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Doesn’t Everyone Speak iPhone? PR Lessons in Tech Lingo


The number one challenge working with Technology clients and focusing on Technology PR is how to bring a tech client’s story out of the tech industry box, and into the consumer market. It is even more challenging to translate their tech speak into a message that the average consumer would be able to understand – which I found hard to believe because isn’t everyone fluent in “iPhone” by now?

Regardless, when we started working with the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC), a non-profit organization that is working to put all of New York State’s medical records online, I even found myself – a tech lover and a true geek at heart – taking a crash course in Health IT.

A brief overview (and by brief I actually mean the readers digest version) – Health IT, or more specifically Health Information Technology, is a rapidly growing industry, especially in New York City, that is changing the way doctors and patients and anyone in between are able to access healthcare. NYeC is at the forefront of Health IT, and through its work is creating a Health IT hub here in New York State. Their work within the industry ranges from helping providers adopt EHRs, or Electronic Health Records, all the way to connecting providers to the SHIN-NY, or the Statewide Health Information Network of New York, a platform that NYeC is leading to connect all of the EHRs within New York State.

After understanding EHRs, and everything that connects EHRs to the SHIN-NY (Regional Health Information Organizations, Health Information Exchanges, etc) was I then able to see the how to effectively get their message to the people that matter most, New York State Residents. And once I really immersed myself in their industry, and their own tech speak, I also learned how NYeC and their initiatives will directly affect my life as well. Being an early adopter of all things tech I didn’t even realize that medical records weren’t automatically put online.

And not only did we have to understand their “tech speak,” we had to teach NYeC to translate their talk into every day, laymen’s terms too. Through a day long media training session with NYeC executives and our team, we were able to teach NYeC how to translate their work into basic talking points that the media and the consumer would be able to digest and comprehend.

It has been almost a year that we have worked with NYeC, and feels more like my freshman year at Health IT University – no matter how many acronyms or terms I had to learn, it enabled me to craft their message and translate their tech speak into a language everyone can understand.

-Liz Austin

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