When my fantastic friend and one of the best Project Managers (now business owner) I've ever worked with, Claire Mance, asked me to help turn a clinical studies paper into some PR for her client at Talk Creative, I gulped and said yes. Claire and I have worked on some tricky scientific/technical jobs before, such as AlphaImpactRx, and turning difficult scientific language into clear content had been a really rewarding challenge. 'Challenge' being a key word.
A small New Zealand software company with a focus on clinical trials software had grown rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to their involvement in a very complex clinical trial to study effective treatments for COVID. They wanted a long-form piece, a blog post and a press release that explained why the clinical trial(s) had been so groundbreaking. In language that could be understood by everyone.
After battling my way through the paper published about the trial, I went straight to the source, chatting to two Kiwi researchers and doctors who had set up the trial. Their interviews revealed fantastic human insights into why this was so important, and it boiled down to: people who signed up to their trial were more likely to receive an effective treatment than if they didn't. That mean real lives saved. I had my human angle.
But I also needed to understand what Spiral's platform did, why it was unprecedented, how the trial worked, and interpret that – and make it newsworthy. There were a number of ways to talk about it, and this is reflected in the three pieces that were about the same study, but placed emphasis on different angles. I will post all below, but here is the long piece on Medium:
COVID-19, the world's most complex clinical trial, and the small New Zealand company who made it possible.
As an interior design and technology nerd, it's almost painful working at Fisher & Paykel appliances amongst all these beautiful refrigerators, washing machines and ranges. I want all of them!
Since I began a contract with F&P – one of New Zealand's most recognisable brands – I've learned so much not just about this brand and its products but also about the process of building such a massive website with e-commerce and hundreds of products on it.
From writing brand copy to product descriptions, I'm loving the experience, and have really enjoyed learning more about agile working too. Let's be honest, I'd rather be in that kind of a scrum than in this one...
My contact at Fisher & Paykel may be ending in Feb/March, so hit me about my availability if you have a cool project coming up! lil@lilcameronwrites
iAnd you can't beat a freshly sliced lamb sandwich eaten with a backdrop of Rangitoto.
That's right, I've officially arrived back in Auckland, New Zealand after a two year stint in crazy old New York. Since I've been back I've been working in-house with Westpac, helping them with some major web projects. (Check out their new Everyday Money section.)
I'm keen to get stuck in with Kiwi clients and can work remotely or on site, so hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to the sponsorship of Westpac, I got to ask three kick-ass Kiwi women who're living and working in New York about their experiences. Is it what people think it is? What's it like being a woman in your field in New York? What do you love here, what's been... well, crap about it?
Part one - with musician Sarah Gibson from the band Streets of Laredo – is up now. on Westpac's REDNews hub.
Part two – with Creative Director Beth O'Brien from R/GA.
Part three – with Director Sally Tran from Ghost Robot.
Some of the industries I've worked in this year:
I know this is a relatively boring post, so here are some delightfully naughty pandas to make up for it.
I'm writing a couple of posts for Westpac New Zealand's REDNews – a digital hub of great content – and the first one's about chucking out the idea of "networking" and focusing on building real connections with other professionals.
Read it here: www.westpac.co.nz/rednews/women/networking-with-heart-building-real-connections/
Last year I spent a few months working with Westpac's marketing and product teams to revamp their Home Loans section. We had fancy new templates designed by Infinity to play with, so this was our chance to make our copy just as modern and accessible. So we reviewed, restructured, chopped out about 40% of the existing content and developed a brand new Property Investment hub.
It was great! At times a little mind boggling! But mostly fun! This kind of restructuring job is like a great logic puzzle to me, and it really brushed up my skills in content mapping, sitemapping and using Balsamiq for wireframing. And of course, simplifying a whole lot of words down into a clear, easy-to-read user journey.
And we just won People's Choice for Best Plain English Communication! Yahoo!
"Members of the public also submitted entries for two categories. The People’s Choice awards recognise the best and worst in government and corporate communications. Westpac won the Best Communication award for its web content about the often-complex topic of home loans. Of this entry the judges said, ‘This is a well-constructed website that explains a complex range of options and considerations in clear, straightforward language. Taking out a home loan is an important decision, made even more so by the current housing affordability crisis."
... from here...
... to here!
That's right, I'm in New York, baby! From August 2015 I'll be working from the Brooklyn office (my apartment) – and I'm still available for work. Nothing's changed, except my location. New Zealand clients will still be able to bill through Big On Writing, in NZD.
It's times like these I'm really thankful to have been born into a global village where working remotely is possible, and I can't wait to keep doing good work with great clients both in New Zealand and around the world. Concrete jungle where dreams are made of, huh.
Watch this space.
Congrats to Sue Worthington, my mentor, colleague and pseudo mum, who – together with Pete Morris – has put together a lovely website to relaunch Big On Writing. We've all been running or working for Big On Writing for years in some form or another (Indiego, Petticoat Junction), but with our relaunch we're throwing all our energy into the brand.
Check out the website yourself at www.bigonwriting.co.nz