This piece is part of a 100 days recap series. Click here to view all posts.

After 100 days, one thing remains certain with the new administration: expect the unexpected. With that said, some trends have developed related to when President Trump may pull an organization into the fray. In this new operating environment, companies need to anticipate when it will be their time, as President Trump continues to show his willingness to hurl relevant companies and organizations into the spotlight – for better or worse – based on the topic(s) of the week.

For example, when Ivanka Trump’s products began receiving media scrutiny and Nordstrom decided to no longer carry her line based on poor sales performance, President Trump got involved. He tweeted, arguing that Nordstrom had treated his daughter unfairly, and then the @POTUS account retweeted it. In slightly different situations, President Trump is also known to praise companies, causing increased media and stakeholder scrutiny. 

In order to maximize the eventual hype that comes with the president’s attention, organizations should have taken these last 100 days to anticipate and prepare. During this short time, we’ve learned that companies can turn a President Trump tweet or comment into an opportunity to garner more support and loyalty from stakeholders. And, in a crisis, support and loyalty are key to surviving with minimal damage.

Over the coming months, organizations should be sure to follow these steps to continue to prepare for increased media and stakeholder attention in this hyper-political environment.

  • Ongoing self-reflection: Now, more than ever, organizations must understand their brand, their stakeholders and any vulnerabilities or strengths that may attract attention from this administration. Think about your mission, products and services, operations, manufacturing locations, suppliers and the visibility of leadership. Thorough - and repeated - self-examination can help identify the topics that may draw you into the limelight.
  • Listen and monitor: All organizations need to use listening and monitoring tools to understand their operating environment and stakeholders. Understanding what your stakeholders care about and how they view and talk about your brand will help prepare your organization to respond to any future crisis. Some essential types of listening and monitoring include: traditional media monitoring, internal listening, external listening, issue and policy monitoring and monitoring of President Trump’s administration.
  • Prepare: Using the data gathered from ongoing listening, monitoring and self-reflection, companies need to then prepare and continually update their crisis plans based on identified vulnerabilities and impactful issues.

As the year continues and as certain topics come and go, more and more organizations will be mentioned by President Trump. In order to adequately respond, companies must be prepared and have an intimate understanding of their business and stakeholders.

michael appel
Michael Appel

Michael Appel is an associate director at APCO Worldwide specializing in crisis management and litigation communications. Read More