Yup…that’s how they say the acronym for the Minnesota Health Strategy & Communications Network. I’ve noted before that health care communications organizations seem to have the opposite problem of cardiology clinical trials: while the latter insert extra letters (or pull them from the middle of words in studies’ titles) to create acronyms like HOPE, LIPID, PICASSO and CABANA, Minnesota’s is only one of several health communications organizations that need to just buy a vowel! (Florida has FSHPRM, and Wisconsin has WHPRMS.)
Update: As I sometimes do, I mentioned my granddaughter Evelyn a few times in this presentation, and showed some video of her. I also mentioned how much we enjoy getting to see her across the miles via Facebook and Skype. So after my presentation, Deb McKinley of Stratis Health asked me to turn on the Flip so she could send a message back to Evelyn. Here it is:
In the past couple of years I’ve given presentations on “new media” or social media to several marketing-oriented health care organizations.
At Monday’s meeting with FSHPRM (Florida Society for Healthcare Public Relations &Marketing), I began to notice a pattern. Some other similar organizations to which I’ve presented:
MHSCN (Minnesota Healthcare Strategy and Communication Network)
WHPRMS (Wisconsin Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society)
FHS/FCBMS (Forum for Healthcare Strategists 12th annual Forum on Customer Based Marketing Strategies)
SHSMD (Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development) – that one was in my pre-blog days, and was just a presentation on media relations.
I was struck by the complete absence of vowels in any of these acronyms, and the resulting difficulty in pronunciation.
First Rule of Word of Mouth: To have word of mouth about your organization, people need to be able to pronounce its name.
Possible reasons for the completely consonant acronyms:
They were created by committee. PR needed to be included in the name. So did Marketing. With a letter to represent the state name, you have four consonants, including a P and an R that need to be together, and everyone gave up on the possibility of pronouncability.
They want to keep the organization secret. Maybe they don’t think marketing, public relations and health care go together — or are concerned that other people might have that opinion. So by choosing a vowel-less acronym they are sabotaging word of mouth about their organization, to keep a lower profile.
What do you think? Is it #1 or #2, or is there some other explanation? And do you know of any health care PR/marketing associations for which the acronym contains a vowel and is able to be pronounced?
(Organizations from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah don’t count, since their state names begin with a vowel. But it would be interesting to know whether they still managed to avoid a catchy acronym.)
Today I had the pleasure of giving a presentation to MHSCN, the Minnesota Health Strategy and Communications Network. This also provided me an opportunity to try Slideshare.net, a service that is like YouTube for presentation decks, so that I can share the slides with those who attended (and anyone else.)
This was a great group, highly engaged and interested in the subject matter, which was using social media to engage employees and to communicate with outside stakeholders. It was a fun opportunity to offer a SMUG Extension Class. I hope lots of the MHSCN members will decide to enroll.
For those who attended, I would appreciate any feedback on the presentation, and would be happy to answer any additional questions you may have.