April 14, 2016
Despite some recent setbacks and his controversial statements, companies and organisations should take note of how Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has captured America’s attention and been granted widespread free media coverage.
This is the view of Lyall Mercer, Australian corporate public relations strategist and Managing Director of Mercer PR, who says that behind Trump’s public profile is someone who understands how to use the media and relate to people.
“The unprecedented amount of mainstream media coverage he has garnered is no accident, and it would behove corporate leaders to take note of some of the key points of his public and media relations strategy.
“Trump is fearless, engages the media proactively and controls the message.
He said the real estate magnate and reality TV star also understands that if he is not speaking, the void will be filled by his opponents.”
“Trump is highlighting that proactively engaging with stakeholders and the public ensures that competitors have a lesser voice. I would say to leaders that equally, you want to be on the media’s radar when comments and opinion is needed about issues relating to your industry.”
Mercer said that Trump knows the power of the media grab, and what to say to capture the headlines, although he acknowledges that some of his comments create too much negative reaction.
“He seems to thrive on controversy that would destroy most people and brands, but fortunately controversy is not the only way to get attention. The underlying principle is that people will listen if your message is newsworthy, relevant, current and beneficial to them.
The PR specialist said Trump understands the people he is talking to and is aware of his objective, which is to win the Republican nomination.
“Many criticise and mock him, but whether he ends up winning the race or not, it cannot be denied that he has brilliantly exploited core PR principles to be currently in pole position.”