Branding is everything. You and I are our own personal brands. We increasingly modify our personal brand to fit our business brand or the brand of the company we work for.
We want our image to pop into someone’s head when they see a perceived need for someone with our expertise. Nobody on this planet, and I mean nobody, has perfected this branding as well as Donald Trump has.
Merriam-Webster lists ‘Trump’ as both a noun and a verb. I like the verb best – to do better and to be more important than. It seems to fit.
- to beat (another card) by playing a card from the suit that beats the other suits : to play a trump card to beat (another card)
- to do better than (someone or something) in a contest, competition, etc.
- to be more important than (something)
Trumping in politics
A new version of the verb has emerged these past few weeks. ‘Trumping’ has become synonymous with being bigger and with being better. A bigger crowd at a political event, a better venue with sometimes paid supporters padding the numbers. Food and entertainment are routinely laid on for the loyal volunteers and supporters, the Trump cheer-leading squad.
What does this mean for public relations in politics? Quite simply, it’s a game changer. Politics in this country will never be the same again after Donald Trump’s Presidential bid.
He may well win the White House, because winning (‘trumping’) is both his game, and his name. He may well leave a fractured Republican party in his wake. A GOP left to piece itself together, or to disband. Perhaps the party will regroup and rebrand. Win or lose, Mr. Trump has changed the nature of politics forever with his brash, aggressive public relations/branding campaign.
A Stale Political Arena
Here in the District, and probably in every state, we are tired of the sameness of the same-old politics. We are tired of the endless political bickering, of the partisanship, and the lack of clearly-defined decision-making. We yearn for an FDR, for a ‘New Deal’.
With just over 400 days to Election Day in November 2016, the race began earlier than usual, with a slow and lackluster roll-out. A roll-out too slow and too predictable for the mainstream media, who need ratings to survive. They need us to watch their networks. Almost as soon as the media began talking about the election, candidates began to declare their interest in running for the toughest job in the world. Indeed, some candidates were pushed into declaring earlier than their campaigns had planned. The ultimate in peer pressure! Into this ho-hum media and political stalemate exploded The Donald!
The Tide of Public Opinion
With typical grandeur and opulence, on June 16, Trump declared his candidacy for the GOP nomination from the dizzying heights of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. The media flocked to hear him. The media observed him, interviewed him and continue to do so. The public loved him. He made some seriously inflammatory off-the-cuff remarks that would have derailed anyone else’s campaign. Not so The Donald, the ultimate public relations machine. In fact, the more outrageous the remarks, the more support Trump seems to attract. It all looks so spontaneous, doesn’t it? It’s not, of course. The Trump campaign is a calculated, well-rehearsed business roadshow, carefully choreographed and professionally staged. Nothing is left to chance.
This is a man who understands the power of his brand, a man who has the latest research on the political landscape at his fingertips. This is a man who believes in himself, a man who believes he will become the next Chief Executive Officer of the United States. It will be an interesting 400+ days and a continuing media frenzy.
I will leave you with the definition of the noun, and a reminder that Freidrich Drumpf’s grandson may epitomize the American Dream. After all, what’s in a name?
: a decisive overriding factor or final resource —called also trump card
: a dependable and exemplary person