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Donald Trump: the problem child

We are Mobas. The Brand Transformation Agency.

This week has seen Donald Trump’s comments hit the headlines every day.

His PR machine is working hard to try and mitigate the anti-Muslim statements he has made but the damage has been done to the Trump brand.

This is classic crisis PR territory and surely something that his team was expecting, but this latest move has been met with disgust and disbelief across the world.

More than 370,000 people have signed a petition calling for him to be barred from entering the UK and the White House had said that his derogatory comments about Muslims have now “disqualified” him from running for the presidency.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has stripped Mr Trump of his status as a business ambassador for Scotland, he has lost his honorary degree from Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University and one of the Middle East’s largest retail chains, Lifestyle, has withdrawn his products from its shelves following his comments.

Entrepreneurs can make fantastic spokespeople, as the passion they have for life and business shines through and makes for interesting viewing or reading. Controversial comments are usually welcomed by PR professionals to help bolster a business’s profile – but crucially any views expressed must be in line with other brand values and not alienate customers, or in this case a huge proportion of the electorate.

A crisis for any brand or business is something that you want to think about but it’s much worse if you’re not prepared. If it is not dealt with correctly, it can permanently damage a good reputation and all that you’ve worked so hard to build.

At Mobas, we suggest that in the event of a crisis it is important to react quickly and be honest – even if there is a limit to what you can say. Social media means that there are a lot of places that can offer information and then the story is out of all control.

Time will tell to see if Donald Trump – the very definition of the American success story, according to him – will manage to survive politically and in the business world following this crisis.

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