As the world watches Donald Trump's inauguration as the 45th president of the United States of America today, the markets will be closely listening to his inaugural speech. But it's not only Wall Street that's interested in what he has to say; brands may also be on the lookout for off-the-cuff comments in real life, as well as on social media.
Trump has made Twitter his mouthpiece, and recent tweets have seen him mention Boeing, General Motors, L.L. Bean and Ford in a mixture of positive and negative messages. Meanwhile, Skittles and New Balance have also found themselves part of political conversations. So how should brands react?
Responding if someone with as much influence as Trump tweets inaccurately about your brand is a no-brainer, according to Daryl Fielding, a consultant and former marketing director at Kraft Foods Europe (now part of Mondelez International). "He's got 20 million followers, so it's not as though a company could dismiss the impact of that reach, and I think if something is factually incorrect a brand should definitely correct it," she told CNBC by phone.
Fielding pointed out that large companies are likely to have crisis management plans in place to deal with urgent PR matters, and that they should rely on senior spokespeople with good judgment, such as the chief marketing officer, to respond, rather than delegating it to a social media agency, for example.