Tags: Cyber Security | Donald Trump | congress | joint-session | speech

Trump Must Regain His Messaging Mojo

Trump Must Regain His Messaging Mojo
President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. onTuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. (AP/Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

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Wednesday, 08 March 2017 08:54 AM Current | Bio | Archive

The morning of his first address to a joint session of Congress, on Feb. 28, 2017, President Trump sat down with the crew of "Fox and Friends."

When they asked him to grade his first month’s presidential performance, he gave himself and his administration an "A" for effort and a "C" or "C-plus" for messaging.

Why the low grade for messaging? President Trump, "I, and my people, I don’t think we’ve explained it [the great things we’ve done] well enough to the American public."

When Ainsley Earhardt asked how he would change that, Mr. Trump said that he would do so during his speech to Congress that night.

His joint-session speech did earn high praise from both sides of the aisle, pundits, journalists, and the voters. But, it was one speech. A single speech does not a messaging turnaround make.

Donald Trump is experiencing a deluge of attacks — from adversaries (inside and outside his government), wackos on college campuses, the media, and warmongering countries like North Korea and Iran.

Over the weekend, Mr. Trump accused Barack Obama of wiretapping him, in Trump Tower, when he was candidate Trump. Yet, he offered no proof, causing people to speculate, doubt, and ridicule. Worse, James Comey, Trump’s FBI director, has denounced and disavowed his wiretapping accusation.

Speculation, doubt, and ridicule can become runaway trains, killers of messaging control.

In this situation, if Trump the messenger doesn’t neutralize these negative forces — the noise — arrayed against him, quickly and adeptly, he will unrecoverably sink.

This will be a neverending endeavor.

Yesterday, for example, WikiLeaks unleashed a treasure trove of CIA cyberspying secrets, probably the worst security breach in American history. Add this to the president’s ever-growing heap of headaches.

The president now must cancel all of this noise by regaining his messaging mojo — which won him the election. Voters viewed Trump as the man in charge, the man who spoke to them, the man who could make America great again.

Back then, he overwhelmed the noise. Today, though, the noise is in charge. Trump’s message-to-noise ratio is in rapid decline.

Note: No executive ever should discount or dismiss noise — it is the scourge of every communication system, electronic or human.

Accordingly, Trump must make some changes, as soon as possible.

He relies too much on Twitter and his surrogates to communicate to the American public and, hence, the world. Worse, his Twitter rants appear random, unmeasured, and increasingly counterproductive. This strategy is turning his self-assessed "C" into a "D"  — not into an "A."

Trump also must retake the mantle of the man in charge.

He needs to make more carefully crafted speeches and hold more unfiltered pressers. In addition, Mr. Trump must proactively cancel every source of noise, wherever it emanates, until his message is clearly and universally understood, believed, and heeded.

President Trump can regain his messaging mojo; I have no doubt. But, if he fails to do so, in short order, with full force, his great accomplishments won’t matter — and they’ll become harder to replicate.

Mr. Trump is a smart guy, and I believe that he knows this.

The president also must ensure that his cabinet and staff are unified and in lockstep with this strategy, or it will fail.

Finally, only when the voters give the president an "A" for messaging will the grade matter.

That’s Branding 101.

Marc Rudov is a branding advisor to CEOs, speaker, media commentator, and author of "Brand Is Destiny: The Ultimate Bottom Line" and "Be Unique or Be Ignored: The CEO’s Guide to Branding." Find him at MarcRudov.com. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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President Trump's speech to a joint-session of Congress z did earn high praise from both sides of the aisle, pundits, journalists, and the voters. But, it was one speech. A single speech does not a messaging turnaround make.
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Wednesday, 08 March 2017 08:54 AM
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