In a shift, companies leverage Trump’s tweets for their own good


After Donald Trump won the presidential election, there were a number of stories about how companies were in a defensive crouch and hoping to avoid any attention from the incoming administration.

That’s because when Trump tweeted about an enterprise, from Boeing to the musical “Hamilton, there were consequences. The fear of Trump’s tweets was great enough that some West Coast public relations firms had staff monitoring the president’s early morning missives so they could promptly respond if the president decided to target a client.

But now there’s a shift underway. Instead of waiting to respond to Trump’s tweets, companies and public relations executives appear to be planning a different strategy — offense. Although it’s hard to know for sure, it’s appearing increasingly likely that some companies are leveraging the president’s large social media presence — 27 million Twitter followers — to promote their interests.

And if the news is that your company is hiring in the US, Trump, it appears, will be happy to oblige.

On Tuesday, for example, Trump tweeted about Ford Motor Company making investments in Michigan plants and “JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!” Moments later, Ford issued a press release explaining what Trump meant, specifically $1.2 billion in investments in three plants and 130 new jobs.

Earlier this month, Trump tweeted about an increased investment from ExxonMobil in the gulf and the creation of jobs. This tweet came just moments after the company sent out a press release. (That the investments actually began in 2013 was apparently beside the point.)

Some companies have gone even further to coordinate with the White House. Intel and Charter Communications each announced the creation of jobs alongside Trump in the Oval Office. Trump tweeted about both events.

To be clear, other presidents have coordinated major jobs announcements with US company leaders. It’s notable now, with Trump, because so many business leaders were initially hesitant, even fearful, of how the president might portray them on Twitter.

But their new marriage makes sense: Trump wants to tout positive economic news, and company executives know they get more publicity by going through the president.

Fuente: James Pindell/The Boston Globe