Communicators Craft Multiple Messaging for Supreme Court’s Obamacare Ruling

The Supreme Court's long-awaited decision on the constitutionality of President Obama's Affordable Care Act—now set to come down on Thursday, June 28—has stakeholders (including Congress, health care lobbyists, campaign officials and lawyers) scrambling to ready themselves for the ruling. Much of this scrambling is being done by communicators, who have crafted multiple messages in preparation of the decision—messages that cover both negative and positive outcomes, depending on which side of the decision they are on.

"Communicators have been preparing for this for the last six months," says Derek Lavalle, Kemp Gold & Partners. Think of the scurrying about in the White House, says Lavalle, as the team working with AARP drafts its responses to the ruling, while the team covering the Hispanic community is drafting their responses. "Both groups have to sync those messages up with the overarching message of the White House," says Lavalle. This strategy not only works for court and regulatory rulings, but for crisis preparation as well (look for more on crafting multiple messages in the 7/2/2012 issue of PR News).

But there's always someone who upsets the apple cart: Politico reported that Indiana Treasurer and GOP Senate candidate Richard Mourdock uploaded a video on YouTube that applauded the Supreme Court's decision invalidating the Affordable Care Act. Politico said they took that video off the social network, but then uploaded three more videos with three other scenarios: One if the court ruled Obamacare constitutional; another if the court struck down parts of Obamacare; and one for a "no decision" by the court.

That's an "A" for preparation, "F" for execution.

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