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Election 2016: What Do Brands Do Now?

Moving from brands to PR and communications generally, the success of Trump can be ascribed to his refusal to apologize. True, he apologized about his "Access Hollywood" comments about women, but few other attacks on him were responded to with apologies. Most were met with attacks on the attacker. As such, Trump again nearly by himself destroyed a chapter in the PR 101 playbook that urges brands, corporate and personal, to own up to mistakes. As John Roderick wrote in a provocative essay in PR News Pro last month: “The public apology is dead. Long live the indignant counterattack.” Again, we’re not saying brands should cease apologizing when criticized; however, in the rare case when an offensive is authentic to your brand or your CEO, it might be worth considering.

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