Donald Trump: A Disastrous or Brilliant Model for Public Relations Professionals?

By: Marissa Salway, Account Executive for Upward Bound Math and Sciences

If you have been paying attention to the 2016 presidential election you’ve no doubt heard about Donald Trump. Even if you haven’t been following the election his brash statements about women and immigration (building a wall at the Mexican border) has been receiving coverage on every major news network. Twitter and Facebook feeds are clogged with posts and articles about “18 Things Trump has Actually Said About Women.” His comment about Megyn Kelly after the first republican debate was circulated everywhere, “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever.”

Trump is never politically correct, but some people find that refreshing. Whether you agree with his statements or not, Trump has received more media attention than any of the other candidates and has spent significantly less amounts of money on his campaign. He has only spent 2 million dollars on advertising his campaign. To put this in perspective, the estimated amount of advertising dollars for this election is around 4 billion. He is extremely active on social media and live tweeted the democratic debate, while also tweeting at supporters who trash talked the democrats. Like him or not, the attention he is getting is drawing more viewers who don’t typically pay attention to presidential elections, especially this early on. He currently is still ranked the number one Republican candidate according to Gallup polls – so is he really doing that badly?

The question a public relations professional has to ask themselves is whether or not Trump’s method of gaining attention is unethical or impressive.

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