North Carolina Gets Covered
Media relations stimulates healthy enrollment numbers
Largemouth worked with NC Get Covered, a non-partisan initiative powered by The Big Tent Coalition, to craft a media relations strategy surrounding the second open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Despite 2014’s enrollment efforts and success, there was still work to be done to get North Carolinians covered. As part of this strategy, Largemouth worked with NC Get Covered to develop its brand and messaging, so that it could effectively communicate who they are to the public. To coordinate messaging and brand standards, Largemouth communicated with The Big Tent Coalition, comprised of more than 480 people and 100 organizations, to ensure that everything – from logo to boilerplate – was clear and concise. Leveraging thought leadership content and offering interviews with designated spokespeople across the state, Largemouth sought to position NC Get Covered as a go-to resource for health insurance enrollment assistance in North Carolina. The PR program was designed to educate North Carolinians about the free assistance available to them, helping residents enroll in a health insurance plan that best fit their budget and needs. In addition, national surveys indicated that roughly 89 percent of uninsured citizens were unaware of the 2015 open enrollment date, reinforcing the need for free, accessible resources and information about enrollment and the ACA.
Largemouth developed a strategic and targeted media relations plan, offering numerous media interviews and developing thought leadership content. This included pitching a variety of story angles to statewide media and focusing on targeted areas, such as rural areas and areas with low-income or minority residents, to ensure that NC Get Covered was reaching all North Carolinians still without health insurance. From leveraging open enrollment events to providing reasons why residents should get covered, Largemouth secured a variety of interview opportunities during the enrollment period across local and national print, broadcast and online media. Largemouth tapped into its existing relationships, and also worked to build new relationships, with local media contacts to coordinate in-studio interviews and live broadcast segments with NC Get Covered’s designated spokesperson.
Media outreach from November 2014 through February 2015 generated widespread broadcast, print and online media coverage across the state, resulting in more than 525 media stories and garnering more than 353 million total media impressions. Media exposure helped raise awareness of the enrollment period and available resources, driving an increase in traffic to NC Get Covered’s website. The campaign also helped North Carolina far surpass its 2014 enrollment goal, with nearly a half million North Carolinians signing up for coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace by the February 15 deadline. In addition, North Carolina ranked in the top three for enrollment in the country for the second consecutive year.