The Writers' Block
Welcome to the Writers’ Block: a place for the behavioral copywriters at MicroMass Communications to showcase our outside interests, skills, and ideas that aid in our collaborative efforts and creative force.
In these posts, you’ll learn about our process, insights, writing styles, and behavioral skills that piece together to create compelling copy for health behavior change.
Take a look inside the creative brain of our team.
Mindful Moments with Kim Z
Associate Creative Director of Behavioral Content, Kim Zdanowicz, is our mindfulness and conflict resolution expert. She shared 6 steps for conflict resolution with the Writers’ Block.
- Calm Down
Take some deep breaths to help relieve high emotions and help you think clearly
- Listen + Tell
Listen to the other person(s) and summarize their thoughts so they know you’ve heard them.
- Identify Issues
Be clear about each person’s needs, interests, and goals.
- Brainstorm Solutions
Get ideas on the table and avoid judging them at this point
- Evaluate Solutions
Consider which solutions may work for the various interests and needs.
- Agree on a Plan
Align on a solution and how it will be implemented.
How do you resolve conflict?
Want to know more about why behavioral science works?
Check out Why Behavioral Science.
#Writer Wednesday: Words with Friends (Like Crystal)
Behavioral Copywriter, Crystal Weber’s favorite word is continuum. “I love that there are two ‘U’s right in a row. That tickles me. The definition: a continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, although the extremes are quite distinct. Also: a coherent whole characterized as a collection, sequence, or progression of values or elements varying by minute degrees. And it’s fun that the plural is continua.”
What’s your favorite word?
#Writer Wednesday: Get to know Kelsey
Senior Behavioral Copywriter Kelsey Arp is reading the novel Fiskadoro by the late Denis Johnson. Johnson is a prolific American poet, writer, and playwright. His prose reads as a hallucinogenic, post-nuclear fever dream about memory and forgetting, culture, dialect, and myth.
What are you reading?
#Writer Wednesday: Get to know Ashley
As Group Associate Creative Director of Behavioral Content, Ashley Jones is proud to lead a team of unique and talented behavioral copywriters. With a background in journalism and over 15 years of experience in the industry, she believes in finding the opportunity in every challenge. “In everything we do, we keep people at the center of it. Understanding behavioral challenges and how to write to those challenges creates a unique opportunity to help people in a truly meaningful and creative way.”
Ashley has a reputation of being the one to go to when you need to cut copy. She attributes that to her time working in radio. “Writing 20-30 different ads a week means you have to learn how to get to the point.”
She is an avid UNC fan, a car nut, and a lover of all things Disney. That means every March, she feels the uncontrollable urge to wear light blue, drive fast, and sing “When you wish upon a star” really loud. It’s a sight to behold.
What drives you?
Step into our side of the MicroMass office and you’ll see more than a bunch of people hunched over computers. Over here in creative, you’re as likely to see people laughing as you are to see us huddled in thought.
First, you’ll probably notice the giant jigsaw puzzle on the community table. If you take a look around, you may notice dozens of googly eyes affixed to one writer’s desk, and a menagerie of Star Wars action figures surrounding an art director’s workstation. You may notice that many of our writers and art directors have photos of themselves with Tom Selleck mustaches scribbled on. You may find a quantitative analysis of one employee’s tendency to give out high-fives.
I hope you’ll notice, as I did when I arrived, how welcoming everyone is. This good-natured atmosphere is fundamental to the work we do at MicroMass.
I’m one of 10 behavioral copywriters currently on staff. To do this job, it takes more than just a grasp of science and the complex processes of the healthcare system. It means we must understand how people think, feel, and act—and why. It takes both halves of our brains: the half that reasons, and the half that feels.
Here, human health behavior is our specialty. Behavior change applies to everyone. As humans, we all face moments which force us to consider a change in our behavior. Each piece we write, whether it’s an email, a website, a video, or a brochure, is rooted in empathy and behavioral insight. The behavioral content team is trained in evidence-based behavioral approaches. These approaches guide us in how we write to patients. We encourage realistic goal-setting, self-compassion, and self-awareness. We give people the building blocks of behavior change.
As we write, we draw on our own experience, our own relationships. This helps us transcend what readers expect from a piece of pharma copy.
To me, it’s clear that our genuine affection for each other in the office is fuel for the work we do. Don’t get me wrong—it’s not all googly eyes and high-fives. We take our work seriously, and it is serious work. Still, we dive into new topics each month with Lunch and Learn potlucks. We celebrate Dictionary Day with a party and a bookworm cake. This team runs on a need for cognition and a need for diversion. One does not happen without the other.
So, stop by our office and enjoy yourself as we set loose our inner geeks.
You’re welcome any time.