Let me be clear. I am not a Donald Trump fan. And I thought, for sure, his presidential moment would have flashed in the proverbial pan by now. So what is it that’s keeping him at the top of the polls and in front of much of the campaign conversation?
Apparently he’s following D+P’s messaging rules… that is to say, when we work with clients who need to advocate a certain position, we start with these five rules:
- Keep it simple.
- Take ownership.
- Be first.
- Influence the influencers.
- Keep an ear to the ground.
The Donald’s covered off on these like a champ. Take a look:
Keeping it simple – Even with all the tweeting and foot-in-mouth, can-you-believe-he-said-that statements, these simple ideas consistently come through from Trump: I’m not a politician. I’m a successful businessman who will make America great again. People like that.
Take ownership – Agree or disagree, he clearly established immigration as his issue, and he now owns it.
Be first – Trump’s leading the discussion. He sounds off on his ideas to deal with illegal immigration and the next thing you know, the other Republican candidates are responding to the “Trump plan.”
Influence the influencers – In this case, Trump is getting 24/7 coverage from media influencers – with their reports ad nauseum on those same can-you-believe-he-said that-statements and live, uninterrupted, streaming coverage of his political rallies. It’s created 24/7 visibility for the candidate which is fueling his momentum.
Keep an ear to the ground – He’s listening… and firing back fast and furiously, particularly if he doesn’t agree with what you’ve said or what you stand for. And there are plenty of people who fall into those categories. Just ask Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly or Univision anchor Jorge Ramos.
Whether he stays in the lead for the Republican nomination remains to be seen. But in the meantime, his consistency and simplicity of message is turning him into a bigger factor than anyone would have predicted… except for, maybe, Donald Trump.
As communicators, all of us can take a lesson from that.