A blog dedicated to the world of broadcast and public relations
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Winners & Losers of the Healthcare Debate on Radio
According to Googlenews.com, there were more than 144 thousand stories written and broadcast in 2009. Most of the media titles ranged from “A Rushed, Half-Baked Plan Could Be Hazardous to Your Health” to “Americans Cannot Wait Until Healthcare Reform Passes.” In the early spring, public support was high, but by August, a leading ABC poll read“Opposition to Health Care Reform is on the Rise.”
This public debate on healthcare, the first of its kind since 1994 with the Clinton initiative, was framed much differently with a two way conversation going on with the public through traditional media and social networking outlets. Every consumer had a voice, and did his or her best to be heard.
No matter what your position on healthcare, it was an interesting debate to watch play out in the media. From late Fall into the spring of 2009, it was all healthcare, all the time on talk radio. As a listener, it was difficult to get the facts straight. Are there 45 million people uninsured in the United States? Or, is that number overinflated by “faulty assumptions and data including illegal immigrants” who would not be covered in the plan?
Although the answers to those questions may still be unclear, what became crystal clear during this entire debate was: an established relationship with the media is critical to getting on the air. There were a number of organizations wanting their voice to be heard during this historical debate. But, it turns out that the ones who had their voices heard were the ones who had established their relationships with the media before this historical debate took place. Reporters turned to trusted sources and organizations for opinions and interviews.
During the 2009 debate, clients that completed audio news releases andradio media tours with us topped the 300 million listenership mark with more than 50 thousand hits to our content website. After the historic passage of the Healthcare Bill this month, the hits are sure to top those numbers in 2010.