Adding a social component in basic PR in today’s world

In today’s fast-paced, competitive world, what gives company A an advantage over company B?  Well, there are many factors why some companies succeed in an industry and others fail.  It could simply be a better product, better leadership, more effective marketing and messaging and the list goes on.

What we’re seeing more and more today with young start up companies, is most make sure to include a “social component” in their marketing strategy.  In other words, consumers today want to know that the products they buy and companies they support are not in it only for the profit, but also exist to help those in need.

Some may say it’s a marketing gimmick.  Or a way to get publicity.  But if a company invests a portion of its resources in programs and campaigns that help people — whether in this country or around the world — it has to be more than a gimmick.  It usually is something they believe in because it takes time, effort, commitment and funds.  So while it may help their bottom line, if the social component is relevant and effective, it almost always is genuine.

Starting a company is not easy.  It never has been.  But we’ve seen start-ups that have taken off literally overnight.  In the past it would take decades for a company to achieve success, even profitability.  Today the world moves at a faster pace and people make buying decisions in a split second, with the click of a mouse.

Our advice to any for-profit company — whether a start-up or 50 years old — is if you don’t give back to the community or to people in need, you are losing a tremendous opportunity to connect with younger consumers.  And, you’re missing PR and marketing opportunities that only come with giving back.

Trump’s PR 101 class

A number of years ago Donald Trump started a school to teach would-be real estate investors how to be successful, like him.  From all accounts, the school charged a lot of money but didn’t deliver much information, and the school went bust.

The mistake Trump made was he taught the wrong subject.  Yes, he is a master real estate mogul.  But he is even a better PR pro.

Years before Trump declared his candidacy for any public office, he was a national figure.  His high profile projects, reality show and many appearances on late night talk shows, often on the Late Late Show with David Letterman.  He was an entertaining figure and made for good conversation, even if Letterman poked fun at him.

Now that he is running for president of the United States, his PR skills are being put to good use.  While his competitors for the Republican nomination have to shell out millions of dollars in paid advertising, all Trump has to do is say something outrageous and he is on TV that night.

Donald Trump is a master publicist, for the Trump brand.  He knows how to get attention and does it every day.  His formula is simple: say something crazy and controversial, and the media will come running.

With the South Carolina primary a few days away, Jeb (Bush) pulled a great media event by having his brother, the former president, appear at a rally.  George W. has been very quiet since he left office, but now he is on the campaign trail.  But knowing that it would be Jeb’s day in the media spotlight, Trump wasn’t going to have it.  On the same day as Jeb’s event, he threatened to sue Ted Cruz, claiming he is ineligible to run for president because he wasn’t born in the U.S.  Everybody knows such a lawsuit, if it is indeed filed, will go nowhere.  But that wasn’t the point. It got Trump on TV that night, right along side Jeb’s big media event.  It took Jeb Bush money, work and coordination to get George W. to appear at his rally.  All it took for Trump was to pick up the phone and call a news conference.

So if Trump doesn’t become president, and if he gets tired of real estate, he really should go into PR.

That’s where his real talents lie.