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Brand Development: Women's Healthcare Associates

Portfolio Blog

These posts present a snapshot of some of the copywriting and branding work I've done over the past five years.

I like to think I maintain varied interests, and I hope one day my portfolio reflects a few more of them. That said, even when industries and audiences are outside my wheelhouse I love researching and learning to speak to them. Each of these projects has developed me as a writer and marketer.

Brand Development: Women's Healthcare Associates

David Michael McFarlane

"You're kind of an honorary girl," my client told me near the end of our 34-month professional relationship, a comment (compliment) I cherish.

At my first agency, I was assigned a handful of accounts to manage. One of them was Women's Healthcare Associates, an OB/GYN conglomerate in the Portland, Oregon area. I retained the account even after moving to New York and transitioning to contract work. I think my president considered it my baby.

STORY

Women's Healthcare Associates, or WHALLC, was a Portland institution, which is also to say: behind-the-times. We launched their Facebook page and then spent months wrangling with their legal department for permission to post more than just Mayo Clinic links. They finally caved, and I slowly transformed the sterile, clinical brand voice into a warm (if occasionally irreverent) and empowering tone, celebrating womanhood, health, and, most of all, babies. We increased our fan base by 600% in the fifth month with a "Cute-As-a-Button Photo Contest," incentivizing local moms to enter and vote with a Mother's Day spa package prize. The sheer cheese. But: It worked, and the community stuck, suddenly vibrant and excited to respond to all of our posts about cloth diaper brands, new midwives, and health advice.

BASICS:

  • Overhauled their blog to optimize graphics and copy for Pinterest, which they launched to increase web traffic.
  • Grew the fan base from 0 to 7,800.
  • Developed and ran contests for local moms, grandmothers, and healthy Portland women.
  • Wrote dozens of blog posts relating to women's health, including what the client referred to as a "birth control manifesto."
  • Worked around the absence of a style guide or persona development.

HANDIWORK: