Donald Trump and Social Media as a negotiation tool

Donald Trump and Social Media for Negotiation (Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr)Just saw a blog article entitled Donald Trump’s Use of Social Media Helps Him Negotiate and I think Donald Trump was a very poor example to use.

The basic premise of the article is that by producing video and other Social Media about yourself, you can dominate what your negotiating counterpart gets to see when they Google you to do research ahead of a negotiation.

In the writer’s eyes, Donald Trump is a master of this because his Social Media positioning shows he is good at negotiating and tough at it.

But when I just googled Donald Trump videoes, I found some nutty, half-baked tirades that showed me all of Donald’s weakness.

Let’s look a little deeper and for an example, let’s ponder what The Shire of Halls Creek and the Central Desert Shire could be doing in Social Media to strengthen their case for more funds for Tanami Road improvement.

Donald Trump going troppo

The writer of the negotiation article claims that Donald’s prolific publication of videos across the web builds his brand and ensures his own original work dominates google results.

And he is right.

Punch ‘Donald Trump’ into Google and then click the little ‘Videos’ tab at the top of search results and you will see Trump’s own work engulfing your results.

But would these videos, as the writer suggests, strike fear into the hearts of potential deal makers and signal that Donald will fight hard? Maybe would be the most accurate answer.

Of late, Trump’s video offerings have been of him sitting at his desk looking straight at the camera and yelling (well, it is close to yelling) at the viewer about how bad the government is and how the world treats the USA unfairly. Take a look at one yourself:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEGKdPtB6m8[/youtube]

Here is my dilemma with this video achieving the goals the writer suggested.

Firstly, while it does show that Trump will be forceful in his negotiation, it also shows he has weak spots. For example, if you wanted to win favour with him, all you would have to do is make reference to as many of these points as possible:

  • We will demand US-made parts in our product
  • We want to produce jobs, good jobs, for good Americans
  • We hate how the new government in Libya is likely to charge us high prices for its oil when we helped them dump Gaddafi
  • We have taken measures to hid our proprietary code from those untrustworthy Chinese

All of these points refer to various statements Donald has raged about in his video series.

Finally, he comes across as such a mad man in his work that I think many possible business partners would simply choose to go somewhere else where the chief negotiator will be sane and balanced.

The Tanami Road and Social Media

On the other side of the world, far away from Mr Trump and his gold-plated aeroplane seatbelts in his own 757, truckies and travellers are risking life and limb driving the torturous stretch of road from Alice Springs up to the top of WA known as the Tanami Road.

Two shire councils, The Shire of Halls Creek in WA and the Central Desert Shire in Alice Springs, have joined forces to lobby governments for more resources for that stretch of (I almost called it highway) road.

ABC Rural covered the story and there have probably been a few bits of reportage in the NT News and other smaller papers since the campaign began, but I wonder if the two shire councils have thought about social media resources for their battle?

As a first step, a quick trawl of Google reveals a lot of interesting videos about the road, from a long piece that must have been produced by local trucking company, G & S Transport (view below), and plenty of short clips of vehicles stuck in the tortuous, red mud.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YO6Gl6NeX-g[/youtube]

Just imagine if the shire councils pullled a little WordPress-based website together and curated a collection of videos, photos and social networking commentary about the Tanami Road, all into one place.

It could then promote this resource and make sure that every bit of Social Media being produced on the various challenges and dangers posed by the road’s current conditions were front and centre for the public, media and government bodies.

What about my business?

If you are ever in lobbying mode, remember to harness the rich resources of Social Media first.

Do a search on your business, your topic, your region, on Google and remember to sort by video or images or blogs (hunt a bit, you will find the option) and embed whatever useful content is embeddable – YouTube videos typically are, Flickr photos typically are (use their advanced search options to search for photos that are licensed under Creative Commons), and most bloggers will love it if you highlight some choice quotes from them and share a link back to their blogs.

You could quickly create a Web’s-eye-view of your issue to get you up and running.

If you are in ‘building my brand positioning’ mode, then it is best to make the videos yourself or carefully vet material made by others (best to get their permission and conduct a due diligence check on their character before you associate their material with your business directly.

If you look at the Donald Trump videos you can see that a simple camera on a tripod along with a quiet environment or use of a lapel microphone (pretty cheap these days but make sure your camera has an input plug for a microphone first) will ensure perfect quality for YouTube. Simple editing with free software from your operating system (Windows Live Movie Maker for PC owners, iMovie for Mac owners) followed by one button uploading to your free YouTube account and you are away!

The world, the spotlight, the attention: they are there for the taking by people willing to stake a claim.

 

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