Trump Triumphs: The three PR strategies that won Trump the Presidency
Over a week has gone by since the United States surprisingly announced that Donald Trump would become its 45th President.
Whether you admire, dislike or despise the man, one thing everyone can unite on is that Trump is a phenomenon. Accomplishing what has never been seen before in US political history, a businessman with no governmental experience left the political establishment stunned.
Never before have people seen the true power of a perfectly executed public relations campaign, until it became a deciding factor in the Trump Triumph. A good public relations team will soften past indiscretions and enhance the positive, which is exactly what we saw throughout the electoral campaign. Drawing attention to several better-placed television appearances and a few memorable, yet shocking, quotes in the press resulted in a landslide victory for the Republicans.
Trump’s campaign focused on stimulating the silent masses; Americans who had a clear aversion against the political elite, and the lack of improvement of the unstable economy.
So how did the Republican candidate manage to appeal to the majority, and get so many Americans, some who had never voted before, to support him? Two words: public relations.
Here are the three most crucial PR tactics which could provide an explanation to Trump’s Triumph.
‘I’m a Celebrity… get me into the White House!’
There is no doubt that today’s society worships, and finds extensive entertainment in spectating the lives of TV Celebrities. Having appeared in over 12 films and 14 television shows, with a 12-year starring role in the hit US reality show ‘The Apprentice,’ Trump is a bona fide celebrity. Although being a superstar is far from a requirement in today’s political establishment, Trump’s recognised status meant he spent very little on advertising or publicity, whilst his opponent spent millions.
Forget all that political jargon – “I’m just like you”
Whether you agreed or disagreed with his policies, everyone understood Donald Trump’s no-nonsense statements and clear-cut viewpoint. Trump’s campaign strategy was to speak directly to the people, in a language they could relate to by avoiding confusing political terminology. This is a factor which often triggered a divide among politicians and their supporters. For many of his supporters, the fact that Trump did not sugar-coat problems, and sincerely made fun of many of the abhorred politicians, was reason enough to give him their vote. Ironically, these shrewd PR tactics managed to position the billionaire elitist as a “man of the people.”
Trump trumped social media
With over 5.5 million Twitter followers, 4.5 million Facebook fans, and an undeniably powerful presence across YouTube, Instagram, Periscope and Vine, Trump had the social edge in the political game. Trump is not ashamed to praise his social media strategy, or his own Twitter talent for that matter, having recently referred to himself as the, “the Ernest Hemingway of 140 characters”. Through short 15-second Instagram videos, Trump managed to secure himself free TV advertising, with many of the clips often finding themselves publicised across mainstream TV Networks. What 2015/2016 taught us is that, it’s not enough for a politician to just understand the nation’s laws and the state of the union, these days, they also need to take a decent selfie and keep their policies to 140 characters.
So, Trump is the 45th President of the United States and has achieved what many thought was impossible. There is no doubt about it, Trump’s clever and tactical PR strategy provided a white flag to Hilary Clinton’s campaign. The American people are the country’s brand, and like any successful business man, Donald Trump knew his brand and the change they were waiting for.