JFK was the first TV President. He and his successors exuded a distinctly presidential vibe as they communicated confidently to the masses, primarily through color video, usually behind a podium or in high-power settings, on a monthly or sometimes weekly basis.
Donald Trump is the first Web & Reality TV President. He spent a decade as host and producer of the hit show The Apprentice and exudes a distinctly colloquial vibe across cable and the web. Trump prefers titanic business settings like board rooms and communicates to the masses at a daily or even hourly rate, even after the election. Twitter is his pulpit.
Trump is a seasoned, self-aware, master content producer AND actor. In sports, the equivalent is a player/coach, a Peyton Manning or LeBron. He's calculatedly sloppy and unpredictable, which appears to boost his authenticity and watchability. Most importantly, he's relentless.
Trump's magic media formula:
- Trump is entertaining and highly watchable. He understands how to produce good drama, keeps messages simple and repetitively hammers home points he wants to get through noise. His content gets people talking, furthering his reach.
- Trump uses social media effectively. He's mastered Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and uses these more intuitively, thanks to years spent in entertainment, furthering his reach.
- Trump producers content at a high volume. YouTube producers and social media marketers know that if you stop feeding your audience, even for just a week, they will disappear. Above all else, Trump understands how to maintain and grow a captive audience and maximize reach. He can saturate mass media to his benefit and the detriment of other signal.
Like him or not, President-Elect Donald Trump is a highly entertaining, dramatic, calculating, content and social signal master with skills and a team tailored for contemporary media. His election victory, not unlike JFK's, can be attributed, in part, to a modernized communication playbook (which may also be at work in places like Russia and the Phillipines) and marks a notable shift in American sociopolitical landscape.
Donald Trump may be the second Actor-in-Chief, but he's definitely the first Producer, or more fittingly, Entertainer-in-Chief. And he's got the spotlight... for now.