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Companies, Politics, and Public Relations

By: Caitlin Gailey, Account Executive for First Pick


Image Credit: Cosmopolitan

In the aftermath of the presidential election hysteria, big companies are starting to find themselves in hot water. Businesses like Uber, Starbucks, Under Armour and most recently Nordstrom are feeling the backlash of their political ties.  

Nordstrom recently dropped Ivanka Trump’s clothing line due to poor sales. The decision to stop carrying the line resulted in an angry President Trump and a lot of mixed reactions towards the company. Meanwhile, many users have been boycotting the Uber app due to its response to the recently halted immigration ban.

Whether it be in the news or on social media, it seems that everyone is sharing their two cents on the political state of our country. However, for companies with large markets this may not be the best decision. In the public relations industry, it’s been said that there is no such thing as bad publicity. In most cases this is certainly true, because positive or negative news about your company gains exposure. However, in this instance companies are ostracizing a portion of their audience by interfering politically. In the hotbed that is American politics, it serves little purpose for company executives to share their views or make decisions based on politics.

In the case of Nordstrom, the company’s decision to stop selling Ivanka Trump’s line was made solely from a sales perspective. However, the backlash from President Trump supporters should not come as a surprise. The tiniest decisions can be amplified, so public relations professionals will have to carefully manage their brands messages moving forward.


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