Technology copywriting for Jisc

A series of A4 sheets selling the benefits of digital technologies to clients in research and education

Chris Alden, freelance copywriter

In technology marketing, selling the benefits of your services is critical. To encourage clients to buy from you, you need to look beyond the specifications of the technology you offer – and understand how the features help meet their needs.

But when you have a broad customer base with different needs and levels of technical knowledge, clarifying and communicating customer benefits can be easier said than done.

This was the challenge facing Jisc – the UK higher education, further education and skills sectors’ not-for-profit organisation for digital services and solutions.

Jisc offers technology services to a diverse group of customers ranging from research-intensive institutions to sixth-form colleges.

Those organisations, in turn, include a broad range of stakeholders, from technology managers to academics to financial directors. This means a wide group of people can have input into a purchasing decision.

So Jisc asked Chris Alden to write a selection of sheets about its services – to help explain the benefits Jisc offers to both technical and non-technical decision-makers.

The copywriting project

Jisc needed Chris to write three types of sheets:

  • a “service sheet”, which described a specific service that Jisc offers, such as Layer 2 connectivity or web filtering;
  • a “fact sheet”, which described a service in more technical detail for IT managers;
  • a “theme sheet”, which described Jisc’s wider offering in a specific field, such as cyber-security or identity management.

The process: mapping the benefits

In order to identify the benefits of each service that Jisc offers, Chris focused on developing an end-to-end understanding of how each service helps the customer.

This meant focusing on two things: the underlying technology, and the specific problem it solves.

In order to do this, Chris collaborated as closely as possible with Jisc’s in-house specialists – interviewing experts both face-to-face and over the phone. Chris focused on finding out as much as possible about the technology behind each service, and how each feature met customer needs.

Armed with this understanding, Chris then “mapped” each feature to a specific benefit – then, as requested by Jisc, created “straw man” versions of each service sheet, which he then sent back to technologists and marketers for suggested revisions. This process was repeated until all parties were happy with the result.

This collaborative approach to technology copywriting meant that the final version of each sheet was as technically accurate as possible – while helping sell the benefits of using Jisc to both technical and non-technical decision-makers.

What the client said

Rachel Freeman, marketing manager at Jisc, said: “I worked with Chris to deliver a number of product/fact sheets for the broad range of technical services we offer at Jisc.

“Due to the nature of these services, Chris had to work with complex and often sensitive information to provide engaging content for both a technical and non-technical audience.

“He really took the time to understand the topic areas and worked with the marketing team and key stakeholders to meet our objectives, often within tight deadlines. I was very happy with the results, as were our service managers.”

Contact Chris

• Do you need help with a technology copywriting project? Contact Chris Alden, a copywriter who creates clear, engaging copy for both technical and non-technical readers.

To work with Chris, please call 01273 906 222 or email

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