Businesses respond to attacks from the Tweeter-in-Chief

A key public relations and strategic communication leader in the greater Washington region says the Trump presidency has forced business executives to pay closer attention to their social media strategies.

President-elect Donald Trump has used Twitter as a way to speak directly to the American public since the start of his campaign and he hasn’t slowed down since winning the presidential election in November

High profile companies like Lockheed Martin and General Motors have seen their stocks drop following an early morning barrage of tweets from Trump.

Richard S. Levick, chairman & CEO of LEVICK, a public relations and strategic communications firm based in Washington, D.C., explained that businesses are dedicating more resources to their social media teams to get ahead of the president.

“Waiting for the tweet is too late,” Levick said.

Before, businesses had their social media teams developing strategies to respond from competitors or advocacy groups.

“Never did they expect the highest and largest risk to come from the White House,” he said.

Right now, business executives are not fighting back against Trump following his Twitter attacks, but Levick said that might change. If businesses recognize that he’s losing popularity and it would attract more customers to challenge Trump, they will, Levick said.

However, businesses like Lockheed Martin have decided it serves their purposes to respond to his critiques of the F-35 fighter jet. On Jan. 13, Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson met with Trump and told him how the next F-35s purchased by the U.S. will be cheaper and result in more jobs in Texas.

Levick said this is what Trump wants. Creating more jobs is one of Trump’s top priorities. If businesses can show they are making moves to create American jobs, Trump can do a “victory lap,” Levick explained.

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