Thursday, August 27, 2009

7 Professional Inputs on "Selling Health Care Reform to Voters"

Today’s blog was submitted by Kendal Brown, a Visual CHEMist and rising design star in our firm

I currently follow the Daily Heller newsletter of Print Magazine written by Steven Heller, who has been in the creative industry long enough to have a valued opinion. Every morning Steven brings me interesting insights or creative discoveries from past, present, and future players in the creative world.

Being that we are in the consulting world for Health, Science, and Technology branding, it was particularly exciting for me to receive the newsletter regarding his involvement in a New York Times opinion article on selling the Healthcare Reform. At the end of his newsletter Steven asks, “how would you sell health care (or not) given your design acumen?”

Looking closer, the NY Times article (in the Opinion: Room for Debate section) published expert opinions on this topic (Steven Heller's included). Listed below are the 7 experts and some of their key suggestions for President Obama to consider:
  1. Robert Shrum, presidential campaign strategist - Don't abandon, don't delay. President Obama needs to hold his ground. It won't be easy.
  2. Julian E. Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs - "Sell a vision for health care where government plays a larger role" Work on the message.
  3. Mark Penn, former adviser to Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton - Appeal to both/all sides, people need to know it won't how it will affect them and that the impact won't be negative for them, even if it helps other people.
  4. Mike Murphy, Republican Party consultant - Remain truly bipartisan. "Talk to people like grown-ups."
  5. Harold Pollack, professor, University of Chicago - Tell the stories, share why this is all so important. (Case Studies)
  6. Robert Blendon, professor of health policy and political analysis - Stay specific and make it easy to understand.
  7. Steven Heller, art director and design critic - "Whatever the words and image, be sure to make a convincing promise and prove it can be kept"
Here at Stinson Brand Innovation, we might approach the idea of selling Healthcare Reform much like we approach any one of our client's campaigns. We could use a tool like CHEM to ask the questions of our own messaging:

C - Does it Connect with the desired audience in a meaningful way? In this case, does it connect as a bipartisan message, that is relevant to both audiences? Do people understand how it will affect them as an individual?

H - Is the message Honest? Are the promises realistic, is there evidence or are there case studies to back it up?

E - Is it Easy? Is the message easy to understand and specific yet simple enough?

M - Does it Motivate the audience into taking action? Reform is absolutely necessary, but few can predict the outcome or see the light at the end of the tunnel. People need to understand that it might get worse before it gets better yet still be able to believe in a positive outcome. Do they want to share the message with others?

Below are the links to the mentioned Newsletter and Article in case you want to read more:
"Sick of the Health Care Debate?"
"Selling Health Care Reform to Voters"

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