B²: Repeal and Replace is here!

Stop us if you’ve heard this before…”Obamacare needs to be repealed and replaced!”

Oh, that’s right. It’s the drumbeat we’ve heard for the past seven years, and last night House Republicans finally delivered.

Officially, leadership has dubbed it the American Health Care Act. Unofficially, some conservative members have nicknamed it ObamaCare Lite and ObamaCare 2.0. But, what’s in a name?

The version released last night is a rough draft to be marked up by a couple committees (Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means) before a full House vote in a couple weeks, which means…THIS WILL BE TOPIC #1 ON MOST REPORTERS’ SHORT LISTS.

You can bet that the more time this process takes, the less forgiving the media will be with their coverage. Reporters will demand specific answers for infighting, delays, and projections of a timeline.

So, what’s the best response you can give?

Good thing it’s Tuesday, B² day.

Here’s this week’s likely question and the B² (block and bridge) that sets the narrative straight:

 

Q: “There seems to be disagreement among Republicans as to whether this legislation goes far enough to repeal and replace ObamaCare, what’s the likelihood the American Health Care Act will pass Congress and be signed into law?”

B²: “We now have legislation to read and respond to, which is step one. The version released last night will not be the version signed into law. Regardless of what changes the House and Senate make before they vote, solid repeal and replace legislation will include <insert talking point>.”

 

Wherever you take the conversation next, focus on what good legislation will achieve. There is no need to spend 20-30 seconds voicing your frustration with the process (unless your job description says so). Talk policy and not process.

Need more messaging help and/or media polishing? Become your best self and contact us today.

B²: Trump’s Approach

Not one to disappoint, President Trump has given us a lot to talk about recently. Love it or hate it, we can all agree that his approach is like nothing we’ve seen, and the media desperately want to make sure you realize what a unique situation this is.

You might think the focus of your interview is tax reform. But CAUTION –  the likelihood of fielding a question about Trump’s most recent press conferences and/or rallies is more like a promise than a possibility.

So, let’s talk through how you can redirect the conversation to policy and leave the rest to the pundits.

Good thing it’s Tuesday, B² day.

Here’s this week’s likely question and the B² (block and bridge) that sets the narrative straight:

 

Q: “What do you make of Trump’s approach in his first 100 days? Do you think it’s effective?”

B²: “I’m not surprised. The same approach he took on the campaign trail is the same approach he’s taking as President, but I’ll leave it to the pundits to analyze. Instead, what I’m setting my focus on is policy. <Insert talking point>.”

 

Wherever you take the conversation next, do yourself a favor and block and bridge questions on Trump’s communication style. Unless you’re tasked with analyzing his delivery, you risk sabotaging or sacrificing your policy message in favor of personality. If policy is where our focus should be, then do your part to make sure that conversation continues!

Trump’s approach and delivery may be different than anything we’ve seen, and there is room to discuss how this difference will play out over the next four years. But save that topic of conversation for happy hour and not your Fox News hit.

Like that famous phrase “always be closing,” DMG recommends you “always talk policy.”

Need more messaging help and/or media polishing? Become your best self and contact us today.

B²: “Does this make me look fat??

‘Tis that time again for all things chocolate and love and #RelationshipGoals.

But what seems like a joyous occasion can take a dark turn if you’re confronted with (and fumble) the question: “does this make me look fat??”

Yikes. Not a question anyone wants to answer honestly. So, how do you remain truthful and not devastate the asker?

Good thing it’s Tuesday, Valentine’s Day AND B² day.

Here’s this week’s likely question from your significant other and the B² (block and bridge) that keeps you off the couch and/or out of the dog house:

 

Q: “Does this <insert article of clothing> make me look fat?”

B²: “You are stunning. I really love that (color/style/neckline – element of clothing not related to size) on you. <Insert how beautiful she is for all the reasons>.”

 

Guys, wherever you take the conversation next, do not pass go, do not collect $200, DO NOT ANSWER THE QUESTION. It’s a trap. You actually can’t answer this question as presented and win. You have to block and bridge. Don’t you dare let your ego tell you otherwise. Just accept that this is a trap and answer as we’ve instructed.

Ladies, give your guy a break and listen to what he says, not what he doesn’t say. You’ve put him in a terrible position by asking this question because he either has to lie or tell the truth, neither of which we want to hear, tbh.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Need more messaging help and/or media polishing? Become your best self and contact us today.

B²: All the hysteria

President Trump has occupied the Oval Office for 17 days and the hysteria only seems to be increasing.

Is this our new normal? Hard to say. The riots at UC Berkeley don’t inspire confidence to the contrary.

But amidst the hysteria, it’s important to remember that one of the things that makes America great is the ability to PEACEFULLY protest. And for every $100,000 in damages reported, there are a far greater number of peaceful protests to notice.

So how do you respond to a mainstream media that wants to direct your attention to the latest dumpster fire?

Good thing it’s Tuesday, B² day.

