Bird’s eye view


Throughout my years working in healthcare communications, I have written a lot of blogs in my head. I have thought a lot about setting a blog up on our website. But we all know that actions speak louder than thoughts, so at last some action.

One of my passions is that healthcare copywriters should be trained. There’s so much to learn about writing well for healthcare audiences.

We’ve been doing a lot of training on ‘tone of voice’ recently. It’s a fascinating business. Most healthcare brands suit what I call the ‘John Lewis tone of voice’. Simple, plain and clear. In reality, most healthcare communications are about 80% ‘John Lewis’. For many, tone of voice requirements stop here. But that’s OK. If all PILs had the John Lewis tone of voice, that would be a marvellous thing.

But the other 20% is what can really differentiate a brand. For me, it’s helpful to think about who you can hear explaining the information in your head. Is it a comforting mum; an old-fashioned, no-nonsense nurse; a bloke-to-bloke pub chat, or maybe the voice of a well informed friend?

When I write I always like to ‘hear’ the ‘brand voice’ in my head.

But tone of voice is a delicate flower. It’s easily crushed in the approval machine. If it’s important to you, protect it wisely.