Donald Trump, one of the the richest and controversial men in the United States, has made quite a name for himself in business.
From being seen on reality shows to running for presidential elections, it seems he has mastered the art of public appearances. Since the limelight is something he is accustomed to, Trump is definitely one person that can teach us something about public relations (PR).
By no means should brands be encouraged to follow his actions and techniques as most are offensive and extreme. With that being said though, there are still 5 lessons all PR agencies and brands can learn from Donald Trump.
1. Timing is everything
As cliché as it sounds, there is indeed a perfect time for everything. For those who aren’t familiar with the proceedings of the United States presidential elections in 2012, Trump ran for president. However, due to his controversial bankruptcy at the time, his political aspirations had to be put on hold.
As his financial status and public image were shaky, it was certainly not the best time to run for office. His present situation and finances are in a much better place, thus improving his chances in the November 2016 election.
2. Make yourself newsworthy
The saying “there is no such thing as bad publicity” is true, but if you want to be noticed by media and the public, you have to make sure that you are newsworthy.
Trump is fully aware of this truth and makes every effort to be covered by the biggest news outlets. Most of the times, he has been able to get the attention of the press because of his ability to create conflicts. Between rumors about fellow celebrities to bad mouthing his competition, Trump has done well so far to appear in the headlines.
One should remember that there are instances when this can go a bit too far. Conflicts are good to drum up publicity, but when actual controversy unravels, the public image of those involved suffer.
Trump suffered terribly at his announcement speech where he talked about Mexican immigrants living in the United States. After his inappropriate remarks and comments, he offended the entire nation. Trump also lost quite a few business partners and was booted off his popular show, “The Apprentice”.
Lesson learned, brands should never lose their temper and be always in control of what they do to drum up publicity.
3. Sorry is the golden word
As we all know, a simple apology can go a long way. Trump was able to recover his tainted public image after his speech offending Mexicans by simply saying sorry, publicly of course. By taking responsibility for his actions, he came across as humble and even relatable as a person.
So, if there is any negativity surrounding your brand, or you have a handful of negative reviews, make sure to always resolve them.
4. Never resort to social media to vent your anger
Social media is an excellent tool for reaching out to a large audience of people and creating opportunities for your business. As a brand (and a person) you should always avoid using social media to vent your anger or dissatisfaction.
This comes across to onlookers as unprofessional, thus casting you in a negative light. Trump is guilty in this regard, as he used Twitter and YouTube to insult Lawrence O’Donnell (political analyst and journalist). All of this is now forgotten though as it happened back in 2012 and the new outrageous comments by Trump now get the spotlight.
5. Stand out from the crowd
Judging by Trump's presidential poll ratings, it seems that all of his efforts to making a name for himself have paid off.
One way to stand out is to be aware of your advantages over your competition and to strongly believe in what your brand stands for. Don't be afraid to shout about it - whatever the product or service, since it is the exact reason you started your business.
By following these simple, but cardinal rules for successful PR, you should be better equipped to gain more publicity. So, go and carve a name for yourself and your brand in your country, industry or maybe even the world. Just remember to be respectful to others along the way.