Congrats to OmniActive!

OmniActive Health Technologies has won Frost & Sullivan’s 2011 Global Product Differentiation Excellence Award for Eye Health Ingredients.

OmniActive won for their Lutemax 2020™ combination of lutein and zeaxanthin, which outshone best-in-class competitors by excelling in unique product development, quality assurance, market acceptance, potential growth opportunities and brand perception.

OmniActive Vice President Hiren Doshi said, “On the day of this singular recognition from Frost & Sullivan, we thank all those who have assisted in researching, producing and marketing this unique ingredient worldwide.”

To Hiren I say, “You’re quite welcome!” The Natural Health Writer was the voice behind one of OmniActive’s biggest marketing initiatives of 2010, part of a tremendous team effort that contributed to their award-winning year.

All kudos to OmniActive: One of the industry’s brightest companies, with an amazing team, an unparalleled dedication to quality, and a line of science-backed products that represent the very best of what nutritional supplements can achieve.

Advertising is Dead

I am fortunate to have three friends who happen to be marketing geniuses.

Shake the tree.

Alex Leonov, a Moscow-based Marketing Director, is one of them. I listened when Alex proclaimed “Advertising is dead,” but I never understood… until now.

You see, I have written reams of nutritional supplement advertising; brochures, pamphlets, print ads and more. But as I build Natural Health Writer dot com, I have little enthusiasm about posting these pieces. I want to ensure your supplement success, and these days, a tri-fold brochure  just isn’t enough.

This is the Natural Product Industry. Consumer education is the key. The more consumers know about a supplement, the more they will buy that supplement. When education reaches critical mass, one-time buyers graduate into lifelong, loyal customers who share their beliefs with their friends.

The Lesson: Choose the vessel that can deliver an education about your supplement. A booklet is deep and thorough. A custom-published magazine provides ongoing education. And supplement web reporting can elevate customer interaction to an exciting new level. Advertising is dead. Long live marketing.

Mariel’s Personal Best

Click here for the full interview.

Mariel Hemingway is a natural health icon with superior literary DNA. So it should come as no surprise that she provided one of the best quotes in Natural Health Writer Celebrity Interview history:

NHW: You have a history of promoting this personal health responsibility; especially in your work to uphold Americans’ free access to vitamins and supplements.

Mariel Hemingway: There is a tremendous power in self-healing through our ability to make choices in vitamins and supplements. Yet there’s a whole load of crap out there, too. We’re Americans and we need to be able to make those choices on our own because they’re still selling us big ads. Merck wants us to buy this anti-inflammatory something and stuff for our heart and cholesterol crap medicine. I love all those side effect warnings: ‘May cause symptoms of insanity’ but other than that it’s all good. So if we’re being pushed to do those things, then we have the right to make healthful choices. Why should that be taken away? The FDA is so influenced by drug companies; it’s big business. Big business is not going to go away. But don’t take my other health food choices away.”

The Lesson: Any goofball can interview a celebrity. But to really make the story sparkle, you need creative, insightful questions that unearth powerful truths. The question guides the answer.

Nature’s Plus

In 1996, I bought my first cannister of Chocolate SPIRU-TEIN as a college student. Seven years later, I was writing SPIRU-TEIN copy for Nature’s Plus. Incredibly delicious.

The Natural Health Writer has been the voice for this nutritional supplement trifecta....

In 1996, I bought my first cannister of Chocolate SPIRU-TEIN as a college student. Seven years later, I was writing SPIRU-TEIN copy for Nature’s Plus. It’s funny how the universe works. Nature’s Plus gave me my start in the Natural Products Industry, and for that I am forever grateful.

At the time, I was working in a private investigation firm. I saw the ad for a copywriter, applied and was called in for a “test.” My boss wouldn’t let me take an afternoon off, so I had to quit my job in order to take the test. I later learned that this was the third test given to find a copywriter; no one had passed. It was me and ten other applicants in one room. We were given company literature and asked to write product copy in 30 minutes. I remember chuckling to myself as I wrote about Animal Parade children’s supplements: “Cherry Elephants, Lemon Lions, Nutrition in Disguise!” I got the job.

In R&D, I had a fantastic crash course about writing for the industry. Anyone who knows Nature’s Plus is familiar with their rapidly expanding product catalog. The workflow was brutal at times, but I absorbed like a sponge. I didn’t just churn out product copy, I created a “voice” for Nature’s Plus that resonated with Founder Gerald Kessler’s style. This is especially evident in my writing for  Source of Life, SPIRU-TEIN and Animal Parade: Three flagship products and true industry icons. It was a privilege to write about them!

Talent Trumps Experience

Ignore negative people. Believe in yourself.

Back in my corporate days, I avoided politics… But I wanted to climb that ladder. At Natural Organics I had a leap in mind: I wanted to move from copywriting in R&D to running Editorial for Energy Times magazine.

Before making the proposal, I met with the departing ET publisher to get his blessing. Boy was I in for a surprise! He sat me down and told me I would fail. I had no magazine experience. It’s a complicated job. I would need extensive training. Blah, blah, blah… the real kicker, I will never forget. He told me, “You know, if you get this job it could actually hurt your career.”

Since I was sill a bit green, this bizarro pep talk shook me up. But I persisted, became Executive Editor and persevered. Four months later, I completed the annual Energy Times Cancer Issue with Alec Baldwin as the feature interview. It was the biggest celebrity we’d ever landed. After the issue came out, the founder called me to tell me it was the single greatest Energy Times in its 17-year history.

Ultimately, I improved ET: Better content, lower operating costs, and, most importantly, superior promotion of nutritional supplements and natural health.

The Lesson: Go ahead. Tell me I won’t succeed. I dare you. Talent trumps experience every time. These days, the Natural Health Writer has both in spades.

Angry Baldwin

When I took over editorial of Energy Times, the magazine’s founder gave me a mission: get celebrity covers. My first issue, I got Ed Begley, Jr. By my third, I landed Alec Baldwin for our annual Cancer Issue.

My most exciting and gratifying celebrity interview... all to fight cancer.

This was the biggest celebrity “get” in Energy Times’ history. Sure, Alec got ticked off at me during the interview. Yep, I got hate mail from Conservative readers for putting him on our cover. The universe then gave me the finger when Alec’s notorious voicemail rant hit headlines right after my article came out. Despite these hurdles, we successfully raised awareness and money for the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research fund. When the dust settled, Alec Baldwin’s star continued to rise.

The Lesson: Landing an A-List celebrity for Energy Times involved a great deal of creativity — but this is the Natural Health Writer’s specialty. I take a lot of pride in this article, both for the writing quality and the publicity it generated for a great cause. Plus, whether you’re a fan or a hater, you will see that Alec Baldwin is intelligent, articulate and knowledgeable about health and environmental issues.