When Naming a Product, Always Involve an Advertising Copywriter
Hillenbrand's own story is mesmerizing. For more than 25 years she has been in a state of perpetual exhaustion, dizziness and pain—able to research and write for only a very few hours a day.
If at all.
The disease—Chronic Fatigue Syndrome—afflicts roughly 1 million Americans. Little is known about it. Many victims are disparaged as fakers and whiners.
"I was taught at medical school 40 years ago that this was all hysterical nonsense," said Dr. Charles Shepherd, a UK specialist. "It was an illness which was either ignored, or dismissed, or regarded with extreme skepticism."
Until recently, this disease went undiagnosed.
It first came onto the Centers for Disease Control radar in the 1980s.
Known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis in the UK, it afflicts 250,000. ME Research UK was founded in 2000. From its Website:
As a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation since 2011, we have no members, and so our structure is similar to many charitable trusts which focus on scientific research into specific diseases.
In this country the Chronic Fatigue Research Center operates as an offshoot of the Stanford University Genome Technology Center.
All of this peanuts compared with, for example, with the 155 Organizations devoted to cancer generating billions of dollars annually. The 3 biggies:
Name Amount Raised Annually
City of Hope $1.3 Billion
American Cancer Society $924 Million
Susan G. Komen $264 Million
Thanks to Laura Hillenbrand, a bright spotlight now shines on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
For the first time, an opportunity exists to raise money for serious research and possibly a cure.
What's In a Name?
"Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" is descriptive. Unlike "polio" or "diabetes" you can empathize.
I'm reminded of old-time bandleader and party animal Phil Harris who extolled the benefits of serious drinking over being a teetotaler:
Imagine waking up in the morning and knowing that's how you're going to feel all day long.
As a fundraising copywriter—and former 3-martinis-at-lunch imbiber without fail—I could generate serious emotion using Laura Hillenbrand's desperate struggle to live with chronic fatigue.
The Brits copywriter has a tougher time. "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis" ain't very sexy sounding.
Enter Doctors With a Scheme to Eliminate the Cure
What triggered this column David Tuller's New York Times story of 10 February 2015: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Gets a New Name.
The Institute of Medicine on Tuesday proposed a new name and new diagnostic criteria for the condition that many still call chronic fatigue syndrome.
An institute panel recommended that the illness be renamed "systemic exertion intolerance disease," a term that reflects what patients, clinicians and researchers all agree is a core symptom: a sustained depletion of energy after minimal activity, called postexertional malaise.
The new name "really describes much more directly the key feature of the illness, which is the inability to tolerate both physical and cognitive exertion," said Dr. Peter Rowe, a member of the panel and a pediatrician at Johns Hopkins who treats children with the condition.
Takeaways to Consider
- Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease??????
- Can you imagine writing copy for the Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease Fund?
- With a name like that, this dreadful affliction will be around as long as mankind inhabits Planet Earth—and the next ones.
- When naming a product or service always involve an advertising copywriter who will be charged with making the case for it.
- Pay well for your copywriter's advice.
- Always exclude the following from product naming decisions: doctors, scientists, bean counters and lawyers.
Denny Hatch's new book is WRITE EVERYTHING RIGHT!
***** Five Stars The best part is that this book is not just for authors, journalists, and other professional writers, it is for everyone. After all, everyone uses writing in some part of their lives and the way that you write reflects you as a person. Hatch provides you with a ton of tips that will help you turn your writing into something that people will be sure to read —Scott
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
CLICK HERE to read the first 3 Chapters FREE.
No cost. No Risk. No obligation.
For Kindle Edition information, CLICK HERE.