It’s just nine short days until the dreaded inauguration of President Elect, Donald Trump.
Love him or loathe him, – I’m hoping you all fall into the latter – we can’t ignore that Donald was a master of his own PR. Trump constantly dominated the media which seemed to be the key to his success. He understood what would get him media attention in order to drown out his other opponents.
As the great Dan Humphrey once said, “You’re nobody until you’re talked about” (Gossip Girl, 2007) and Donald Trump was certainly talked about. Whether good or bad, he was the topic of conversation everywhere.
Yet there are many lessons we can take away from Trump’s (unfortunately) successful PR campaign.
A Consistent Message
‘Make America Great Again’. This slogan was everywhere during Trump’s campaign. Even though I had no involvement in voting, I was still aware of Trump’s slogan and his key messages. I knew that he wanted to build a wall between the US and Mexico and I knew that he was really trying to make America ‘white’ again – not ‘great’. Donald would point out non-white ethnicities that were present at his rallies and have them escorted out. When Trump was elected as President of the United States, 100% of his support crowd that witnessed his acceptance speech were white.
Can I tell you Hillary Clinton’s campaign slogan? No. Do I know what her key policies were? No.
This is because Trump took over the media with his absurd policies yet consistent key messages. He stuck with these policies throughout his entire campaign and this is what made him so successful. He repeated, repeated and repeated his plans until they were ingrained in your memory, whether you wanted them to or not.
A Social Media Presence
If there’s one thing Donald Trump is known for, it’s his Twitter account. His extremely controversial Twitter account.
In this day and age, it’s essential for a presidential candidate to be present on social media. However in order to be effective, they must not only be present but engaging. It is no secret that Trump engages with people on Twitter. It’s also clear that his tweets aren’t sent to anyone for approval before he makes them public.
His Media Relations
Before the run for presidency, Donald Trump was already a household name. This meant Trump had no call to spend money on advertising who he was or where he came from. We’ve all seen him in Home Alone, know about his Trump empire and have watched him on Celebrity Apprentice. By already being well known, Trump saved a lot on spending.
Through being present on the screen for years, Trump was more than comfortable to give interviews to the press whether it be on TV, radio or online. He was always calm and confident even when hit with allegations and negative interrogation. Trump was able to carry himself in a way that would win over his voters and cause some (a lot) of controversy.
Know Your Target Audience
Trump knew who he was campaigning to and stuck to his main constituency, which was white males who felt like their country was no longer their own. While Hillary was focused on getting votes from a variety of demographics, Trump maintained to securing votes from his main followers.
This also helped in keeping his message consistent as he knew who he was aiming at, and what they wanted.
Authenticity is Key
There’s no denying Trump says what he thinks – and he’s caused enough controversy in doing so. These controversial comments would usually hinder someone’s run for presidency but in Donald’s case, it seemed to help him.
Trump also kept his language at an elementary level compared to the usual political style of speech. This made him easy to understand and connect with, and gave him a power over his competition.
He Faces His Critics Face On
Whether they be celebrities, fellow politicians or people like you and me, Donald doesn’t hold back or bite his tongue. If anyone has anything bad to say about him, Trump isn’t slow at giving you his opinion. Just recently Trump branded Meryl Streep as ‘overrated’ (how dare he) after she spoke ill of him during her Golden Globes speech.
Americans were desperate for someone new, who came with a little bit of excitement. Trump is definitely nothing like we’ve seen before in politics and I can see the attraction of voting for a change – but is Trump really the change that was needed? Thanks to the American voters we now have a President who is racist, sexist, and mocks the disabled. How he gets away with it, I’ll never understand.
Congratulations and good luck America. You’ll need it.