Trump should run Twitter like a business
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During the presidential campaign, candidate Donald Trump framed the argument that he would run the country like a business. So why is it that as President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump signs bill averting shutdown after brief funding lapse Privacy, civil rights groups demand transparency from Amazon on election data breaches Facebook takes down Trump campaign ads tying refugees to coronavirus MORE he refuses to apply that same logic to how he communicates on Twitter?

A CEO would not be reckless on social media, because the successful ones understand that one misstep could lead to a tarnished reputation for the company and financial pain for its shareholders.  

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Since Trump is the CEO of the United States, his negligent behavior on social media has left the country being discredited with its closest ally, the United Kingdom, and has left the American people sharing the pain of any backlash that comes as a result.

 

Weeks after Trump’s now infamous Obama wiretap tweet, the president is only making the situation worse by coming up with new unfound allegations.

What is so frustrating is that it is completely counter to the new way Trump promised he would govern.

In a recent interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News, Trump said, “I think that maybe I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Twitter.”

That is not correct. Trump won because much of the country was fed up with politicians, making voters eager to change the status quo in Washington. That’s why Trump’s business experience was enticing for so many. He was an outsider. A new voice. Something different.

While his tone on Twitter may certainly be something new, Trump is becoming what he and so many of his supporters loathed: a politician.

Politicians attack and blame the other party. Politicians compare how magnificent their crowds are compared to others. Politicians blame the media for their woes.

Now contrast that with how admired business leaders ignore the distractions and focus on what is best for the company. Or how they apologize when the company has not represented itself to the highest standard. Executives work to achieve results, often having to put petty differences aside.

Maybe, in this short time, Washington has changed Trump. Or perhaps even from the beginning Trump was more a politician then he gave himself credit for. Whatever the case, Trump now has a 37 percent approval rating, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll.

What is interesting about the results of this poll is that “...he keeps on tweeting to the point where even his fiercely loyal base appears to be eroding,” said Tim Malloy, the poll’s assistant director.

This is a key moment for Trump. If a business executive found that their company's communication efforts were not only failing to gain new customers but were actually losing loyal customers, the company's PR strategy would immediately and drastically shift.

There have been plenty of successful businesses that have hung on by a thread, only to reemerge as a premier company. Trump is holding on to that thread right now. Unfortunately, unlike a business that can file for bankruptcy, if Trump does not rise to the occasion, it is the United States of America that will pay.

To put this all in perspective, Trump has not even reached his first 100 days as president. His administration is still in its infancy, and he has time to turn this all around and follow through on his promise to end the politics and begin a new era of governing.

But Trump must first is listen to his customers, or in his new role, his constituents. And no, not just those who voted for him. When the vast majority of the country, even those who supported him, are starting to lose faith in their leader, a wise business person would make the adjustments that need to happen.

So here’s an easy one — run Twitter like a business. Every word needs to be intentional and every tweet’s potential impact needs to be considered.

Trump's voice right now is like a powerful megaphone heard around the world. Perhaps the magnitude of that had not set in with him. Everyone is allowed a mistake, but no one should be afforded a free pass for ignorance, especially the president.

Here is an analogy that Trump will understand: shares in his company have significantly dropped in the last few weeks because of his actions. Shareholders, even the most loyal ones, are nervous. If he doesn’t want to lose the company, he needs to make some positive changes before the next quarter. 

Adam Chiara is an assistant professor of communication at the University of Hartford. He has worked as a legislative aide in the Connecticut General Assembly, as a journalist, and as a public relations practitioner. You can find him on Twitter at @AdamChiara.


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