What the F*@k is Values-Forward Copy?

I say “values-forward copy” a lot.

And unsurprisingly, I’ve been fielding questions like: how can words be “socially conscious?” Can any company employ values-forward copy? And my personal favorite: is this just a kind of green-washing for green-washing (answer: no).

So, below I present to you my working definition of what values-forward copy IS and most definitely ISN’T.

Before we jump in, I want to address that values-forward copy isn’t just about words (because writing never is). It is about the intention behind the words and more broadly, a business’ approach to how they communicate with their stakeholders.

Afterall, copy is all about communication.

Now, I can’t take credit for all of these ideas. Many of these thoughts have been planted and harvested from thinkers like Tad Hargraves, Lynne Twist, and Seth Godin. Many others have been born from my personal experience.

I recommend treating this list as a mental checklist to make sure your copy is aligned with the values inherent to your business. And if you happen to find yourself swimming in copy content that feels off-brand or far from values-forward, take a minute to review these fundamentals and see if any clarity comes.

Socially conscious copy

Questions? Share your thoughts below. 

Amy Lipner