Election ’12: Trump Announcement Small, But PR Lesson Huge

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 

Comments Off

Deals of the Week

Get $150 Off PR News' Measurement Conference 

Media Relations ConferenceJoin PR News at the National Press Club on Dec. 11 for the Media Relations Conference, where you'll learn how to tie your media relations initiatives to business goals, use the right metrics to prove the success of your efforts, incorporate social media in a brand crisis and more.

Use code “150” at checkout to save $150 on the regular rate.

Get $50 off PR News' Crisis Management Guidebook


Crisis management is an art, not a science. In this edition of PR News’ Book of Crisis Management Strategies & Tactics, you will discover many different views on this art, and you are certain to find takeaways that will transform the way your organization handles crises. 

Use code “50off” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription



Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

Comments are closed.