Trump PR Strategy Ignites Media, Voters

If you’ve turned on a television, read your local paper or hopped on a social networking site lately, you’re probably aware of Donald Trump’s overwhelming presence. Trump, a celebrity and political candidate, continues to attract the media spotlight as he gears up to run in the 2016 presidential election, but his public relations tactics are questionable.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Although Trump may be the most talked about man in this election cycle, he’s not the most favored. According to MSNBC, his public relations strategy and outspoken messages have left 75 percent of Latinos with a negative view of Trump.

These outspoken messages are exactly why Trump has gained so much attention from the media. Trump isn’t afraid to voice his opinion and willingly debates with critics. As a recent Forbes article mentioned, public relations consultants typically tell clients to “take the high road and never bad mouth the competition,” which is counter to the strategy Trump has been using.

Photo Credit: Elvert Barnes via Flickr

Photo Credit: Elvert Barnes via Flickr

The news coverage of Trump isn’t as important as the willingness for people to actually vote for him. In this instance, it’s not solely about publicity, but rather his public image. As a celebrity and outspoken politician, Trump makes a great story for media outlets. However, these media outlets may have only created inflated poll numbers.

According to Communiqué PR, although Trump’s real opinions appeal to the public, Trump shouldn’t engage in PR simply to generate publicity. Trump’s public relations strategy may be effective for short-term growth, but for long-term and for a presidential election, it’s an unacceptable strategy. How do you think Donald Trump can better his PR strategy? Do you think his current methods can be implemented by future candidates to increase poll numbers?


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9 Responses to Trump PR Strategy Ignites Media, Voters

  1. Kimberly Linn says:

    This is a great topic! He is not doing himself any favors by alienating a large percentage of American who are Hispanic and here legally by making these over arching, generalized statements. A better tactic would be to not refer to only Hispanics. Use more generalized verbiage, including illegal immigrants, at the very minimum.

  2. Morgan Rath says:

    I think the reason that Donald Trump is doing so successful right now is because of his candor, as the Communique PR article points out. As far as the long run goes, I think Trump’s PR strategy needs major work. While his bold messages are getting him some support now, they are alienating major political demographics. He definitely needs to be more inclusive with his messaging. I also think that Trump needs to be more realistic and back up his messages with facts. A lot of people are beginning to wonder whether he will actually be able to follow through on his bold claims of change. While fixing these points may help him out, I am left to wonder if he still has a chance. By alienating the Hispanic voters, has Trump damaged his presidency chances beyond repair?

  3. Breanna Johnson says:

    Trump’s strategy thus far has been to make people talk about him… and so far it’s working. He is put in more of a spotlight than most presidential candidates. However, as mentioned in the post, this is not the strategy that will endure over time. What he needs to do now is change his image to a more serious one, talking about the issues at hand and getting away from the “tabloid” feel of his campaign. He has to fortify himself as a strong, serious candidate and his PR team should look into getting him on camera discussing serious issues that are not then followed by backlash. He also needs to steer clear of Twitter posts that create a negative image of him and insult people.

  4. Brittany DIerken says:

    Donald Trump invites any kind of attention and press, whether it is positive or negative. As a running presidential candidate, this is unfortunately not the smart thing to do. Usually, individuals running for president want a clean slate and only positive going out about their campaign. I think Trump can better his strategy by filtering his comments and actually representing a platform. He seems to be bouncing from democratic to republican and is indesicive. He is a business man that does not know politics. Trump knows how to get attention and is a breath of fresh air for Americans. I do not think his methods should be implemented in the future. It shows how ignorant and impulsive Americans can be and makes the U.S. look even worse than we are already perceived. It is a good thing to can attention and popularity but in the right way.

  5. Mary Kenney says:

    Trump has taken an interesting approach to his PR strategy. He will say anything and it seems like he does not care how the public reacts to it. This is not a sustainable approach when trying to win a presidential campaign. I think that if Trump is truly interested in becoming a serious candidate he needs to be able to connect with Americans and show that he has the best interest of the country as a priority. He is already unpopular in a majority of the Latino community. If Trump were able to win the Republican nomination he needs the Latino vote to win key states in the Electoral College, e.g. California and Florida. At this point, I do not know if there is much a PR team could do to change the perception of Trump in the Latino community, but his PR team should be focused on improving his image among these key voters.

  6. Margaret Staniforth says:

    It appears that Donald Trump can say anything without losing the public’s support or the top position in the polls. However, I have to agree with Teresa Joseph that his current PR strategy does not seem to be the stuff presidential elections are made of. Trump has the media’s attention and keeps us entertained, however, his strategy is not one that will earn the long term respect of a nation or that any PR professional is likely to endorse in the future. I believe that our next President will follow Forbes’ advice to “take the high road and never bad mouth the competition” on the campaign trail. Keeping in mind that Donald Trump is gaining favor though his bluntness and severity, I would not ask him to take a completely traditional “high road” approach. I would, however, tweek the idea of the “high road” to fit his style. For instance, I would suggest that Trump stop personally attacking his critics. Right now, Trump reacts to critics with insults. In the future, I would recommend that he stop reacting to people this way, and instead only offer this level of callousness to his critiques of policies and issues. Trump risks coming across as a bully when he attacks opponents. However, he can come across as impassioned and motivated by tackling national concerns with such severity.

  7. Brittani Gomez says:

    To answer one of your questions, first and foremost Trump needs to change his angle as he handles the public. He has offended many individuals who could have been potential votes that would have landed him in office. Some may argue that majority of people do not vote, but in this instance it may be safe to say more voters will actively participate in this election. This could be the tactic he is trying to use; get more people involved and invested and then switch it up but for now I would recommend to tread lightly.

  8. Samantha Bero says:

    Teresa, great blog post! I found this to be a very interesting PR topic. Trump could most certainly use better PR tactics, but I believe his way is working for him. He has always followed his own path and it has always worked out for him in the end.

    Trump has gained a huge following by being outrageously outspoken. People believe that his outspokenness is refreshing and different from the way politics has been played for the past few years. He is isolating key demographics, but he is honestly not trying to gain their vote anyway. His target audiences are conservatives and right-wing Republicans. They are the ones that he is speaking to and it seems to be working for him for the moment. I 100% agree with you when you said that his tactics are “effective for short-term growth, but for long-term and for a presidential election, it’s an unacceptable strategy.” It will be interesting to see how his strategy will play out in the end.

  9. Alla Nadezhkina says:

    In principle, the Trump strategy is not new in the conduct of election campaigns. In my opinion, his provocative rhetoric aimed at increasing the activity of the electorate and makes voters, the media, public and political figures — that is all those involved in the race — to respond to his comments. Thus, discussion of the statements of the candidate will not necessarily lead it to success, however, it will definitely create the field for discussion which is so necessary in the race for the presidency.

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