You say Obamacare, I say Obamacare

obamacare You say Obamacare, I say Obamacare

The PR Verdict: "A" for both sides using the same word for opposing reasons.

What’s in a name?  Yesterday the US Supreme Court began a review of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.

Obamacare has become a derogatory term used by Republicans to fire up the conservative tea-party base.  Michelle Bachmann, prior to pulling out of the debates used it no less that 230 times in media appearances.  Fox News repeated the word over 300 times in the last three weeks.  In PR terms, Obamacare became shorthand for galvanising opposition and laying full blame for “socialised medicine” at Obama’s door.

Democrats protested use of the word, considering it a disparaging reference and opposed its use in congressional debates.  But then something changed.  Democrats have finally recognized the PR gift handed to them.  It’s now going to be used by the President and his PR campaigners as they head into the election.

The PR Verdict: “A”  for both sides using the same word for opposing reasons.  With one word Republicans successfully galvanised opposition.  Meanwhile Democrats have sensibly decided if you can’t beat em join them.

Obama kicked off changing terminology by saying he has “no problem” with people saying ‘Obama cares.”  Nine months later the Obama camp has started a Twitter campaign  “If you’re proud of Obama care and tired of the other side using it as a dirty word, complete this sentence  “ I like Obamacare because…..”  Going from dirty word to a halo word is the new PR challenge for the Democrats while keeping it a dirty word will now be the PR task for  Republicans.

To read more about this click here

Is Obama’s Informercial a Shift in PR Positioning?

obamaroadweve traveled1 Is Obamas Informercial a Shift in PR Positioning?

The PR Verdict; “B” for Obama hitting the recurring PR concern head on.

A lot has been said already about the 17 minute Obama infomercial put out by his 2012 campaign last week.  Some think it too long, too somber, or too little and too much of everything and anything.  The numbers though speak for themselves. In four days it had over 600,000 hits.

But what is really striking about The Road We’ve Traveled is the PR positioning for Obama.  For a President repeatedly criticized in polls and editorials for an alleged lack of leadership, this video gives us a different take:  Obama is running the show even if being at the top is often a lonely and tough road.

Contrasting with the buoyant and inclusive positioning of Yes We Can, the campaign has opted for a PR positioning that has the President single handedly responsible for profound changes.  From rescuing the car industry to introducing health care – the message is simple.  Obama made the decisions and they rest on his sole shoulders.  The bucks stops with him.

The PR Verdict; “B” for having taken note of the President’s press coverage and hitting the recurring concern head on.  This is a major but subtle shift in PR positioning.

From YES WE CAN to YES HE DID.  The video is filled with iconic stills of the President standing at the end of corridors, in his office alone or pondering into the yonder with the world’s weight on his shoulders. Calling the decision to kill Bin Laden, “the harder and more honorable path,” President Clinton in the video seems to describe the leadership style of Obama, not only as lofty but also inspirational, humbly adding  “I hope that’s the call I would have made.”  Polls have power and if the market research was chastising Obama for a leadership style that was perceived as too consensual and conciliatory, then this might be the winning step in the right direction.

To see the video/infomercial click here. To read more click here.

What’s your PR verdict on The Road We’ve Traveled?

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