Posts Tagged ‘healthcare communications’

Snakey, wingy medical thing

Snakey, wingy medical thing

OK, I’m stumped. What makes a post popular, i.e., get hits? Is it the topic? The right mix of key phrases? Something completely accidental?

WordPress has some nice metrics hiding behind the curtains, but they don’t tell you a visitor’s intent.  Sometimes they don’t have to. For example, my film review of a certain little movie about a nice guy who falls in love with a lifelike s*x d*ll is still getting hits after 5 months…I won’t say for the wrong reasons, but not the ones I intended!

Or this next example: my post on healthcare communications, my most lucrative professional niche. This post from August 4 ’08, reprinted below, has been on fire lately.  Someone, or several someones is even using the illustration “caduceus”…the snakey, wingy medical thing, as a search term.

So, to my anonymous healthcare fans I would like to say, first, thank you for teaching me the name of the snakey, wingy medical thing.

Second, why don’t you cut  the secret admirer bit,  pull the trigger and actually hire me for a healthcare communications gig!!

Anyway, here’s the post in all its reprinted glory. Have a great weekend!

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…I traveled to over 100 hospitals in over 30 states. I interviewed healthcare personnel including executive level, nurse management, environmental, purchasing, floor staff, maintenance, and so on. The result was several dozen testimonial videos built around the timeless question, “Would you recommend this product?” Pretty standard fare, but which offered the opportunity to learn about issues and circumstances that affected their daily lives, and their buying habits…issues such as rising acuity, tightening reimbursement, patient and caregiver safety and so on.

LivelyExchange Health Care Communications Page

Everyone develops a niche, whether you intend to or not. For me, it’s health care communications.  Medical manufacturing, hospitals, nursing homes, home health, pharmaceuticals, insurance… I’ve had a long, complicated but fruitful relationship with healthcare as a copywriter, video producer, director…and even, briefly, a convention exhibits manager.

To me, a niche is a nice base of business; familiar but, hopefully, never stale. Like, when I’m stressed or under the gun or I have four projects going on and I couldn’t possibly handle another, but…oh, it’s healthcare? I can handle that.  I’ve done the research.  I know the players, the audience, the politics and so on.

Of course, there’s the potential of getting lazy or complacent. Or thinking that I know more than the client, just because I have been doing this since Mr. MBA was in junior high.

So, it remains a challenge… a comfortable challenge, if that makes any sense. Like I said, it’s complicated.  So, that’s my useless advice….develop a specialty. Be the best at something, if possible, or at least strive for it.

By the way, is healthcare one word or two? I’m trying to look authoritative, here!

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Out of a sense of adventure…and economic necessity…you never say no to a copywriting project. This can lead you off in some interesting new directions. And you never know when a weird little one-off project will come back to be the basis of “my deep understanding of the industrial powder-coating process” on some future bid.

First Time for Everything

For every subject matter a copywriter approaches, there’s a first gig, first assignment, first Google search for every topic. I’ve said it repeatedly; it’s one of my favorite parts of the business. Convincing the client you can actually do the work is another story.

Copywriting with Curb Appeal

As they say, in real estate you’re not selling bricks and lumber…you’re selling the dream. Others would say that pumping all the romance (along with the notion that credit is a God-given right) helped bring us to the mess we are in today.  At any rate, as the stakes get ever higher, the need for effective copywriting in the real estate world increases.

Copywriting for Graphic Arts

If you’re trying to sell substrates, labeling, packaging, ink, splicing or million dollar industrial printing presses (and who isn’t these days?) then listen up. If you want your product to burst with value, and be something more than a boring commodity…get some copywriting help!

Health Care Communications

Healthcare is my bread and butter. It is also my plate, my knife and my laminate countertop.  For a time it was also my toaster, but we’re in a recession, you know? It’s an industry filled with cutthroat competition, regulations and lawsuits out the butt (I know, cut the legal-ese!)  Anyway, it’s not for everybody but, if you had to pick a copywriting specialty that will be around until the last Boomer has dropped dead, this is the one!

Copywriting for the Religious Client

It can be really intimidating to walk into a creative meeting and feel the passion and commitment of the religious client. Let’s face it, nobody ever laid down their life for the next generation of absorbent paper towels. So you have to calm down and see that, like any other “business,” there’s a message, a medium, a market and an audience. Just make sure you don’t “kill” your competition, or steal from him or covet his wife. They have rules about that.

Guns & Ammo

Speaking of Second Amendment rights they will have to pry from your cold, dead fingers…suppose you’re a snot-nosed college puke who grew up in the city and never held a gun in your life. Suddenly you get the opportunity to write a series of brochures, editorials, press releases, print ads, catalogs, web sites and trade show materials…are you ready to pull the trigger?

A Mile Wide, An Inch Deep

And that is what it boils down to. If you want to work, if you want to add value, you have to posess a diverse knowledge base. And, for the most part, wider is better than deeper. If you disagree…start your own blog!

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Heads up, word-jockeys…it’s the weekly wrap!

For too many websites, their design is stunning. Their programming is seamless. And the writing…is an afterthought. If anyone has put any effort into the copy, it is in the area of Optimization. But shouldn’t the copy speak to the members of the audience who aren’t search engines? Read the familiar writer’s lament, Copywriting for the Web.

Niche Week concluded with a look at one of my odder concentrations…the world of printing and packaging known as Graphic Arts. It’s a good example of maturing in the writing game…the ability to motivate yourself to do quality work on a topic that doesn’t particularly rock your world.  Breathe deep the inky smell of Copywriting for Graphic Arts… but don’t smudge it!

Speaking of copywriting niches, here’s the one I don’t joke about…health care. This is how my bread gets buttered. It’s light, creamy, and full of GOOD cholesterol. Pass me the jelly, and check out HealthCare Communications.

I’ve said it before: copywriting is a business where the only thanks you can expect is to be paid…and you have to wait six weeks for that. Once in a while, however, a client will surprise you. And, it figures, he used to be a copywriter! So, check out this bit of self-indulgent self-indulgence, Unexpected Praise.

Clients, when you telephone your copywriter at 10am, you should know he is still in his pajamas. If that makes you think less of him, then forget that I said that. Consider the modern convenience of the long-distance professional relationship in Writers Without Borders.

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