Love him or hate him, Donald Trump knows how to get your attention.
When the real estate mogul and Celebrity Apprentice host revealed via Twitter to his 1.7 million followers on Oct. 22 that he had big news to announce about President Obama on Oct. 24 at noon, the media jumped. Picking up on the tweet, news outlets, blogs and radio ran with the story, and the hashtag #Trump became a trending topic.
The announcement that Trump vowed would change the election? If the president releases his college records and applications, and reveals his passport applications and records, Trump would give a check of $5 million immediately to a charity of Obama’s choice. This was, in effect, a clever PR stunt activated on Twitter and YouTube that put Trump back in the national spotlight.
Trump's blueprint for media attention is worth studying: tease via Twitter, set a time to create audience anticipation and use YouTube for the big reveal.
Most individuals don't have 1.7 million followers and most brands don't have the funds to cut a $5 million check on a dare, but that doesn't mean they can't draw lessons from some of the best self-promoters and marketers. Both Donald Trump and Pizza Hut have found creative—if somewhat shameless—ways to exploit the national obsession with the presidential election and get media attention at virtually no cost. All it takes is a little bit of creativity and a lot of chutzpah.
Follow Jamar Hudson: @jamarhudson