Here’s this week’s likely question and the B² (block and bridge) that sets the narrative straight:

 

Q: “The riots at UC Berkeley have caused $100,000 in damages. Is this the new normal we can come to expect during the Trump presidency?”

B²: “No. What happened at UC Berkeley is outrageous and should be condemned, but it’s important to uphold the right to protest peacefully as it gives voice to the opposition. <Insert talking point about freedom of speech and the importance of listening to those you disagree with>.”

 

Wherever you take the conversation next, uphold the right to peaceably assemble as an effective means to show disagreement. Both sides seem to agree that what happened at UC Berkeley should be condemned and does nothing to bridge the gap, so there’s your common ground to start. But if you’re interested in upping your talking point game, immediately pivot to the importance of peaceful protests as a good and necessary part of what makes America great.

Need more messaging help and/or media polishing? Become your best self and contact us today.

B²: SCOTUS Nominee

One week down, so many more to go.

Love him or hate him, agree or disagree, he’s wasted no time delivering on his campaign promises. And in a few short hours, he’ll do it again.

In case you haven’t heard, or checked President Trump’s Twitter feed, he plans to announce his pick for Supreme Court at 8:00 PM:

No matter who he chooses, you can bet the #1 question reporters will ask is whether Democrats should block his nominee based on Republican behavior towards Merrick Garland. Need a block and bridge for that? We thought so.

Good thing it’s Tuesday, B² day.

Here’s this week’s likely question and the B² (block and bridge) that sets the narrative straight:

 

Q: “Don’t you think Democrats have every right to block a vote since Republicans did the same thing?”

B²: “It’s not the same thing. We were in the middle of a lame duck session, and the Senate Republicans took a stand for the American people. <Insert talking point.>”

 

Wherever you take the conversation next, emphasize the timing and pivot to qualifications. Nominating a Supreme Court justice in a lame duck session is risky business as elected officials face few consequences and voters don’t have a say. Senate Republicans were just defending their constituents. But that lame duck session has ended and the Congress America voted for is back to work. Democrats should respect the process and move forward by examining the nominee’s qualifications.

Need more messaging help and/or media polishing? Become your best self and contact us today.

B²: Repeal + Replace

In a few short days, GOP lawmakers have to turn in their repeal legislation for Obamacare – dun dun duuunnnnn.

But that’s probably old news as the mainstream media can’t stop talking about it in ALL CAPS:

“REPEAL WILL LEAVE 20 MILLION PEOPLE UNINSURED!”

…or…

“WITH NO REPLACEMENT PLAN READY TO GO, THOSE CURRENTLY ENROLLED IN OBAMACARE COULD EXPERIENCE A LAPSE IN COVERAGE!”

Needless to say, people are afraid. The threat of losing health insurance is scary. But like most issues, there is more to the story than these headlines suggest.

So, how can you be the voice of reason and talk about a sensitive issue like Repeal and Replace in a news cycle that expects the worst? With emotion and numbers, of course!

Good thing it’s Tuesday, B² day!

Here’s this week’s likely media question and the B² (block and bridge) that sets the narrative straight:

 

Q: “If Obamacare is repealed, won’t millions be left without insurance?”

B²: “Not at all. Obamacare will be phased out, so the coverage people currently receive will continue until a new patient-centered healthcare system is established. <Insert talking point>.”

 

Wherever you take the conversation next, spin the narrative to highlight those at greater risk of losing coverage – the 25 million who currently pay out of pocket and receive no subsidies. Adding a data point about premium spikes in your state will help prove the point. We all know someone (maybe it’s you!) who has experienced rate increases and/or loss of access to their doctor. Tell these stories first and then insert a stat or two as evidence.

Need more messaging help and/or media polishing? Become your best self and contact us today.

B²: Protests at Inauguration

Expectations have NOT been managed for Friday’s inaugural festivities. (Thanks, MSM).

We’ve been promised lots of protests in DC and around the country by the likes of Michael Moore, Bernie Sanders, pro-marijuana activists, those leading the Women’s March, and elected officials who are choosing not to attend. The opportunities to analyze/judge/mock will be numerous…and tempting. The anticipation is almost too much.

But what if (in the name of unity!) you refrain? What if (in the name of unity!) you acknowledge the division in such a way that closes the gap rather than widens it?

Good thing it’s Tuesday, B² day.

Here’s this week’s likely media question and the B² (block and bridge) that sets the narrative straight:

 

Q: “What do you make of the protests?”

B²: “I’m so glad we live in a country where people can voice their disagreement, and I hope that it’s done in a peaceful way. But Trump protestors and Trump supporters have a lot more in common than they realize. Americans, as a whole, are overwhelmingly tired of <insert talking point>.”

 

Wherever you take the conversation next, choose a common ground topic. No matter your party affiliation, it’s safe to assume that most voters are tired of politics as usual, the sluggish economy, threats from abroad, etc.

