Leading Change from the “Other” C-Suite (That’s Communications)

That’s the title of the presentation I’ll be giving in Washington, DC today along with CareHubs CEO Paul Speyser, for the annual conference of the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development, a.k.a. #SHSMD15. Yesterday we had our Social Media Residency at UC-Davis in Sacramento, and so as I write this, I’m at the airport in Detroit on the way to Washington, DC, having taken the Red-Eye from SFO to DTW last night.  If all goes well, I should be in DC by 9 or so.

I had an opportunity to preview some of what we’ll be discussing in our presentation in a podcast conversation with Stewart Gandolf, which he published last week. As I mentioned in the interview with Stewart, I think it’s been about a dozen years since I’ve spoken at this conference, back when my main job was media relations for Mayo Clinic. It’s fun to consider all that’s changed since then, and yet how our work now with the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media is consistent with what we were doing in 2003, but also with more than 150 years of Mayo Clinic history.

Here’s the slide deck Paul and I will be using:

We’ll be talking about how we’ve collaborated to create social networking capacity through an owned platform for our Center for Social Media, and how we’re now applying those capabilities for patient education, patient communities, blogs and news delivery.

While many of the slides contain hyperlinks to some of our WordPress-based sites and communities, here are a few initiatives I’d like to particularly emphasize:

Here are a couple of our sites that will have significantly redesigned looks in the next few weeks:

If you haven’t yet signed up, please take advantage of our free Basic Membership in the Mayo Clinic Social Media Health Network.

Finally, here are links to some of the books we mentioned, which have influenced our thinking:

I look forward to a good discussion.

Buy a Vowel?

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.)