Would you like to fly with us?’ asked the orange suited pilot in heavily accented English as the cloud cleared over Bergun and we finished our morning coffee and Birchermüesli high in Switzerland’s Albula valley. I’d never flown in a helicopter, let alone a working Aerospatiale Lama like the one that was being used for helilogging that October in the late 1980s.
For a moment I imagined every fiery exploding chopper I’d ever seen in Bond movies, and how there was no way my travel insurance would cover me if worst came to worst. Then I said yes, and spent the next few days in the left-hand seat of HB-XND as we flew timber from the forested God da Speschas to the road head at Latsch. It was an experience that fired my passion for the ‘angry palm trees’ and led me to various helicopter-related writing in the years ahead: a technical communications project on safe boarding procedures for light helicopters; a helicopter-centred novel; and SEO website copy for a helicopter business since becoming one of the copywriters in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
Those autumn days in Graubünden remain among my treasured memories from dozens of walking trips in Switzerland. Now, when I can’t be in my favourite alpine republic, I follow Swiss life, language and culture through radio, reading and the online SF1 Videoportal. Imagine my surprise then, when, more than 20 years after my Swiss heli adventure, I spotted HB-XND in new (Air Zermatt instead of Air Grischa) colours during an episode of Die Bergretter, a Swiss documentary series about helicopter rescue in Canton Wallis.
And the connection with copywriting? Often with copy, rewriting saves money. Just as that Aerospatiale Lama was refurbished and reliveried for a second productive life with Air Zermatt, so tired written content can be renewed and repurposed. Okay, nothing’s as perfect as ‘from scratch’ copy, but when budgets are tight, editing and rewriting existing copy can prove an attractive, cost-effective option.
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as just pulling copy from an old brochure and putting it online. Different media and applications require different copywriting skills and approaches. That’s where a skilled copywriter can help. And how, just as HB-XND got a second life, it’s possible to re-use and reinvigorate old copy or rough drafts.
Aerospatiale Lama HB-XND flies on, doing sterling service. And with a little bit of professional input, so can your old copy – at a fraction of the cost of new ‘from-scratch’ copywriting.