Report Card: How 9 Brands Handled Being in Trump’s Crosshairs on Twitter

Although Twitter has been around for a decade, never in its history have 140 characters had the power and influence they’ve enjoyed since Nov. 9. Sure, when the Pope began tweeting, it made headlines but it didn’t move markets the way @realdonaldtrump has in the last few months. One outlet estimated that one 140-character screed about Lockheed Martin cost the company $28 million per character.

But as it happens, it’s not always bad to be caught in Donald Trump’s crosshairs. In the wake of the criticism of Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), Amazon sold out of his most recent book. Vanity Fair and New York Times subscriptions have skyrocketed after angry tweets from then-president-elect Trump took them on. Some organizations might want to develop a PR strategy that cultivates antipathy in order to boost donations.

But even for brands that sustained damage, the financial impact seems to be relatively short-lived. This, of course, is little consolation to the war rooms and board rooms whose occupants are no doubt drawing up crisis communications plans to make sure they’re prepared to withstand the eventuality of

Katie Paine, CEO, Paine Publishing

a Trump attack.

No doubt, most of those plans include standard crisis preparedness advice: Develop good relationships beforehand, don’t engage, take it offline, etc.


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