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.
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