We built a communications toolkit that established a strong case for support yet was able to evolve as the audiences and dynamics of the legal process changed. Personalized communications from senior leadership helped build support and answer questions from diverse audiences while regular town hall meetings gave employees, physicians and community members a unique opportunity to engage directly with those leaders. This outreach was supplemented by dozens of media interviews, one-on-one meetings and editorial board visits that helped us define the narrative. Externally, we remained engaged with and equipped community representatives and third party allies with tools to strengthen our narrative from the ground up. Our strategy was to anticipate and prepare for every possible outcome, while protecting and even enhancing the System’s reputation. When a challenge by the FTC increased the stakes, we were prepared to respond and take action quickly. Throughout the process, both content and messaging were in place for immediate deployment. Though the merger was eventually halted, a national dialogue about the future of healthcare had been sparked and today, we continue to support NorthShore in its market-leading position.