Well, we have certainly had some interesting PR challenges on the national landscape over the past several months, from Cracker Barrel to Pepsi to United Airlines.
The Trump administration has also had its share of PR gaffes, including Twitter posts, inaccurate statements and inflammatory rhetoric coming from the White House.
Certainly, it’s a complicated transition into a complex job. There is no text book for how to take over as leader of the free world.
That’s why we’re offering some thoughts on how to approach the next 100 days.
This is not political. This is PR 101.
LIVE AND LEARN
It’s OK to admit that you are learning on the job – every week, every day, sometimes every hour. It’s OK to say you have (gasp) made some mistakes and that there are moments you are proud of and moments you wish you could have back. Overwhelmingly, you have heard cries for change from both traditional parties. Let people know that change comes with growing pains. Not everything will go smoothly. Change is hard – as many companies and many industries know.
Admit that you have been too thin-skinned too often and misused your Twitter account more times than anyone cares to count. You have not always picked the right battles, nor have some of the people speaking on your behalf. Get a social media expert, listen to them, have them manage your Twitter account, including changing the password and not sharing it with you.
AGREE TO DISAGREE
Let people know that you’re trying your hardest every day to live up to the promises you made while running for president. Some decisions people will like; some they won’t. Sometimes we’ll all agree; and sometimes we’ll argue. Make sure everyone knows that’s OK.
UNITED WE STAND
To that end, encourage your supporters to treat everyone, even those in opposition to what you are trying to accomplish, with respect. And ask your detractors to do the same. Stress to everyone that America is beautiful because we can voice a dissenting point of view. We can even criticize our nation’s leader without fear of repercussion. Uh, right?
WALK THE WALK
Once you say all that, live by it. Be more respectful in your words and your tone. Be more professional and less bombastic. Understand the impact of your words and actions at all times. It’s all right to ask your greatest critics for patience and a chance to make this country better in your own way. But you have to set the tone.
SHOW SOME HUMILITY
Let America know that this administration has a long way to go in office. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. You’re just getting started. Pledge to learn from these first 100 days and improve in the next 100 – and the next 100 after that. Tell the country you and your team will try to be better and ask for the same in return. Use this key message: “Let’s be better together. That’s how we will succeed. Not divided but together.”
There. That should make things easier. Listen to all that and you will create greater challenges for Saturday Night Live writers.