Ever wonder why you see the same recycled faces on television or quoted in the newspaper? You may find yourself outraged, because oftentimes they don’t have the experience or even the knowledge that you have. What they have is PR advocates, or the Trump effect.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “sex sells”. Well, provocative sells as well, which is why despite your politics, you’ve listened to Trump. He’s either excited, ignited or infuriated you. As a former journalist, I can tell you the best told stories have characters driving the plot. People often will buy into an aspect of your personality before they sign a contract or retain your services. Business is not emotional, but people are; media helps you merge this fundamental dichotomy. An easy way to create credibility, trust or outrage is through media attention.
The Trump effect is composed of two main ingredients: the mouth and the proximity to the mic.
Say the things that others won’t. You may love or hate Donald Trump, but it’s an irrefutable fact: he is a media maven because of that big personality. When preparing for media opportunities, make sure the person speaking to the reporter is equipped with both facts and the ability to have fun. Journalists will gravitate toward someone who is knowledgeable and relatable rather than someone who is stiff but an expert.
Are you ready at a moment’s notice? You need to be. Reporters hate when their experts ask, “Can I get back with you next week sometime?” No! The story airs tonight, or will printed in the morning paper. If your time is tight, ask the reporter when their deadline is.
Trump is effective at getting coverage because of his willingness and availability to talk to journalists. You don’t need to research what you already know. Trust me, if they are asking for an intellectual property lawyer, they aren’t going to make you cite precedents nor will a general assignment reporter on deadline have the background, time or knowledge to refute what you share.
If you make a reporter wait, you’ve lost coverage. The people you see on CNN or as regular contributors answer their cell phones, respond to texts and will come out of a meeting to give a quick quote. That’s what makes them regulars. They aren’t always the best or even the most eloquent, but they are easy to work with. Accessibility is critical when growing a relationship with the media. The Trump effect gets you to the top of the media and free marketing tower, which is always good for your bottom line.