“It’s kind of a recurring theme in my career,” says Jennifer Lorenzetti. “Take something people don’t understand, and make it so they can understand it.”
The Dragonfly copywriter teaches marketing and copywriting at the School of Advertising Art in Kettering, Ohio, where she instructs budding graphic designers on creating messages with meaning.
The number-one piece of advice Jennifer gives copywriting students: “Always, always, always include a call to action,” she says. “You’d be amazed how many publications leave them out.”
Jennifer also understands the importance of getting inside the reader’s head, a knowledge she says has shaped her approach as a writer. “When I begin a new piece, I try to get a really clear idea of who my reader is and what I want them to do after they’re done reading,” she says. “As I tell my students, my goal as a writer is to remove all barriers to action. If you want someone to travel, give them directions. If you want them to contact you, give them three different ways to do it.”
In addition to teaching, Jennifer writes regularly for several Dragonfly clients, including the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Here, Jennifer’s focus-on-the-reader mantra holds: “At times on ADA projects, I’ll have to take a single message and create, for example, a consumer-facing brochure geared toward sixth- to eighth-grade readers. Then I’ll take that same piece of information and write training materials for physicians.”
She recently helped with an ADA behavior change campaign, which consisted of a highly technical, physician-facing piece as well as an informational video to show to patients. Jennifer greatly enjoyed writing the script for the video. “It was a great way to stretch myself as a writer,” she says. “I was really proud of how it turned out.”
Moving to the beat
Writing and teaching are by no means the only ways Jennifer spends her time. She and her husband, Dan, have been ballroom dancing competitively for the past eight years. “That’s one nice thing about being a writer—I can take a couple of hours out of the day to practice if I want.” And practice she does: She and Dan train together five days a week, showing off their moves in competition about once a year.
Her favorite styles are American and international tango, as well as bolero, a very romantic Latin dance. If you’ve ever watched Dancing With the Stars, dancers’ outfits are exactly what you’re picturing (Jennifer’s next performance outfit consists of rhinestones, hot-pink-and-zebra-print fabric, and “lots of armbands”).
Living ‘fast, cheap, and good’
Jennifer’s true passion, however, is perhaps more closely related to her work as a writer and her knack for making tough concepts crystal-clear. A sustainable living enthusiast, Jennifer offers project ideas, homemade recipes, and gardening tips on her blog Fast, Cheap, and Good (www.fastcheapandgood.blogspot.com/). As the site’s name suggests, she evaluates projects on three criteria: Can it be done quickly? Will it save you money? Is it good for the environment (and your bank account)
Jennifer breaks down topics that might be unfamiliar to the casual reader—the shortcomings of using a sock loom, a chemical-free solution to an aphid infestation, the merits of a warren hoe for gardening—and has attracted a substantial following. Yet she’s humble about her accomplishments: “My blog started as a way to talk about the things that mean the most to me. I want to demonstrate that people in a suburban lifestyle can lead sustainable lives.”
Mary Dixon, a recent graduate of The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, and an intern with Dragonfly Editorial, is writing a series of profiles of Dragonfly writers and editors.