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Why Trump's tweets should concern you

10 January 2017

 Donald Trump has put many US business leaders on edge over the last few months with his attack tweets that seem to come from nowhere.

Ford and Toyota have both seen their share price drop after tweets from Trump threatening border taxes for cars built offshore and sold in America. The tweets were not even totally accurate.

These are just two examples and show just how damaging social media attacks can be on business and other groups. This has been the case for a good few years now, but Trump has bought the problem into the open.

How does this affect you?

What this means is that anyone has the power to harm your reputation with social media. It might not be Donald Trump, but it could be an unsatisfied customer, a competitor or someone with an axe to grind.

Many business leaders don’t worry about this because they are confident their goods and services are good value and their customer service is top class.

What they don’t realise is that they are still vulnerable. Most social media attacks in my experience are inaccurate. But if you don’t know they are happening, or don’t put the inaccuracy right almost immediately, the result can be devastating.

Being prepared for reputational attacks like this is no different from preparing to communicate in an emergency. The result on the business can be just as devastating. It can snowball in social media and also lead to negative news media coverage.

If you don’t have a crisis communication plan in place to deal with both emergencies and reputational attacks, you are taking a huge gamble. It’s no different from not being insured financially. Reputational damage can be just as disastrous if something goes wrong.

The media landscape has changed and businesses need to change with it. Do you have statements on risk areas ready to send out? Do you know who will do what if negative media scrutiny comes your way? Is your spokesperson ready to talk on the national media stage and answer the tough questions at a moment’s notice?

These are a few of the questions that need to be asked, along with others in the formation of your crisis communication plan. Many businesses don’t ask these questions until it’s too late. If Donald Trump has done one thing for business before he takes the reigns, it’s make this point perfectly clear.

If you want to learn the five steps to pain free media interviews, download my White Paper at this link.

Written by

Pete is a leading New Zealand media trainer and regular blogger for his company, Media Training NZ . He has helped leaders from all sectors of society communicate with the media and other stakeholders. Pete is a former daily newspaper reporter and press secretary in the New Zealand government. From these roles, he understands the media process from both sides of the camera.

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