Crisis management has become much more important in recent weeks as the Commander-in-Chief has continued to take to Twitter to express his opinions about various companies. Corporations are now buying insurance policies to protect themselves against potential hostile tweets from Trump. They are attempting to prevent losing billions of dollars in revenue and value.
Per Yahoo, in eight years, Trump has bashed sixty-two companies on Twitter. He currently has 19.2 million followers on his personal account, which gives him a great deal of influence. Several notable events since he assumed the presidency include bashing multiple media outlets (New York Times, CNN) and Nordstrom.
Some companies, like Ford, have gotten creative in how they announce news. To stay on Trump’s good side, Ford allowed him to take credit for a business decision that had already been made; they also made sure to announce several things at once, so the positive would overshadow the negative.
Ford is canceling the construction of a new $1.6 billion factory in Mexico, which would have been its third in the country, and moving production of the Focus to another factory in Mexico where output has fallen recently. “We simply didn’t need the new capacity,” Fields says. “We can use existing capacity.”
The new investment in Michigan is essentially unrelated to the Focus or the Mexico news. Ford will spend $700 million in Michigan on new efforts to develop self-driving and electric cars, which, it says, will help create 700 new jobs. In a clever PR move, Ford announced all of this at once, with the the news of 700 additional jobs in Michigan overshadowing the fact that it is still moving the Focus production to Mexico—just to a different location.
Investors may like the fact that Ford is reducing capacity in Mexico, which means lower costs, while possibly getting on the next president’s better side. But Focus production is … still … moving … to … Mexico. (Yahoo)
An entirely new consulting industry is coming about as a result of Trump’s Twitter Tirades. Ontario car insurance companies are placing policies in the natural disaster category, the same as floods and earthquakes. Recent talks on www.thatsinsurance.com are encouraging corporations to assess their risk based on customer base and have a team on stand-by ready to respond in hours. Apps have been developed that allow management to track the company’s stock in the event of a Trump tweet.
Richard Levick, CEO of crisis management firm Levick Communicating Trust, internally is urging his clients to get all hands on deck; this includes, “investor relations professionals, brand and digital professionals, even the legal departments… because one way or another it’s going to have an impact at some point.” (WoodTV)
It is ironic the person who promised to deregulate businesses and make things much easier for them has caused so much chaos instead. If Trump does manage to pass the insane tax breaks he promised corporations, for their sakes hopefully it offsets what they are having to spend on insurance, consultants, and attorneys to protect themselves from his 3am Twitter meltdowns. It is such “presidential” behavior.