About me

I’m Joe and I head up CIVIL content, offering copywriting and content development support, from smaller, one-off jobs to bigger projects. It’s one of the services delivered through Civil Disobedience, a live arts production company that my partner Barry Church-Woods and I run jointly. I’m an experienced marketer and take on copywriting/content contracts for all sorts of companies — not just artists and arts organisations.

How I work

I create almost all Civil Disobedience marketing content in-house, writing copy and designing most items. I also take on external commissions and projects on a freelance/contractor basis when we have capacity. I’m happy to work on my own, drafting any type of text or creating graphics, guides and other visual materials, but I’m equally comfortable working with professional designers and client stakeholders to craft bespoke print and digital collateral. Managing my own time completely means I can usually turn content around quickly, at very competitive rates.

Qualifications and experience 

Before joining Barry as full-time co-director of Civil Disobedience in January 2017, I worked in journalism, marketing, PR, and digital content for over 15 years. I completed my PgDip in journalism in June 2001 and I’ve spent my whole career since writing copy and developing content.

Over the years, I’ve worked across print and online content for:

  • national and international brands (incl. Sainsbury’s Bank, JacTravel, Sage, enginei)
  • press/media outlets, including Aftonbladet (one of Sweden’s largest daily newspapers)
  • industry bodies (incl. Sea Fish Industry Authority, Seafood Scotland)
  • membership organisations (incl. Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce)
  • charities (incl. Stonewall Scotland) and trade press (incl. Third Force News)
  • live arts companies and events (incl. Siege Perilous, Big Comedy Gala)

Most recently, I took on a part-time contract with global travel brand JacTravel (part of WebBeds) (May 2018-February 2019) alongside my Civil Disobedience obligations, creating a range of marketing content weekly to support JacTravel’s international Sales Team (primarily), including e-shots, ads and leaflets in multiple languages.

Immediately before joining the Civil Disobedience team full time, I spent almost two years as Campaign Manager with Yard, an award-winning digital agency in Edinburgh, where I was responsible for scheduling, commissioning and creating content for key clients.

I spent a lot of time in that role researching, planning, writing, editing, proofing, and testing various types of online content and copy for companies like Sainsbury’s Bank, Executive Shaving, Sage, ROX The Jeweller, and Kettler.

Live arts marketing and producing

In January 2017, I left Yard to run Civil Disobedience with Barry. As producers, our job is to help artists market their work and bring it to stages and festivals around the world, so knowing how to write good copy and develop engaging content is still very much at the heart of what I do.

Bilingual background  

Originally from Sweden, I grew up with a Swedish mum and a Kiwi dad. I was raised bilingual, mostly in Alingsås, Sweden, but with a few childhood years spent in Christchurch, New Zealand. I’m fluent in both English and Swedish.

I moved to London to work as an au pair in 1995, when I was 18. With the exception of a six-month period in 1996/97, when I studied English language and British/American culture at the University of Gothenburg, I’ve lived in the UK ever since.

Having completed my BA Hons in sociology and psychology at the University of Westminster, I headed up to Edinburgh in September 2000 to start my journalism degree. I fell hard and fast for Scotland’s stunning capital and decided to make it my home. Barry and I live in the Easter Road/Leith area of the city centre, which we love, with our rescue greyhound Odin (pictured below to the right, with his best friend Freya, who we sadly had to take for her big sleep in September 2019).

If you have questions or want to discuss any projects, big or small, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


odin & freya

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