By: D.J. Glover
In the weeks after after the election, there have been polarized responses worldwide from President-elect Donald Trump’s victory. People on both sides have taken to extreme forms of protest or celebration. Many individuals have taken alternative routes through boycotting or supporting companies who voted Mr. Trump and Clinton.
As PR professionals, these types of polarizing responses are difficult to address because there are people who absolutely choose not to support a company once they go public on their stance. Should a company publicly support or oppose, having the potential to win or lose a massive amount of customers? Should the personal accounts of company leaders and figureheads be monitored as well to prevent backlash and crisis?
T-Mobile CEO John Legere, a vocal opponent of Mr. Trump, published various tweets contesting Trump on Twitter. In light of the election and Mr. Trump’s victory however, Legere has taken a step back and congratulated Trump. He may be doing this because of business stakes with Mr. Trump’s new administration. The reaction to Legere backtracking on his stance has created negative images with both him and T-Mobile. Going public with support may have benefits in some cases, but a company’s stance may backfire at anytime from any number of factors that may arrive. In some cases, it is safer to stay quiet in political conversations, more so for smaller companies who may not have the ability to recover form backlash and boycotts. Rather than support a specific candidate, businesses could support causes that are important to them.