In an age of media saturation, PR is making history every day.
In fact, it’s almost THE driver, in our time, of what goes into the history books – just consider the election and governing style of our current President Trump.
Before his election, he was an affable caricature – a businessman turned media personality – the host of The Apprentice, and the most well-known, quintessentially American “rich guy.” He may have seemed harmless before, turning up in the news about once every week, but now it’s fair to say that his antics form the core architecture of virtually every media organization’s daily coverage.
The ironic thing is, he keeps the papers in business and he drives the agenda of coverage – with his famous tweets.
His Twitter presence is one of the main reasons why Trump is our PR president. Seemingly shot from the hip, and delivered in the morning, they are then picked apart and discussed by news organizations all day.
While seemingly erratic, they actually follow certain points of strategy: they read as highly authentic and immediate, they’re incredibly easy to follow, they emphasize certain monikers or nouns, consistently brand detractors in a negative light,1 as well as divert attention from any of his personal controversies and co-opt the language of his enemies against them.2
They more or less got him into the White House and they’ve been keeping him there. Controversies rage about his every policy, but at least until recently he was able to point to one marker of stability and success: the bullish stock market.3 Some think he’s losing the reins on his Twitter mojo, however, as over the past months he’s been feuding on the social network with the Federal Reserve (“The only problem our economy has is the Fed”), leading some to wonder whether the Fed Chairman’s position is stable. Then Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin disclosed that he had called the heads of major banks just to check on liquidity.4
Is that a move that inspires market confidence? The alarming, unnecessary bank liquidity check put stocks, as they say, “in the toilet.” And as he’s now lost the House and enemies are circling in—the stock market is the one area that an embattled Trump can’t afford to lose. He’s got to realize that PR is what makes or breaks him—or he has done that already and is shoring up his 50% base even stronger Either way, he should double down on using Twitter to guard Wall Street’s success.
1) Murphy, Jr., Bill. “7 Smart Things President Trump Does on Twitter (Learn From These Whether You Like Him or Not).” Inc.com, Inc., 22 May 2018, www.inc.com/bill-murphy-jr/7-smart-things-president-trump-does-on-twitter-learn-from-these-whether-you-like-him-or-not.html.
2) Schwab, Katharine. “Graphic: Trump’s Tweets Can Be Reduced To 4 Rhetorical Strategies.” Fast Company, Fast Company, 9 July 2018, www.fastcompany.com/90155999/graphic-trumps-tweets-can-be-reduced-to-4-rhetorical-strategies.
3) Seitel, Fraser. “In 2019, Everything Is Public Relations.” O’Dwyer’s – The Inside News of PR and Marketing Communications, 27 Dec. 2018, www.odwyerpr.com/story/public/11815/2018-12-27/2019-everything-is-public-relations.html.
4) Ivanova, Irina. “Stocks Tank after Trump Slams the Fed on Twitter.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 25 Dec. 2018, www.cbsnews.com/news/stock-market-today-on-track-for-worst-december-since-1930-as-treasury-issues-assurances-2018-12-24/.