Details are important.
They don’t just prove to your prospect that you care enough to get the little things right. (Because if a hospital doesn’t bother to use the right they’re/their, how can you be sure they’re bothering to check they haven’t left any gauze next to your kidneys?)
But when it comes to sectors such as healthcare, an error in the copy can have a dramatic impact on the reader. So it’s vital to have an exceptional writer on the job who can work closely with the experts to make sure the content is perfect.
That was the approach I took with two healthcare clients: King Edward VII’s hospital and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Writing manuals for MRI machines
When I started working with the MHRA, all I knew about MRI machines was that they used magnets to create an image of the body, and that they were bloody noisy.
That all changed when the MHRA asked me to help write a safety manual for the people operating MRI machines.
The MHRA worked with a number of experts, and it was these people who provided the first wave of information. It was up to me to arrange this information into a format that anyone* could understand.
*Because, yes, the machines would only be used by qualified operators, but the principle of clear copy is vital; there needs to be no room for misinterpretation, and so the writer can’t rely on an operator knowing a particular form of jargon or assumed knowledge.
As I rewrote the copy, I identified gaps, areas that lacked clarity, as well as areas where diagrams would be useful to convey the point or to properly identify the right controls to be using at a particular time.
The diagrams were passed on to a designer, while the gaps and clarity queries went back to experts. I spoke to them regularly, discussing anything from fine details to interrogating them on inconsistencies.
The manual is still in use today (although it has, of course, been updated since then), and I’m pretty chuffed to think that I’ve contributed to patient safety in hospitals across the UK.
But while I was working with known expertise for the MHRA, I created something altogether different for King Edward VII’s hospital: an original research piece that garnered national coverage.
Exclusive research-led content
Getting a share of medical search enquiries has always been a challenge but it’s one that was exacerbated by Google’s Medic update, which weighted results for health agencies such as the NHS (and quite rightly so). Nevertheless, that meant that we had to work that much harder to help King Edward VII’s hospital to rank well in the search results.
A key part of SEO tactics are a strong backlink strategy, so we embarked on a plan to garner coverage with unique content: a men’s health survey in time for Movember.
The survey itself was conducted by a third party, who gave me the raw data to do something with.
We’re talking miles of Excel spreadsheets.
Luckily I worked in insurance in a previous life, so enormous and complex spreadsheets don’t phase me. I trawled through the data, identifying trends, asking the survey company to send through further data regarding correlations, and piecing together a narrative that I could write about.
That narrative was that there was more awareness around men’s health issues, but men that weren’t doing enough to take care of themselves.
Or, more pithily, ‘Movember: awareness is up, but more men need to act’.
I wrote a piece that pulled out key data that revealed what no-else had written about at the time, including some surprising facts that challenged commonly-held assumptions.
The article was a huge success, garnering national coverage for the hospital, and contributing, along with the rest of the content, to a 138% increase in web traffic.
Do you need to create trustworthy content that protects both your brand and your customers? Get in touch and we’ll make sure your content is clear, accurate, and trustworthy. Just like you.