on the Rack. No need to be nervous (mwahahahahaha).

So, who are you and what do you do to pay the bills? 

Hello! I’m Jo Millett. I’m a content writer and owner of Lean Content, a business I set up six years ago in Bristol.

What was your career path to get to where you are now?

Before I tried to be a writer I also tried to be a teacher. Teaching was brilliant, and I miss some bits of it. Not people throwing chairs at me, mind.  Although I worry that one day I’ll overstep the mark with my husband enough for him to send one my way.

Since I left teaching I worked in some digital agencies, did a bit of social media and some PR before landing happily in B2B content, which I still really like doing.

What’s the best thing about your job?

The sarcastic answer is the tea and toilet breaks, which I take in abundance. The honest answer is that I do really like my clients, they’re nice people and they put up with a lot from me.

What’s the worst?

Weirdly, I still find doing my own marketing icky. And I sit down for a lot of the day, so I miss being on my feet.

How do you fill the gaps when you’re not doing the day job?

I have two small daughters who keep me very, very busy. When I’m not building magnetic towers or sending toy cars down the stairs, I do a bit of standup comedy. But the less said about that, the better.

Now we’ve got the formalities out of the way, let’s go rogue:

You’re locked in a cell with 2-foot thick stone walls and no windows. Outside the solid steel door, two fully tooled-up guards keep watch in shifts, 24 hours a day. Armed with only a candle, a box of Sugar Puffs and a bottle of footballer’s liniment, what’s your escape plan?

Blow up the stone walls with a homemade explosive made of Sugar Puffs and lit with a candle. They taste so good, I’m sure there’s something incendiary in them. Once through the wall, I’d grease myself up so good with the liniment that slipping past the guards would be both literally and figuratively easy.

Write me a poem about stamp collecting

Stamp collecting’s excellent
if you like gummy bits of card
But if you prefer the outside world,
then you’ll find Philately hard

Who would win in a fight, Barbara Windsor or Barbara Cartland?

Is this a trick question? Barbara Windsor may be more vertically challenged but what she lacks in stature she makes up for in decades of resolving bar fights. 

Yeah! Get outta my dungeon! Actually, no, write me three straplines for:

1) The Museum of Belly Button Fluff
Forget Cheddar Gorge! Explore our cheesy chasms.

2) The all-new politically correct 2024 Benny Hill Show
The Jenny Hill Show, a place where women round up all the men who discriminated against them, and chase them with pitchforks.
(Not entirely convinced this is a strapline, but I’ll blame it on the hot needles under the finger nails)

3) Backstreet brain transplants
50 shades of grey matter, for the price of your sanity.

Explain the game of cricket to an alien.

Strangely dressed white men intimidate each other with sticks, while everyone else gets quietly pissed.

Draw me a picture of two newts playing darts (yes I know you’re a writer, but do it anyway).

Copywriting is like an awkward first date, discuss.

Like an awkward first date, copywriting involves overthinking everything you say. While you say it. Then afterwards, spending hours wishing you’d said something better. Then not hearing back from the other person for months, only to find that they had a great time.

Snog, marry, boil in salad cream: Kojak / Columbo / Miss Marples

Snog Kojak, he has the best dental hygiene of the three. Marry Columbo. I bet he’d get good deals on utility bills. Boil Miss Marples. I couldn’t marry her with that taste in hats.

What is love?

Feeling like you’re at home, when you’re not.

What would you do with your last tenner?

Probably buy weed.

Pick a random pic from your camera roll and tell us about it.

This is me explaining why people in Bristol project images of elephants on the side of buildings to a two year old.

Write me a very short story featuring: A raccoon with a hangover, Barrack Obama on stilts and a forgery of The Mona Lisa

Former President Obama was out for his morning constitutional. He’d chosen to wear stilts this time, like any sensible person would. Suddenly, a raccoon (looking rather pale, and sitting in a pile of its own vomit) floated past on what looked like a Mona Lisa replica. ‘F***’, muttered Barack, swearing for only the second time that decade. He inspected more closely. ‘Yep. That poor animal is marooned on some s****y art that no-one cares about.’ The former President scooped up the raccoon and carried on his way.

So, you’ve already spent that last tenner then. OK, now make my skin crawl.

Just google ‘UK Foreign Secretary 2024.’

Make my heart melt.

Sea otter mums hold their pups while they nap. As adults, they sleep holding hands.

Write me dictionary definition entries for ‘Wilcock’s Lexicofantabulous Compendium of Oddities and Soddities’:

1) Hamzpackle
A tasty snack. Sandwich filling. Popular with Warburtons fans. Square, tinned, pocket ham. “Pass the Hamzpackle, nom nom nom.”

2) Tottyfinoo
A farewell saying. Goodbye, if you’re scottish. Scots version of ‘tatty byes’
“Tottyfinoo, yer wee scragend”

3) Pimm’s Dribble
The leftovers of an upper class beverage, usually found in a jug. Slang, p*** on your toilet seat.
“She won’t notice that Pimm’s Dribble”
“Can I have some more, Hugo? Of course, dear boy. Oh no, wait, sorry just a Pimm’s Dribble left”

If you were alone on a desert island for a month, what 6 items would you take with you? (they have to fit in a Morrison’s bag for life and yes, you can keep the bag)

Flint, pocket knife, tarpaulin, torch, sleeping bag, fishing line
(Yes, I may have been watching too much Alone.)

Make up your own question and tell me whatever you want to get off your chest.

Where are all those people on dating apps who posed with tigers in the early naughties? 
Answer: They were all sadly eaten by the tigers, who then drove off in their BMWs. 

Give me three reasons why I should let you go.

I need to get dinner on. I need a wee. I have a ladybird infestation in my office and I need to sort the little critters out.

And before I remove the shackles, tell us where we can find you online.


Lean Content

Wee, ladybirds and dinner. My three favourite things after spikes, hooks and knocking knees. Now run for it!

Up for more? Check this out – Copywriters on the Rack #12: Emma Cownley