3 things PR professionals can learn from Donald Trump

3 things PR professionals can learn from Donald Trump

On June 16, Donald Trump officially announced his candidacy for president.


When running for high office, a candidate’s image becomes everything. How a candidate handles matters of public relations will greatly influence how he or she is viewed by the public. Let’s look at decisions made by Trump to learn the do’s and don’ts of public relations.


1. Avoid offending a nation


Publicly insulting any one person can cause some controversy, but offending a whole nation will create massive backlash. During Trump’s candidacy speech, he made negative comments about Mexico and it’s people.


“They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re bringing rapists,” said Trump.


These statements influenced Colombian singer J Balvin to drop out as a performer in next month’s Miss USA contest, of which Trump is a partial owner. Other performers and contributors to the contest have dropped out as well.



Spanish language network, Univision, has also decided to cut all ties with the contest. Offending large groups of people can easily damage professional relationships along with a candidate’s image.


2. Recognize your mistakes


Acknowledging past mistakes before others bring them up is a great way to handle a public relations disaster before it even starts.


At the beginning of Trump’s candidacy, he publicly bad mouthed his Republican competitors, more specifically candidate Jeb Bush. However, Trump soon felt remorse and decided to openly show his regret to the public.


“I think he’s a nice person. I actually felt bad because I hit him very hard one day like two days ago, three days ago, and I said, why am I hitting him so hard?” Trump said to CNN anchor, Jake Tapper.


Bashing other candidates is viewed poorly by many voters, so Trump calling out his own comments was a step in the right direction towards fixing his image.


3. Don’t use Twitter to start PR fires


Twitter is a great medium to mend bridges, but if not used carefully, can become a dangerous tool for burning them.


Lately, Trump has been using Twitter to publicly disrespect people. On Wednesday, he referred to “The View” cast members, Nicole Wallace and Molly Sims, as a “disaster,” and called the show “Dead T.V.”



On Thursday, he called political analyst, Lawrence O’Donnell “dopey,” and commented on his show’s lack of ratings. Throwing out public insults on Twitter while running for office comes off as unprofessional and creates a negative reputation for the candidate.



Trump has made some mistakes early into his campaign, but can still fix them after a careful examination of where he went wrong. This method can cause a big turnaround for any candidate.

Will these recent events impact Trump’s presidential campaign? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.

Devon Karbowski

Devon Karbowski graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2015. He received a BA in Writing Studies with an emphasis in Professional Writing and a minor in Philosophy. Currently, he is using his degree to pursue a career in freelance writing, proposal writing and social media management. The focal point of his MUI PR articles will involve public relations related topics.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.