Your branding comprises many things. The obvious ones are graphic: your logo, your business name/tagline in signage and collateral, and your design scheme. These are the elements people typically associate with branding. When you think of your favorite brands, these are the images that pop into your mind.
There’s a more subtle but equally important side to branding: the copy. A lot of information about your practice is conveyed at this level. Your newspaper ads might use quirky, attention-grabbing language, or they might state information simply and concisely. Your website could be snarky or straightforward. Even whether you abbreviate such words as “Northeast” and “Street” in your practice’s address affects the perception of your brand.
This is where Audigy’s copy team comes in. Whether writing or proofing, we ensure your copy is on message, on brand, and in style.
Copywriting and Proofing: A Deep Dive
So what do we copy people actually do? Let’s get into some specifics.
We’re experienced in writing across the marketing spectrum, from radio scripts to four-page newspaper inserts to articles about the latest in hearing care tech. We generate all the copy for your marketing efforts (unless you’ve provided the copy yourself, of course).
As naturally curious folks, we are always researching and learning. What questions are people asking about hearing loss and hearing care on search engines? What articles have been published recently about immunotherapy? Does coffee hurt your hearing? (I hope not…)
Copywriting may sound straightforward, but when the copywriter receives a project, they have to consider several variables. Let’s use the example of writing an article about the link between coffee and hearing loss. Here are just some of those variables:
- The audience. Will this be read by physicians? Fellow hearing care practitioners? Patients? Patients’ friends and family? This one variable heavily affects the approach taken. In all cases it needs to be succinct and clear, but patients respond to a different tone than does a physician; a fellow practitioner wants certain details that aren’t relevant to patients’ friends and family.
- The medium. Will this be in the form of a white paper? A flyer given out by front office staff? A blog? A blog can be sprinkled with bulleted lists, whereas a white paper requires a more regimented flow and tone. A flyer is constrained to (usually) one side of an 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper; a white paper can be as long as is necessary.
- The desired outcome. Is this for branding the practice among its patients as an overall health resource? Or is it physician outreach to build a referral network? Perhaps it’s an e-newsletter meant to drive traffic to a “Contact Us” page? Each of these requires a different touch and, if necessary, call to action. A discount offer doesn’t belong in a physician outreach effort, but asking the physician to call your practice to set up a lunch and learn with the physician and his staff might.
- The article itself. Let’s assume I was given a research article around which to base my piece on coffee and hearing loss. Do I write a straightforward, simple piece about the research article? Do I tie it to other health issues, such as dementia or depression, bringing in extra research on the topic? Or do I pepper my piece with general data (more research) on hearing loss in the U.S., so it’s about the prevalence and effects of hearing loss in general, with the coffee angle as an attention grabber?
As you can see, mounds of prep work are involved before the typing even starts. And we bring that experience and research to bear on all your materials. When that first draft is finished — whether it’s about hearing loss, immunotherapy, or deviated septa — we have experienced practitioners review our work when necessary to ensure it’s technically accurate.
We’re the fussbudgets in the marketing department. Most days our fellow marketers can expect to overhear questions such as, “Is ‘still’ in this context an adverb or more specifically a conjunctive adverb?“ or “The subjunctive seems too formal here, doesn’t it?” Don’t ask us about the Oxford comma unless you have time to kill.
When proofreading your marketing, we keep our eyes out for many things, including:
- Do the subject and verb agree? Is it clear to whom a given pronoun refers? Are the parts of a given sentence put together correctly (also called “syntax”)?
Example of subject-verb agreement: “The use of subcutaneous and sublingual therapies were higher this month” magically becomes “The use of subcutaneous and sublingual therapies was higher this month.”
- Correct capitalization, spelling, and punctuation.
Example: “Come see our Doctors of Audiology and take a technology test drive risk free!” magically becomes “Come see our doctors of audiology and take a technology test-drive risk-free!”
- Narrative flow. Does the story being told flow in a way that keeps momentum and attention?
- Sentence brevity. Can a sentence be streamlined without losing important information?
Example: “Regarding recovery of hearing, the study found it was impaired after a temporary threshold shift if the subject had a dose of caffeine every day” magically becomes “A daily caffeine dose was found to impair the recovery of hearing after a temporary threshold shift.”
- Editorial style. The areas of the language that don’t have established rules. Our house style guide is the Associated Press Stylebook, with our own slight modifications (really — don’t ask about the Oxford comma). Keeping a standard style allows our team to create consistency across your marketing.
Example: “1234 Northeast Audiology Parkway, Suite 789, Hearingtown, Pennsylvania 45678” magically becomes “1234 NE Audiology Pkwy, Ste 789, Hearingtown, PA 45678.”
- Correct information. Does the piece contain the correct location(s) and web address, provider names and credentials, and event details?
- Correct branding and messaging. Are the correct logos in place, and is the voice on brand for your practice?
- Graphic elements. If graphic design is involved, we check the layout: Is it too crowded? Does the design work well with the message in the copy? Has anything (for example, the logo) accidentally been cut off or covered by something else in the design? Are the dimensions correct? Why is there a picture of Tony Bennett edited into this photo of a family picnic?
Any project with copy comes across our desks to proofread. Even jobs without copy often come across our desks so we can serve as an extra set of eyes looking over the design before it leaves the Creative Department.
Now that you have a better understanding of what we do, let’s take a bird’s-eye view of what happens to a given marketing piece, so you can see how and when we do it.
Projects Without Graphic Design
Projects such as press releases and blog posts don’t need a graphic designer involved, so the process is streamlined:
- The copywriter writes the content (if necessary).
- The proofreader proofs it.
- The marketing coordinator or manager reviews it, then sends it to you for your thoughts.
- If needed, the coordinator/manager communicates your edits to the copywriter, who adjusts the copy as necessary.
- Steps 3 and 4 are repeated as needed.
Note that the proofreader only proofs the first draft of the copywriting project.
Projects With Graphic Design
Anything with graphics — even white papers and envelopes — goes through this process.
- The copywriter writes the content (if necessary).
- The designer creates the first draft.
- The proofreader proofs the piece.
- The marketing coordinator or manager reviews it and asks the designer to make any necessary edits; this step is repeated until the coordinator/manager is pleased with the piece and determines it’s ready for your eyes.
- The coordinator/manager sends the piece to you for review, and any edits you request are conveyed to the designer; this step is repeated until you are pleased with the piece.
- You approve the piece.
- The proofreader proofs the piece a second time.
- The designer generates a print-ready or web version.
Note that the proofreader only proofs the first draft and the final, approved draft.
The Benefit to You
Our goal is simple: to help you meet your goals. In everything we do for you, we put your practice — your experience, your services, and your approach to care — in the spotlight. Your brand is what sets you apart. It’s what puts you top of mind in your community. Other brands focus on a product; we focus on how your patients will benefit from a relationship with you.