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

 

Subway Can’t Shake Jared’s Personal Crisis

The once-spokesperson’s seedy reputation still means bad business for Subway

by Maddie Migis

Jared Fogle is synonymous with Subway, due to his long-standing promotional deal with them, in which, on a diet of Subway sandwiches, he lost a large amount of weight. But, unfortunately for Subway, Fogle’s name is still synonymous with the brand, even after he was sentenced to sixteen years in prison for charges related to child pornography and soliciting sex from minors. Even though the conviction came after Fogle had cut his ties with the corporation, the public still very much associates the Fogle with Subway.

jared-fogle

Now Fogle is back in the spotlight yet again, but this time, for something his wife says Subway, not Jared, did wrong. She says that she thinks Subway could have been aware of Jared’s perversions all along. This comes in conjunction with evidence that in 2004, Fogle approached a young girl and asked about a sex act in Las Vegas at a Subway event. In addition to this, she’s suing for a number of damages, saying that Subway worked for their expansion at the expenditure of Fogle’s wife and children.

Subway was where I had my first job. Being a “sandwich artist” wasn’t the best job I’ve ever had, but I remember it fondly, as most people probably remember their first jobs. For $7.25 an hour, I was stoked to even be getting a paycheck, and free sandwiches. But Jared is synonymous with the brand for me, too. Back then, Jared was still a fixture of Subway’s promotional materials, from cups to signage, he was on it all.

Subway got such a big boost from the campaigns Jared Fogle was a part of, I don’t think anyone my age or older will forget Jared Fogle’s ties to Subway for a long time. Maybe Subway will one day be able to bury the hatchet that is Jared Fogle, but for now, the man is a constant stain on Subway’s reputation, and they’ll have to do some serious rebranding before people will forget. It’s not necessarily Subway’s fault that Jared was such a nasty guy, but regardless, they’ll be paying for it for a while. Apologies, whether warranted or not, maybe the the only way for Subway to keep swimming.

Sources Cited:

Arenstein, S. (2016, October 25). Jared’s Crisis Lingers Over Subway. Retrieved October 27, 2016, from http://www.prnewsonline.com/prnewsblog/jareds-crisis-lingers-over-subway/

Buckley, M. (2016, October 24). Jared Fogle’s ex-wife alleges Subway knew of his ‘depravities’ Retrieved October 27, 2016, from http://www.indystar.com/story/news/local/hamilton-county/2016/10/24/jared-fogles-ex-wife-sues-subway/92678014/

Jared Fogle [Photograph found in Subway]. (2015, July 7). In Eater.com. Retrieved October 27, 2016, from http://www.eater.com/2015/7/7/8906389/fbi-raided-home-of-subway-guy-jared-fogle

Wells Fargo Goes too Far: Bashes Arts in Ad for Teens

by Maddie Migis
@maddiemigis

When the arts lose, everyone loses. But, a lot of talk recently has focused on the lack of people entering STEM fields, and many job vacancies. But when Wells Fargo published ads promoting their Teen Day event, people took up arms for the arts.

WellsFargo
Image courtesy of Forbes

The first ad reads “A ballerina yesterday. An Engineer today. Let’s get them ready for tomorrow.” The other reads “An actor yesterday. A botanist today. Let’s get them ready for tomorrow.

The public, especially artists, reacted exactly how Wells Fargo wouldn’t want them to: withdrawing their money from their bank. Wells Fargo, it appears, was unaware artists could make money until all the artists took their money somewhere else.

Other artists suggested a permanent and noteworthy change to The Music Man, a musical (with actors, directors, dancers, stage technicians, etc.) that features a Wells Fargo Wagon.

To make it worse, Wells Fargo had THIS to say:

That little quib at the end about $93 million dollars seems like too little, too late, Wells Fargo. And also, where them numbers at? You need to show your publics in PR you care, not just tell them that you care. The brand hasn’t tweeted anything else since. It’s safe to say they might be a little concerned about what they’re going to say next.

They haven’t posted anything but their initial apology, so there’s no knowing how they will try to recover their image or their many artistic clients. But I would guess Wells Fargo has some apologizing to do. I would recommend setting up a charity or separate fund devoted to encouraging and helping young artist achieve their goals, despite financial setbacks, or even a new ad campaign targeted at success that isn’t based on whether or not a teen wants to pursue an artistic career.

