Looking back on the presidential election of 2016, perhaps the best you can say is that it was a PR nightmare on both sides of the political divide. So many stones were thrown it’s hard to remember who said what about whom, but we know that in the end, one side was victorious and it just could be that Donald J. Trump simply had a better PR team than Hillary Rodham Clinton.
After all, both candidates had enough dirt flying around that it could have taken a backhoe the rest of the century to clear out. This should be incentive for any budding marketing pro to perhaps look into the potential of getting an online masters in public relations because if you are good, you can win very, very big for your clients. Let’s recap the 2016 presidential election to see just how far PR can take someone with negative press.
Both candidates did have some very good things going for them. Hillary Clinton had a long history in politics and as a former first lady, some very influential connections. That’s the good. Donald J. Trump is a real estate mogul who knows how to come back very big financial losses and that’s just what many are hoping he can do for this country. He wants to “Make America great again,” and as far as slogan’s go, that is a dream come true from a PR perspective. Again, the good.
A career in public relations can definitely put you on a fast track to success if you land a client with some of the ‘not-so-good’ press floating around out there. As for HRC, her not-so-good press came in the form of her association with her husband, who is an admitted womanizer. The bad press she got revolved around her involvement with his ‘liaisons’ over the years and the reported threats she made to keep her husband’s political career intact. As for DJT, it is reported that he has a less-than-healthy view of women and was caught on tape from years ago making lewd comments about a woman. Not so good at all and it could have done irrevocable damage. But damage control to the rescue saved the day for the now President Elect.
The Very, Very Ugly
If you really want to go far in your profession counteracting bad press, you might want to consider a public relations masters degree. This is where you’ll learn how to quickly assess a situation, often a very bad situation, and then determine what will draw attention away from anything damaging and turn it to something impressive. For Clinton, it was Benghazi and there was no turning away from her leaked emails and the fact that it was almost a given that she was instrumental in the deaths of our ambassador and those in service protecting him.
For Trump it was his supposed racist and misogynistic attitudes, but great PR showed those to be left wing propaganda. Was it? Perhaps, but the general public decided to give him a chance over someone who had proven to be untrustworthy and Trump’s PR staff even had some believing she was guilty of treason. Was she? At this time it’s only negative PR, but that’s the point! PR can make you or break you.
Recapping the 2016 presidential election, Trump had better PR. It’s probably just as simple as that.
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