Top 5 Blog Posts of 2020: The More Things Change…

Jan 20, 2021

COVID-19 left no industry unscathed in 2020 (well, except maybe Wall Street). One of the hardest-hit industries was healthcare, which is Amendola’s specialty. Throughout the year, we posted blogs with helpful advice about adjusting to the massive changes occurring in the economy and how to steer your organization when so much was uncertain.

Well, judging from the most-read blog posts from the year, it seemed our readers were more interested in writing tips than survival tips. This unexpected outcome, we hope, is a positive indicator that most of you coped well with working from home, virtual meetings and travel restrictions in 2020, and were simply trying to sharpen your written communication skills with the additional time on your hands.

So, without further ado, the following are the top 5 most read Amendola blog posts of 2020 in descending order.

5. The New Normal in Public Relations and Marketing

Our only post written in 2020 to crack the top 5 describes how various brands have responded to the pandemic and how there is likely no returning to a 2019 version of normal. As the post points out, while the world may have changed, the vision and mission of your organization should remain the same. Maintaining the status quo, however, is not an option and neither is giving up. Communicating strategically, i.e., not ignoring the seismic disruption caused by COVID-19, is essential and can help your company weather (and even grow) during this catastrophic time.

4. Simple Language and Communication Success

As a professional writer for more than 20 years, I can attest to how difficult it is to write with simplicity, especially about complex topics like healthcare and IT. As this post from 2017 reminds us: simplicity is often better. Keeping sentences short, avoiding jargon and using an active voice are important tips to remember for everything we write and across all forms of writing. It is no wonder that this post was among our most-read posts again.

3. The Importance of Feedback in PR From Media, to Writing to Client Relationships

Feedback, when appropriately delivered, makes us better at whatever we do, as this post written in 2018 reminds us. Feedback takes on an added dimension in PR because we need it from clients and colleagues, but also editors and other members of the media where we have deep professional relationships. Seeking feedback can certainly provoke anxiety in all of us, but, as the post assures us, it can motivate, improve performance and keep us focused on the right targets.

2. Health Care or Healthcare? Here’s the Answer You Won’t Find in an AP Stylebook

As a journalism major in college, the Associated Press Stylebook becomes your bible. Since Amendola has so many former journalists on our team (including yours truly) many of the manual’s terminology, abbreviation, punctuation and other rules are hardwired into our brains and fingers. (I still often write the word “percent” even though the AP ruled in 2019 that the “%” symbol is now preferred.) Publications and organizations often have their own style rules for content that differ from the AP, which is what this blog post from 2019 is about. At Amendola, for example, we write healthcare as one word, although the AP uses two. Curious readers (and writers) clearly wanted to learn more about the secrets of this vaunted manual, which is why it was in the top 5 most read for the second year in a row.

  1. Going in AP Style

Sheltered-in-place during the pandemic, many of us turned to self-improvement activities – exercise, healthy cooking, reading more books, learning a new professional skill — and were seeking online content and classes to help guide those activities. That is my highly non-scientific explanation for why four out of the five most-read blog posts from 2020 were about personal development, mostly improving your writing chops. Yet this blog post from 2018 was also the most read post of that year, as well as 2019, which makes me wonder if readers are on a self-improvement kick or they just don’t want to shell out $27 for an online subscription to the stylebook. Either way, this post is filled with helpful nuggets for writing a press release, blog post or any type of content.

Whether it is writing tips, strategic branding guidance, media relations best practices or any of the other many PR and marketing topics we cover, we hope that you’ll continue to visit our blog throughout 2021. Who knows… maybe we’ll even write about AP style again.

Morgan Lewis

Morgan Lewis is an award-winning business and healthcare writer that brings 20 years of journalism and PR writing experience, focused almost exclusively on business and healthcare. Most recently, Lewis was a writer at MERGE Atlanta (formerly Dodge Communications), where he wrote thought leadership articles, white papers, case studies, blog posts, website copy and other pieces of PR and marketing content for dozens of healthcare and healthcare IT clients over four years. Prior to that, he was an independent writer and editor focused on healthcare and health IT, creating content for clients that appear in national publications and websites. Lewis started his writing career at a daily newspaper and then business publications in the Greater Cleveland, Ohio area, where he won eight feature writing awards from Cleveland regional and state journalism organizations. Lewis then joined Medical Economics magazine, the leading business resource for primary care physicians, where he won three writing awards from the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors (ASHPE), including two Gold Awards. He earned a bachelor's degree in English-Journalism from Miami University of Ohio.