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5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Freelance Medical Copywriter

5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Freelance Medical Copywriter

  • Reading time:5 mins read

Tapping into the specialised expertise of a freelance medical copywriter can add value to your pharmaceutical or medical device marketing campaign. 

An expert medical copywriter can create clear, concise, and engaging copy, and can help you to find the right words to navigate the complexity of regulatory and compliance requirements to create marketing materials that inform, educate, and persuade.

Medical copywriters can also provide a fresh perspective on existing messaging and contribute ideas and insights for creative campaigns that resonate with your audience.

As with all partnerships, there are several ways to ensure your collaboration with a freelance medical copywriter is a success.

1. Establish a single-minded proposition for your campaign

A single-minded proposition (SMP) is the one compelling reason that a customer would want to use your service or buy your product over others. It is also known as the ‘point of difference’ or sometimes ‘unique sales proposition’.

The SMP can be a clear, concise statement or phrase but should never be longer than a sentence. Your medical copywriter will use the SMP as a hook to ensure all messaging across your campaign is focused and aligned. The SMP is arguably the most important statement in the creative brief.

Some great examples of single-minded propositions:

  • Excedrin: the headache expert, for the toughest headache
  • AVIS: We’re number 2 so we try harder
  • NIKE: just do it
  • 2. Provide a clear and detailed brief

    The brief is the cornerstone of any successful medical copywriting project. It should include all the information a freelance writer might need to complete the project. It is crucial to be specific and to avoid waffle and ambiguity, which could send your copywriter down the wrong creative track.

    A good brief should include:

    • Information about the about the product, service, or treatment that is being promoted
    • The target audience
    • Any market insights that are relevant to the campaign
    • Any key messages you wish to convey
    • The desired tone and style
    • Objectives
    • Deliverables
    • Campaign timeline
    • A call to action
    • And, most importantly, the SMP

    The better the brief, the better the outcomes are likely to be (based on ~20 years of experience!).

    It is also best to provide a written brief even if you have briefed your copywriter verbally. This gives your writer something tangible to refer to if questions arise as they work through the project. You can download this helpful brief template ready for your next campaign brief!

    3. Provide timely, specific feedback

    When your medical copywriter delivers a project, it is important that you provide timely feedback while the project is front of mind.

    A busy medical copywriter may be working across multiple projects in several therapeutic areas. It can be time consuming (and costly for the client!) if the writer has to re-acquaint themselves with the project each time feedback is given because considerable time has lapsed since the project was submitted.

    Be specific with feedback and explain the ‘why’ behind the change requests, i.e., “medical affairs would prefer we don’t say this because…”. Often, the context behind a change request can ignite new ideas as to what changes can be made to get the copy successfully through review. Without the ‘why’, great messaging could simply be lost when all that was required was a tweak to the wording here or there.

    4. Ensure you set realistic timelines

    Good medical copywriting is both an art and a science.

    Finding exactly the right words to convey the right message to the right audience while ensuring any claims are adequately supported by the evidence and meet both medical affairs and regulatory approval takes more time than you’d think!

    Bring your medical copywriter into the project fold early on and set realistic timelines. This will give your writer time to experiment with ideas and different ways of approaching the campaign that maybe you hadn’t even thought of.

    5. Establish a solid working relationship with your writer

    Freelance medical copywriters can add value to your marketing campaigns, but to do so, they should be considered part of the team at an early stage. Even before you sit down to write your campaign brief, consider involving your copywriter at the planning stage.

    An experienced copywriter will have a little black book of great ideas borne of a legacy of working across hundreds of campaigns for a multitude of different pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Your medical copywriter can give you a different perspective or suggest additional ideas to enhance your campaign or find different avenues to reach your target audience.

    Similarly, involve your healthcare copywriter in the internal review process. Sometimes a quick call between medical affairs or regulatory and your freelance writer can easily resolve a messaging stumbling block. Developing a long-term relationship with your freelance medical writer can also be beneficial as they become familiar with the brand, messaging, preferences, and company processes, enabling them to develop materials more efficiently.

    At Elion Medical Communications, medical copywriting is one of our passions! We provide freelance medical copywriting services to other medical communications agencies and directly to pharmaceutical or medical device companies. With over 20 years of experience writing for leading medical device and pharmaceutical drug brands, we like to think we know a thing or two about the art and science of healthcare copywriting!

    Emma Donadieu