 

Sources Cited:
Willingham, Emily. “Wells Fargo Encourages Budding Actors to Be Botanists And Then Apologizes.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 04 Sept. 2016. Web. 04 Sept. 2016. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2016/09/04/wells-fargo-encourages-budding-actors-to-become-botanists-and-apologizes/#57851bb4a56c>.

Reinstein, Julia. “People Are Saying This Wells Fargo Ad Discourages Teens From Pursuing Arts.” BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed News, 03 Sept. 2016. Web. 03 Sept. 2016. <https://www.buzzfeed.com/juliareinstein/o-ho-the-wells-fargo-wagon-is-a-comin-down?bftw&utm_term=.lujYGyog3#.dlpwKv9o6>.

 

 

Mylan Majorly Messes Up: My Take on Another Big Pharma Goof

by Maddie Migis
@maddiemigis

When the price of Mylan’s EpiPen skyrocketed late this summer, the public fought back. EpiPens are essential to many who suffer from severe allergic reactions, and a 400% price increase raising the cost of the pen to $600 made the pen—a necessity to many—inaccessible (Arenstein, PR News).

Why did Mylan raise the price of the Epipen by 400%? We really don’t know, and Mylan still hasn’t told consumers why. What we do know is that when Mylan acquired the Epipen, the cost was $57 (Willingham, Forbes). We also know about CEO Heather Bresch, now lovingly referred to as the “pharma sis” to Martin Skhreli’s “pharma bro” has also benefitted from a hefty salary increase, no surprise there.

The public, still stewing from big pharma’s own frat boy Martin Shkreli’s heinous and greedy price raise in an equally important drug, Daraprim, from $13.50 to $750 overnight, responded appropriately (Mclean, CNN). Needless to say, Mylan couldn’t have picked a worse time to raise a drug price. But let’s be real, any time would be a bad time to raise the price of such an essential medicine. Denying access to the EpiPen evokes images of a six-year-old, sitting at his lunch table, going into anaphylactic shock after taking a bite of his friend’s pb & j. Mylan, you goofed, big time.

Mylan has already released a hefty discount coupon that reduces “50% off list price” for patients without insurance. But is it enough? I don’t think so. The press release on their media newsroom talks big—and promises a lot of things, including a claim that most people will pay nothing out of pocket on their insurance plans, but they still aren’t planning on lowering the price. Instances like this remind people how greedy pharmaceutical companies can be. It leaves a bad taste in anyone’s mouth to hear that the EpiPen, a product that can, in some situations, mean the difference between life or death, is no longer affordable to most uninsured—or even some insured—people. Mylan claims it has worked with insurance companies, but I can’t believe it.

As someone who grew out of an allergy to ants and bees, I can say my family still paid a large out-of-pocket cost for my EpiPen two-packs (because this is something you should have two of… they’re that important) despite my father’s excellent health insurance.

mylanepipen

Mylan might find themselves in a proverbial pickle, as many angry consumers posted a meme, showing prices upwards of $600 at most pharmacies, and the cost of an Epinephrine vial and a 1 cc syringe, the same medicine, without the “pen” would come out to a mere $10. While not a feasible option to all, I’m sure many will now ask their doctors to teach them how to administer the shots and save a lot of money.

Mylan’s epic pharma fail also leaves room for the FDA and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to encourage other companies attempting to bring a reasonable EpiPen competitor to the market (Arenstein, PR News). Either way, I hope that the greedy mistake Mylan made with their EpiPen price spike tanks the company. And it just may—last week, the price of Mylan’s stock had already dropped 11%.

 

Sources Cited

An image of the EpiPen prices at pharmacies, compared with the cost of an Epinephrine injection and syringe. Digital image. Reddit. Allergic2Shellfish, 26 Aug. 2016. Web. 31 Aug. 2016.

Arenstein, Seth. “Digging Deeper on the EpiPen Crisis.” PR News Blog. PR News, 31 Aug. 2016. Web. 31 Aug. 2016.

Mclean, Robert. “Martin Shkreli on Drug Price Hike: ‘$1 Billion Here We Come'” CNNMoney. Cable News Network, 3 Feb. 2016. Web. 31 Aug. 2016.

“Mylan Taking Immediate Action to Further Enhance Access to EpiPen® (Epinephrine Injection, USP) Auto-Injector.” MediaRoom. Mylan, 31 Aug. 2016. Web. 31 Aug. 2016.

Willingham, Emily. “Why Did Mylan Hike EpiPen Prices 400%? Because They Could.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 22 Aug. 2016. Web. 31 Aug. 2016.