Did Trump Actually Run a “Great” PR Campaign?

Whether you like it or not, Trump’s PR team might have actually had a good thing going.

Personally, while I do respect our President-elect as much as I can, as a woman this election upset me in a lot of ways. Now that the election is over and I have had a little time to mourn, I can be honest: Trump obviously did something right. A strategic business man, he won the electoral vote, not the popular vote, which he knew was what really mattered in the end. And, his PR team played a huge part in it. For all the things I can’t say about his campaign that are “right,” here’s what Trump did well during this election cycle:

Earned Media

We’ve figured out by now that our new President-elect is not fond of the media. However, Trump walked away from this election with a victory and over $2 billion dollars in earned media (Confessore). In addition to having almost double the TV ad buys that the Clinton camp possessed, it meant total media domination for Trump. In the month of February alone, Trump earned $400 million dollars worth of earned media, the same amount McCain spent on his entire campaign (Confessore). His methods may have been extremely unconventional, but for that reason, the media has essentially been forced to cover them. All that free media not only makes him a wise businessman, but essentially a PR guru.

Stuck to his Message

He may have been outlandish, but no one can deny his consistency. His messages, no matter how bigoted, were certainly consistent, and that rhetoric really resonated with his audience. Twitter became a place for him to push his agenda on a great scale, and he often bypassed media to set his own agenda during the election cycle.

Social Media

This is tough for me, and probably the rest of the world, to admit, but Twitter was Trump’s playground during the election. Hillary’s account was conventionally awesome, it was consistent, contained a great deal of scheduled content, and stuck to her message. While her social media team can be applauded, the only one to thank for Trump’s tweet notoriety is himself. He alone created more conflict and set the agenda better than any social media team could have ever done. And while it didn’t always directly benefit him, it certainly kept people talking.

Hired Some Women

This isn’t a note about Trump’s PR, but about his staff as a whole. While his rhetoric towards women is overall degrading and degenerative, it’s true that a great deal of his staff was female. Both of his head spokespersons, Katrina Pieterson and KellyAnne Conway are female. While I am not the biggest fan of either of them, that is not the entirety of his female staff, and he deserves credit for being an equal opportunity employer.

So, with a hearty PR effort from the Trump team, maybe Trump really can make America great again. I’m not sure that KellyAnne and I think “great” means the same thing, but hey, I give credit where credit is due, and Trump’s PR efforts are likely the reason he’s about to become President.


Sources Cited:
Confessore, N., & Yourish, K. (2016, March 16). $2 Billion Worth of Free Media for Donald Trump. Retrieved December 08, 2016, from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/16/upshot/measuring-donald-trumps-mammoth-advantage-in-free-media.html

Sparrer, C. (2016, December 8). Did Trump Run the Best PR Campaign of 2016? Retrieved December 08, 2016, from http://www.adweek.com/prnewser/did-trump-run-the-best-pr-campaign-of-2016/123840


Sometimes, Seeing is Even Better than Believing

Lifebuoy shows that real germs are much scarier than consumers might imagine.

Lifebuoy, a soap company, has discovered what may be the most effective way to sell soap. Germs are often represented in promotional materials by cartoonish figures or monsters, with “bad-boy” personalities. But Lifebuoy wanted to show people that they real thing can be much, much worse. By using real objects, they created real cultures as promotional materials to show people in malls in South America how dirty their stuff really is.

The ads, as the video shows, are obviously effective, and super gross. They show real-life bacteria associated with everyday objects like game controllers and phones, and it’s quite disturbing (Kulp). It’s a powerful image, and while it might not make people buy Lifebuoy, maybe more people will wash their hands or sanitize their phones more often. It’s very powerful imagery.

Lifebuoy is good at capturing the public’s attention this way. Recently, in what I think was a more effective display for their brand equity, they used their soap to trace their logo, and it kept bacteria from growing in that area.

The ads are gross, that’s for sure. But they’re also powerful. I don’t think most brands would consider installing giant petri dishes all over the place, but you can’t deny what kind of message it sends. More importantly, this campaign shows germs in their true form, not in the way that we see them in many medicinal and health advertisements today. It’s refreshing, but also meaningful. It has a potential to make a positive, lasting, impression.

Sources Cited:

Kulp, Patrick. “Soap Company Uses Bacteria-coated Billboards to Prove How Dirty Your Stuff Is.” Mashable. Mashable, 01 Dec. 2016. Web. 01 Dec. 2016. <http://mashable.com/2016/12/02/soap-bacteria-ads/?utm_cid=mash-com-Tw-main-link#I3QOg5I2Qkqx>.

Lifebuoy Magic. Lifebuoy, 12 May 2015. Web. 1 Dec. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFCsq05bzhM>.