3 communications lessons we can learn from Donald Trump

By Stacy Stufft
February 2nd, 2016

If you interact with people, use social media or consume news, it’s hard to avoid stories regarding Donald Trump’s latest pronouncement. And each time, political experts ponder if his latest outburst will finally end his assent, only to be answered by a new batch of fans.

Although Trump’s language is a bit more colorful (among other things) than what we typically see from a presidential hopeful, his mass appeal may have something to do with his mastery of the three Ps: Plain talk. Passion. Predictability. And we can all learn from it.

Plain talk

The average American reads at a middle school reading level. If our communications goal is to create messages that appeal to broad and diverse audiences, we must move from crafting prolific statements that showcase our advanced writing techniques and broad vocabulary to just simply telling it like it is. Short, sweet, to the point. Using common language that needs no advanced comprehension skills and leaves little room for interpretation.


Leaders who deliver simple messages with enthusiasm, conviction and urgency capture their audiences’ attention and connect on an emotional level. They’re believable. They instill confidence. They’re empowering. They make us feel as if we’re part of something great (or making something great again). And their passion is infectious.


Ever hear the phrase, “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t”? There is comfort in knowing who we’re dealing with … the good, bad and the ugly. We like our leaders (and our friends, partners and relatives) to respond in a consistent way to every situation. No surprises. No shock and awe. No need to regain our footing after every conversation.

Will Trump’s following remain strong? Only time can tell now that the caucuses are taking place. However, from a communications standpoint, the lessons to be learned are timeless.


By | 2017-03-12T18:54:35+00:00 February 2nd, 2016|Public Affairs, Uncategorized, Vr3|Comments Off on 3 communications lessons we can learn from Donald Trump

About the Author:

With two decades of agency experience serving consumer and B2B companies in industries such as building products, architecture, food service, retail and entertainment, Stacy knows strong brands have one thing in common: they form and foster relationships that matter.

A serial home improver and former farm girl who loves nothing more than to roll up her sleeves and get to work, Stacy helps brands dig deep by asking the right questions, exploring the options and collaborating on engagement strategies such as content marketing, social media engagement, employee and customer communications, community relations, special event creation and crisis counsel.

Stacy is a member of Vehr’s senior leadership and marketing teams and holds a certification from HubSpot in Inbound Methodology.

Prior to joining Vehr, Stacy served as counselor at a Cincinnati-based advertising agency and as a former executive counselor/consumer practice group lead at a local public relations firm.