We’re not asking you to turn a blind eye to the division, but focus on what issues spark agreement instead of the fanfare surrounding the disagreement. No one wins if we’re constantly trying to talk over each other, and Americans like to win.

Need more messaging help and/or media polishing? Become your best self and contact us today.

B²: “Is half the country racist?”

For an accurate description of how a large majority of Americans felt on November 8, 2016, please see below:

Neither candidate was ideal for many Repubs or Dems, but those who showed up at the polls had to choose someone. Americans voted, the Electoral College confirmed that vote, and now we’re days away from making it official via that ever important ceremony called Inauguration.

But division remains, most disturbingly evident in the cries of “racist!” towards Trump supporters.

True, racism does exist in this country and is deeply concerning.

True, some voters showed up in full support of everything the president-elect has said or done.

But also true? The majority of voters cast their vote for a variety of reasons. It’s unfair to assume otherwise and perpetuate the narrative that half the country is racist. Let’s be reasonable.

What if you’re asked about it? Can you pivot away from an absurd claim and point to bigger issues? Yes, yes you can. And here’s how.

Good thing it’s Tuesday, B² day.

Here’s this week’s likely media question and the B² (block and bridge) that sets the narrative straight:

 

Q: “We’re preparing for the inauguration of Donald Trump, a man who was elected to office by racist voters. What do you think this means for the next 4 years?”

B²: “That’s unfair. Voters, whether Democrat, Republican, or Independent showed up on Election Day for a variety of reasons. For example, the issue that most influenced my vote is <insert talking point>.”

 

Wherever you take the conversation next, expand on the myriad of issues weighing heavy on voters’ minds – Supreme Court, jobs, national security/ISIS, etc. You have enough material to create talking points for days.

The most important thing you have to do is refute the “racist” claim. It’s a narrative the media just can’t quit, so let’s help them. Refrain from saying what Trump voters “aren’t,” but rather quickly dismiss the generalization as absurd and/or unfair and then point to bigger issues that likely influenced the electorate.

Need more messaging help and/or media polishing? Become your best self and contact us today.

B²: First 100 days

Christmas Vacation, why ya gotta end?

But alas, it has. If you didn’t return to work last week, you did this week. Let’s ease back into the crazy with the good news first – 2016 is finished. We did it!

Now for the real news…all that happened in 2016 is ready to play out in 2017, and the world is watching. Cue the fast-approaching first 100 days of the Trump Administration.

(Taking guesses for the number of times the phrase “first 100 days” is mentioned between now and April 29. We’ll start: 235 million.)

All that to say, you better prepare to field questions and talk about what has been promised, what you hope to see, and calm down the Chicken Littles in the process.

Good thing it’s Tuesday, B² day.

Here’s this week’s likely media question and the B² (block and bridge) that sets the narrative straight:

Q: “What do you think the first 100 days will look like?”

B²: “Donald Trump made a lot of promises, and it’s important to hold him accountable. But we also have to wait and see what moves the new administration makes. What I hope to see <insert talking point>.”

Wherever you take the conversation next – Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, EPA regulations, the UN and Israel, TPP, immigration, etc. – manage expectations. Remind people that we have to let the first 100 days play out, but also we have to hold the president-elect and his administration accountable as they make moves. It’s a careful balance achieved via reasonable conversation on both sides of the aisle.

After all, there will be lots more “100-days” in the next four years.

Need more messaging help and/or media polishing? Become your best self and contact us today.

B²: An Attitude of Gratitude

Shine Gold Foil Thank You Card. Calligraphy

It’s been quite a year.

In the coming days, numerous listicles will pop up trying to make sense of (and laugh at) the good, the bad, and the ugly that defined much of 2016. The clickbait will be strong, and we aren’t ashamed to admit that we’ll fall prey more than once. Heck, we plan to compile a few lists of our own!

But we want to focus only on the good in our last B2 email of 2016, and for us that means gratitude. You’ve read and put into practice all we’ve taught you this year about blocking and bridging and finding common ground to win others to your side — The importance of communicating with the people in your life, even family and friends who disagree, is not lost on you. This is the greatest compliment. Thank you!

As a result, the post-election holidays with your second cousins (twice removed) should be no problem, right? Right. We trust you. Go forth.

With no specific issue to block and bridge this week, we want to share with you what DMG is thankful for…

Elastic waist pants, online shopping, and YOU!

Good thing it’s Tuesday, B2 day.

Here is how DMG will answer this very important question while staying true to our mission:

Q: “What is District Media Group thankful for this year?”

B²: “We are thankful for all our clients who are dedicated to connecting with people through the valuable tool of communication…<insert talking point about good communication>.”

Wherever we take the conversation next, just know that you all matter a whole lot. We do what we do because of you, and we’re thankful you’re willing to be good communicators on every issue. Cheers to a fantastic 2016!

Need more messaging help and/or media polishing? Become your best self and contact us today.