With Donald Trump’s controversial statements flooding news headlines, business owners and spokespeople are becoming more aware of just how much their representation in the media can affect the way they are viewed in the public sphere. For many, this is an opportunity to learn from Trump’s media successes and failures, as well as take note of what to do and what to avoid when in the public eye.
When struggling with whether to nix professional PR guidance, or turn to communications experts for advice, here are five top reasons you should practice positive media relations and listen to your PR team:
1. Maintain your hard earned reputation.
With modern technology’s ability to spread news like wildfire, dozens of national publications have provided commentary on Trump’s offhand remarks, often backing him into a corner and leaving him in the defensive position.
After taking years to build a credible rapport, this is not a position in which people are comfortable. It is the job of your PR professional to make sure this doesn’t happen by dealing with a crisis situation promptly and effectively, while also helping to prevent them from occurring in the first place. The fewer catastrophes associated with your name, the more durable your reputation and the more it will uphold in the long run.
2. Get your message across.
After Trump claimed that John McCain was not a war hero, he insisted he simply didn't say what he meant or mean what he said.
With the help of your public relations team, the story you spread to the world will be consistent with the one you WANT to tell. Too often, words get lost in translation and meanings are misinterpreted to leave the audience with a puzzling idea of what message you were trying to send. Public relations efforts help eliminate this problem by shaping and defining the story before it is told, leaving you with a more articulate version for your record.
3. Withstand the momentum.
The wrong kind of publicity is like a lightning bolt: striking fast and disappearing just as forcefully. The news coverage you receive should be meaningful and leave a lasting impression on your audience. Rather than building your base from a publicity stunt to achieve the infamous 15 minutes of fame, the standard your PR specialists set for you will allow you to see success in the long haul and keep you top of mind in your industry.
4. All attention is not good attention.
It is a common misconception that all press is good press. For Trump, being in the forefront of the news has not always been beneficial for his campaign and future as a businessman. Expressions of his personal opinions have offended a large range of audiences and have caused him to pass the point of no return with industry giants that he will potentially not be able to recover from.
Your PR team’s goal is to allow you to open your mouth without inserting your foot and present your vision, virtues, and ideals without burning important bridges.
5. Emphasize the end goal online and beyond.
While Trump has received limitless attention in the media, it is not always in line with his end goal of becoming president (if that is truly his end goal). When searching Trump’s name, instead of seeing his views on foreign policy and education reform like other candidates, Googlers are reminded of his media outbursts and the various questionable comments he has made throughout his campaign trail.
A public relations specialist ensures that you consistently stay on track with your target objectives and nail down search engine optimization, so you don’t fall to this mistake. You will benefit from this by 1) keeping your core message at center stage and 2) gaining credibility and visibility through your online presence.
Remember that sustaining your reputation, being consistent and clear with your message, and focusing on your bottom line determines whether you and your brand sink or swim.