Meet The Creator - Alan Hartstein

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Alan has over 25 years' experience as a content provider in the publishing and corporate writing sectors covering news, features and marketing on print, digital, and social media platforms. He has written for all major national broadsheets such as The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Australian Financial Review and The Australian, high-circulation weekly and monthly magazines, IT&T publications, as well as a number of IT and communications-related newsletters and websites. He is currently working as a freelance writer and editor for newspapers, magazines, content marketing companies and corporate clients. Alan has also worked on major website redevelopments for the ATO, the NSW Department of Trade & Industry, Deloittes, and AMP. What is it you enjoy about creating content?I love starting with a blank page and being able to draw on information often obtained from disparate sources such as raw data, research papers and interviews and putting it together into what is hopefully a cogent, compelling story that the reader wants to engage with. What is your approach to bringing a client's story to life through brand journalism?I like drawing on examples of how a brand has had a real and lasting impact on a customer's life and how it has benefitted them specifically. Branding comes to life when it evokes an emotional, human experience for the end-user. Tell us about your journey to become a content creatorI actually did things backwards in a way by starting out as a sub-editor in the newsroom at The Australian Financial Review, which was an exciting, pressure-cooker type environment where the content had to be tight, topical and meet tight deadlines for a daily publication. From there I started writing for the paper's Special Reports and a host of other publications and found that I really enjoyed telling stories. From there I branched into marketing, which has different challenges but can be just as rewarding, as long as the product or service has merit, obviously.How do you determine the tone, voice and style is right for a particular piece of content?Having been alive for as long as I have, one gets a feel for what sounds right or plays out on a page for a particular product or service, when one should be light-hearted or funny or when something requires more gravitas. Naturally, there'll be some trial and error along the way, but tone and voice are things you generally get a feel for provided you're on the same page as your client and you are attentive to what it is that they want to convey. What's the most useful thing a marketer can provide in the brief that allows you to understand their brand?Who their target market is and how they want them to feel, whether it be exhilarated, calm, happy, whatever, just as long as the brand conveys something emotive to the intended customer.What's the piece of content you are most proud of?That's hard to say because there have been a lot across journalism and marketing. Working on the NSW Department of Industry and Trade's website redevelopment was rewarding because I got to write and edit hundreds of pages for individual tourist brands, so it encompassed journalism and branding on a large scale. It also gave small businesses a great marketing platform. Working on AMP's Q and AMP branding exercise was also rewarding because it was a national campaign on a large scale and the wording was very important in conveying the specific messages they were attempting to convey.You can find Alan and his creative portfolio on the Fabulate platform, by clicking and viewing his profile here.