Walking the Line

The majority of the copywriting assignments I have been tasked with lately have been for medical practices, specifically for a urology center in Arizona and a pain management center in Illinois. A sizable portion of the subject matter deals with what are sensitive issues to the patients who experience them. Not only is it important for me to include unbiased information on conditions and available treatment options, but I need to speak in a language that patients can relate to and understand. An additional layer to the challenge is that the content must be search engine optimized for key terms that are highly competitive in the world of Internet marketing.

Medical copywriting is an area of writing that I once didn’t appreciate, but have come to enjoy and respect. Prior to the work that I do now, I strongly disliked promotional materials – TV commercials, magazine ads, and direct mail pieces – that overtly “sold” pharmaceuticals and medical care. Call me crazy, but it bothers me when ads sell drugs like candy! (Granted this is vintage, but see exhibit A below.)

Although some direct-to-consumer medical advertising still rubs me the wrong way, I’ve found peace in the work that I do by walking the line between educating medical consumers and speaking directly to their concerns. Statements, headers, and tag lines all need to be carefully crafted and strike a balance between present and showcase. Walking a fine line in medical writing is one challenge among many that we welcome here at DDA every day.

“Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew. They’re what make the instrument stretch – what make you go beyond the norm.” ~ Cicely Tyson