Ketchum is providing PR support to sister Omnicom unit DDB on a two-year campaign promoting New York State's health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act.
The state tapped DDB to lead the public advertising and PR blitz starting in earnest next month and funded by a $40M grant from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.
About 2.6M eligible people in New York don't have health insurance.
The state held an enrollment summit July 25 at Baruch College in New York City with representatives of the public and private sectors, as well as the Washington non-profit Enroll America, DDB and Ketchum.
"This is a very newsworthy subject, media are hungry for information," Ketchum executive VP and group manager Paul Wood told the event. "They want to know what's happening and we want to help them along." Wood said his firm is developing the overall PR plan for New York's exchange. He added that recruiting so-called "invincibles" – young Americans who feel they don't need health insurance – will be a key challenge of the outreach effort.
The healthcare reform model needs that demographic to sign up for insurance in large numbers to balance out additional costs taken on by insurance companies which are providing more benefits under the ACA.
Omnicom's OMD is handling media for the New York campaign.
Insurance exchanges under the ACA will start enrolling customers Oct. 1 with coverage set to begin Jan. 1.