Meet the team: talking pro wrestling, Tom Robbins and Americana with Senior Copywriter, Cem Topcam
At Net Natives we’re extremely lucky to work with a blend of very smart, creative and passionate people. This week we caught up with Cem, one of our Senior Copywriters, to delve a little deeper into what inspires and motivates him on a day to day basis…
So Cem, tell us a bit about your background… What brought you to Net Natives?
I’ve only ever really been interested in a career in which I get to write in some capacity. I’ve done all sorts, from starting out writing SEO content, to freelancing as a journalist for a few years, to writing social campaigns for big brands. It’s all experience I get to use to some degree in my day-to-day work here. I started at Natives a year ago after moving back to Brighton from London. A chat with Founder Steve and a coffee with Creative Director Charlie set the wheels in motion, and here I am.
What are you looking forward to achieving at Net Natives?
I look forward to making things every day, whether it’s something small like a watertight piece of social copy, or something big like a campaign concept. I still get a kick out of seeing the work we do live and in situ. So I suppose I’m looking forward to more of that feeling, but on a larger scale as the company continues to grow. That and taking on a lot more copy for our U.S clients. I’m oddly obsessed with America, Americans, and Americana.
Could you tell us what a typical day at Net Natives looks like for you?
Varied, which is one of the reasons I enjoy working here. In between writing all kinds of copy, I’m in and out of meetings and calls with colleagues and clients, casting an eye over the stellar work our designers and developers are doing and generally having a good time.
And tell us a little bit about what the role entails?
Anything to do with the written word, and then some. It all starts with tone of voice. We run workshops with our clients. In them, we try and get to the heart of who they are and how they should articulate themselves in writing. Then, it’s about applying our findings, making it real through compelling campaign copy that you might see on a billboard or a Facebook post. Creative is, broadly speaking, words and pictures working in harmony. We do the words bit.
Is there a part of your role that you find the most fulfilling?
As I say, it’s seeing brilliant things being written and made and thought of everywhere around me, and feeling like I’m contributing to something, that my opinion is valued by people I respect. That’s very fulfilling.
Do you have a ‘proudest moment’ in your career to date?
I interviewed Erol Alkan for MTV once, when I lived above a club he was playing in that night. This DJ I’d spent some of the best nights of my young adult life watching and dancing to was sat in my dive of a flat while I fumbled over some words that vaguely resembled questions. It was surreal, but when I filed the invoice for it I thought “I’ve done okay, here”.
Who are your heroes in marketing, advertising or education?
I don’t know that I have many heroes in the industry. But I suppose Dave Trott is someone whose opinion I put stock into in advertising. His book ‘Creative Mischief’ is one I’ve turned to a fair few times when things feel a little too serious. In writing generally, reading Tom Robbins taught me how to give in to my imagination and to be as brave with my lexical choices as I would be with an outfit.
What do you get up to outside of work?
I’m a big film fan. Not a film buff yet, but I’m working on it. I read a lot, I write a lot. I write more when I read more. I like that exchange of energy and I guess I look for that feeling in most of what I do outside of work. I’m also in to football, despite my beloved, beleaguered Charlton Athletic routinely breaking my heart with every passing season.
Tell us something that no one would guess about yourself…
I’m really into pro wrestling. Yes. That pro wrestling. And yes. I know it’s fake. Next question.
And if you could describe yourself in three words, what would those words be?
Tenacious. Curious. Kind.
Are we connected yet? Don’t miss Cem taking over the Net Natives’ Twitter on Monday 26th March for even more creative inspiration and a sneak peek behind the scenes at Net Natives HQ.