Donald Trump: PR genius or nightmare?

“Let’s be more like Donald Trump.” Wait – what? Bear with me; he’s not all bad from a PR standpoint.

“No Such Thing as Bad Publicity.” Do you really believe that? Donald Trump certainly seems to.

Politics aside, you kind of have to admire the man for his apparently limitless ability to be in the news at all times. And not quite in a Kardashian kind of way. There is a rather large number of people who seem to like what Donald Trump says and does, and those who don’t like him definitely like talking about him. (Among all likely voters, 61% now say Trump is likely to be the official Republican presidential candidate.)

In the PR world, your message is vital, but the way you present it is just as important. As my mother always says, “Always tell the truth, just don’t always be telling it.” Trump takes this a little too far, telling it just like he thinks it is, whether it is true or not.

Trump says what he thinks, apparently without fore-thought or consideration for the consequences. His words make his listeners and readers sort of crazy, but they certainly don’t allow anyone to ignore him or take him lightly. The very controversy in his message and delivery has ensured his notoriety and therefore popularity. He is always in the news because he is always making the news. Instead of waiting for things to happen to him, he finds ways to make things happen.

Though he does frequently err on the side of too much negativity, his straightforward, no apologies kind of talk has proven effective – and the PR world can learn from it. We too often take the safe route, the politically correct sentence that is sure to offend no one – the kind of sentence that no one will notice and no one will remember. To create action, we must use language that creates emotion. While we don’t need to go quite as far as Donald Trump and make our audience hate us, we can and should take a few more risks.

So, let’s be more like Donald Trump while not being quite as Trump-y as he is. Let’s be more proactive and more direct in 2016, creating more emotions and inspire more actions in our audience.