20th January 2017 – Donald Trump is inaugurated as President of the United States of America. This is not a drill. Arguably the biggest shock in American history, (until the Patriots won the SuperBowl with the greatest comeback ever) Trump played everybody. The electorate, the critics, the media – all played. A massive success for Trump and his PR gang.
You could say we all played a game and Trump made the rules. Whatever your opinion on President Trump (yep, President), he did what was required to win the most difficult election in the world. His past comments on women and ethnicities were expertly masked by his PR team. Mike Dubke, Head of Communications for Trump, established a plan that bucked all trends and poll predictions.
Trumps’ Twitter feed, was the main PR technique used by the campaign – Trump made Twitter trend! From what I can see, Trumps’ gang literally saw any publicity as good publicity when it came to Twitter. Amassing millions of retweets and likes, Trumps name was everywhere. It was impossible to avoid his name whenever you loaded up the feed. Why? PR.
Maybe the campaign manager knew Trump wasn’t favourite to win and arguably politically incapable, so he started a war of Twitter. The great war of Twitter, began in 2016 when people began to unearth Trumps diluted past. People began talking. People began criticising. People began defending. TRUMP was all over the media like a rash, playing them at their own game.
Big names, Piers Morgan and Jimmy Fallon defended, celebrity endorsement began. Still a massive outsider at 6/1, Trump and his team used Twitter effectively. They discussed a range of issues affecting every American, from abortion to war, they tweeted. Complacent Hillary was suddenly fighting a losing battle. People weren’t tweeting her name on social media. It was Donald Trump, the billionaire businessman set to take on, and run, the world.
We can talk about trends in PR for hours, days, weeks on end, but the truth is, you can’t just join a trend, you have to make one. From the word go, as soon as the Republican candidate was announced, the comms team were ready to take on Twitter. Not Facebook, not Instagram, Twitter. Avoiding direct audience interaction, Trump and his team published tweets that got people talking, PC was out of the window, straight-talking, regular American Donald Trump was born.
Every topic under the sun is mentioned in Trumps’ tweets. Football, women, food, war, defence, trade – they’re all there. Every single citizen of the USA was able to interact with the soon to be President on issues that directly affected them. Trump made a plan and stuck to it. He knew he wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but everybody at least had a sip.
Days before the election, Trump tweeted about togetherness and ‘Making America Great Again’, something which worked with the people. Obama and his characteristics wouldn’t have matched with this slogan, but for whatever reason, Trump did. Tweets schedules, hashtags developed, Trump, against all odds won the election.
I’d like to say I’m surprised Trump won. Yet, I can honestly say I believed it from day one as I know Twitter and I know politics. I’ve even got the bet receipt and £40 winnings to prove it.