The ABC's of Communication

Yesterday I received an email with this subject line: MI Report: How Access to New Drugs has Slowed the Growth in America's Disability Rates It ...
by | October 24, 2008
 

Blocks_2 Yesterday I received an email with this subject line:

MI Report: How Access to New Drugs has Slowed the Growth in America's Disability Rates

It didn't make sense. Why is Michigan doing a report on how new drugs have slowed the growth in America's disability rates? Turns out, it's not.

MI stands for the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.

Acronyms are trouble. We learned in J-School (that would be journalism school) that you never present an acronym in a story before first spelling it out fully. So people actually know what you're talking about. Even then, continuing to use it throughout the story can be annoying.

Public officials throw around a lot of acronyms. In documents, in presentations and in conversation. Technology officials even more. They don't realize they may be shooting themselves, or at least their message, in the foot. I write about this in my November Tech Talk column. Coming out soon.

The most important point to remember: When out of the compound, speak the universal language, not a bunch of letters that only people within the walls of your org understand.

Oh, and if you'd like a copy of the MI report on drugs and disability rates, it's coming out October 28th. I'm sure it will be on the Manhattan Institute's Web site. But not on Michigan's.

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