A Fresh Look at Social Media

I’m in Orlando today for a presentation to FSHPRM, which is the public relations and marketing group affiliated with the Florida Hospital Association. I’ve spoken to this group a couple of times previously, the last time being in February 2009. It’s fun to look back at what I was saying then, and how far we have progressed.

Here are my slides for this morning’s presentation:

I’m organizing this presentation a little differently from what I’ve done in the last couple of years, and also adding some new material. What do you think?

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.)

Florida Hospital Association SMUG Extension Course

I’m delighted to be in Orlando today for a SMUG extension class, presenting a workshop for the Florida Hospital Association’s Florida Society for Healthcare Public Relations & Marketing (FSHPRM) at their Winter professional development workshop. My presentation runs from 12:30-2 EST.

The slides I’m using are embedded below. I’m told there will be wifi in the room, so I’m hoping many of the participants can take the opportunity to add their comments and questions even during the presentation, either in the comment section on this post or by tweeting using the #fhasmug hashtag.

We’ll see if we can address some of the questions and comments at the end of the presentation, but if any SMUGgles are following along remotely and want to chime in with your observations, you’re most welcome to participate.

A Few Resource Links:


Understanding that we likely have a wide range of social media familiarity among the workshop participants, I’ve outlined some options for your concrete action steps to make your the learning practical for you. I’m starting with basics and moving to more complicated or involved steps. Just go down the list and pick at least one thing you haven’t yet tried.

  1. Join Facebook. Facebook 102 would be a great place to start. You can request to join the FSHPRM group so you can all network and learn together. And of course I hope you’ll join the SMUG group, too.
  2. Get a Twitter account. Twitter 102 will take you through the process step-by-step. I have a bunch of courses yet to be added in the Twitter curriculum, but there are a few there to get you started, and you can follow me (@LeeAase) and/or @SMUG_U to keep up to date.
  3. Start a personal blog. Blogging 108 gives you the guidance you need.
  4. Try Yammer. Yammer is like Twitter for the workplace, and is limited to people who share your email domain. The Yammer curriculum has more background, but Yammer 101 gets you started.

If you’re one of those really risk-averse types who needs to completely scope out a situation before joining, you have two additional options:

  1. Begin the Core Courses, which are kind of the SMUG appetizer sampler platter. They’ll give you a hands-on taste of social media. Or, you can…
  2. Start the Podcasting curriculum, which takes you in 10 steps from an introduction to the podcast to having your own personal podcast listed in the iTunes store, all without spending any money. You can complete the first two courses without having to take any concrete action.

Finally, I hope you’ll enroll in SMUG so you can continue your social media exploration as a SMUGgle.

And if you’re on LinkedIn and would like to connect in that way (or perhaps leave a recommendation for me), that would be great, too. Here’s my public profile on LinkedIn.