Heavily Regulated Industries (HRIs) are industries where there are industry-specific regulations on your marketing.
All industries have some general regulations and rules that pertain to their marketing. You can’t lie in your marketing or promise something that’s blatantly false. You can’t say things like “guarantee” if you’re not offering an actual warranty or some kind. And in every industry, there may be a handful of industry-specific things that govern your marketing efforts.
But in HRIs, the rules are often very complicated, detailed, and frequently enforced. This can impact your overall marketing strategy for HRIs, but it’s a massive problem when it comes to your writing. For some HRIs, using the wrong word choice can bring you out of legal compliance and into trouble with the government. And since HRIs may have slight variations on the rules in different jurisdictions, a writer who works with HRIs may need to adjust their copy to meet the requirements of each state, country, or locality where the marketing material will be used.
Despite the complications, all marketing material has the same goal: to drive conversions, drum up interest, and move the sales conversation forward. A writer for HRIs needs to be able to be persuasive even with one hand tied behind their back, because the government rules tie your hands!
Heavily regulated industries may be defined differently by different writers, but I define them as:
This includes legal services (lawyers, law firms) and all related industries, like bail bonds, legal aid, etc.
This may include doctors, hospitals, medical service providers, and other healthcare agencies.
This includes financial advisors, banks, lenders, financial education, brokers, fintech, and associated businesses.
This includes dentists, dental service agencies, dental labs, and other dentistry-related businesses.
This includes insurance, insurtech, and companies related to insurance like underwriters.
This includes any pharmaceuticals, as well as medical devices, OTC medications, and other medical consumables.
Vice includes alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and anything classified as part of the "adult" industry.
Alternative medicine may include chiropractic care, acupuncture, herbalism, and many other modalities.
What are you looking for?
If your business is in a heavily regulated industry (HRI), you’ll need a writer who’s capable of handling the unique needs of your industry. You’ll want to look for the following traits from your writer:
You need a writer with experience. You could request a writer with experience in your niche, industry, and locality, but if you’re in a highly specialized area, that can be hard to find. The standard rule is 1:2 or 1:4; if a writer has 1 year of experience in your niche, industry, and locality, that is roughly equivalent to two years of experience with a specialty in HRIs (paired with some sort of legal research background) or four years of experience with a specialty in HRIs (without a legal research background).
Many copywriters and content writers have education in business, marketing, or mass communications. While these are all very useful, you also want to ask your writer about a background in your specific industry (legal, finance, healthcare, insurance, etc.), or about background as an attorney or paralegal. Background as an attorney or trained paralegal will usually include some education in legal research, which can help them understand the legal requirements of your industry and locality.
In many cases, you’ll want your copywriter or content writer to have some background with technical writing or with writing in areas that have more complexity, like your own industry or high tech. HRIs tend to be extremely complex industries, and putting a persuasive message into a rigidly regulated structure can be a challenge that requires a certain type of logical mindset.
Outstanding Writing Ability
You need a native English speaker who has lived for an extended period of time in your country. Because HRIs often restrict the more obvious, overt ways of writing copy, HRI writers may resort to more colloquial terminology that’s less likely to be covered by the laws. Someone who’s intimately familiar with the dialects of your target audience will be better able to write in a way that gets your point across, even with all the legal limitations.
I've Got You Covered
Need someone with that golden keyboard who can keep the feds off your case? Looking for the miracle worker who can sell anything with one hand tied behind her back? I’ve got you covered!
Planes Dental Arts
This was one of many pieces written for this dental practice. This piece was written about Juvederm.
- Paralegal Training from Amarillo College in Amarillo, TX
- Worked as a Paralegal in corporate litigation, school law, personal injury, insurance, and criminal justice
- Eight years’ experience writing for the legal services industry
- Experience and previous licensure as a life/health insurance agent (Washington state)
- More than seven years’ experience writing for insurance and financial services industries in the United States, Canada, the UK, and Australia
- More than five years’ experience writing for insurtech and fintech companies
- Extensive experience with government regulations, including four years as a human resources professional in the United States Air Force, 2 years working as an administrative civilian for the Department of Homeland Security, and an additional 2 years working as a HR/admin contractor for various government agencies including FEMA and state/local governments
- More than 6 years’ professional experience working with private businesses that handle extensive government business, including government contracting, government grants, and other areas that require intimate knowledge of government regulations
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