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Perspective

5 Minutes with Hayley Curnow,
Content Producer & Copywriter at NHO
09.02.23

Here, Hayley Curnow, Content Producer & Copywriter at NHO, reflects on the influence of her design background in crafting strategic, compelling copy. With a Bachelor of Arts in Interior Architecture and over 10 years’ experience in design media copywriting, Hayley offers valuable insight into the inner workings of the profession, while her active contribution to architecture and design publications continue to sharpen her observations of design.

Q: Describe a day in your role as Content Producer & Copywriter at NHO?

A: I’m responsible for penning the design narratives and media releases for our clients, and crafting ad-hoc written content for their award submissions, websites, blogs, and social channels. I also manage NHO’s internal content, including our Essays, Book Club and Perspective series, social media and NHO Mail — a quarterly newsletter mail-out.

Given my varied task list, I begin each day by checking a priorities document, where I track deliverables and upcoming tasks. This allows me to set a rough agenda for the day and week, and manage deadlines to keep all content items humming along — particularly for our internal content, which we produce to a particular cadence. I relish the diversity of my role and feel incredibly grateful to reflect on our clients’ considered work across interior design, architecture and property, retail, hospitality, and culture.

After hours, I attend design events and exhibitions with the team as often as possible, which always leaves me feeling inspired and connected. Some highlights include a walking tour of Collingwood Yards with Quino Holland, Director of Fieldwork, during Open House Melbourne, and our yearly exploration of Melbourne Design Week‘s extensive satellite program.

Collingwood Yards by Fieldwork, included in the 2022 Open House program.
Photography by Tom Ross.

Idyll by Kennedy Nolan in collaboration with Amanda Oliver.
After Hours, presented by Volker Haug for Melbourne Design Week.
Photography by Sean Fennessy.

Showcase, presented by New Assemblage for Melbourne Design Week.
Photography by Sean Fennessy.

Q: How does your interior design background help you in your role?

A: Having practised as a designer for over 10 years, I’m able to recognise influences, design concepts and decisions that enrich the storytelling of a project. My design knowledge allows me to identify key points of differentiation, and shape design narratives to strategically position our clients in the market.

I’m familiar with the complexity of design — the constraints and opportunities of a design brief, the often-meandering design process, and the skill and collaboration required to achieve a well-resolved outcome. On a practical level, I can confidently derive meaning from photography, plans, and concept presentations and can traverse visual, verbal and written communication modes with ease.

Strong collaborative relationships are critical to the success of a design project, and while writing is a more introspective endeavour, I strongly believe that the best outcomes are born from a deep and empathic engagement with the subject. I hope these insights and attitudes yield thoughtful written reflections of the projects I encounter, echoing the thought and rigour of their creators.

“Strong collaborative relationships are critical to the success of a design project, and while writing is a more introspective endeavour, I strongly believe that the best outcomes are born from a deep and empathic engagement with the subject.” – Hayley Curnow

Q: How can written content add value for clients?

A: Written content allows clients to ‘speak’ coherently and succinctly to their audience about their ethos, personality, design approach and objectives. While project photography engages viewers, written content unearths the thinking behind the work — a critical element in attracting like-minded clients and talent, gaining industry recognition, and securing insightful media coverage that delves beyond the aesthetic.

Consistent messaging and tone of voice are critical components in maintaining a strong brand identity for clients. Using these tools, we strive to produce copy that resonates with our clients’ target audiences and supports their business objectives — from breaking into new markets, to bolstering their presence as industry leaders. Ultimately, compelling copy has the capacity to support clients in reaching new heights, particularly when developed in concert with a greater brand strategy.

“While project photography engages viewers, written content unearths the thinking behind the work — a critical element in attracting like-minded clients and talent, gaining industry recognition, and securing insightful media coverage that delves beyond the aesthetic.” – Hayley Curnow

Q: What book are you currently reading?

A: I have a stack of birth and parenting books I’m hoping to read before my baby boy arrives in May! I’m currently reading ‘Life After Birth’ by Jessica Prescott and Vaughne Geary — a guide to prepare, support and nourish mums and mums-to-be. Vaughne is a wonderful, Melbourne-based naturopath and doula who I’ve consulted with for the past year, so reading her book is like listening to the advice of a dear friend.

‘Life After Birth’ by Jessica Prescott & Vaughne Geary.
Photography courtesy of Vaughne Geary.

Naturopath and Doula, Vaughne Geary.
Photograph courtesy of Vaughne Geary.