Take A Lesson From Trump

Posted on May 4, 2011


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Over the last month, national polls have listed Donald Trump as the leading candidate for the Republican Party’s 2012 Presidential nomination.

Yes, I know. That won’t last.

But the fact that Trump is the number one candidate for the moment and how he got there is worth noting. 

As ridiculous as Trump’s dogged pursuit of President Obama’s birth certificate has been, it made the public aware of his possible interest in a presidential run. His singular focus on the issue put him in the spotlight faster and more efficiently than any advertising campaign could have ever hoped to.  

While I don’t think his choice of issues was particularly brilliant, it illustrates how much value there is in being known for something. As hard as it is to cut through all the clutter and noise people face everyday, having one thing people can associate you with is very valuable. 

Getting that type of attention and having that strong association does not have to border on insanity like Trump’s over-the-top interest in the president’s birthplace. It does however need to be consistent. Think Jerry Lewis and muscular dystrophy, Lou Dobbs and immigration or Howard Stern and lesbians.

When you find something to be known for, it’s important to have a goal that can be easily stated. That helps your message get through to average people who, frankly on most days, aren’t the least bit concerned about you. Trump wanted to see the birth certificate, Lewis wants to cure Muscular Dystrophy, Dobbs wants illegal immigration stopped and Stern wants to see more lesbians.  All very simple and straightforward.

It’s also important to realize that just because you are known for something today doesn’t mean you are locked to that topic for life. Trump has been known for his business dealings, his television show and now his political ambitions. Remember Arnold Schwarzenegger was both a world-renown body builder and a box-office draw before politics.

But far too many airtalent are at the other end of that spectrum. They aren’t known for anything. If ten of your listeners are in a room and no one can easily explain  what you are known for that’s a problem. 

So give it some serious thought. Consider what you are known for or what you want to be known for and start to act on it.

And if you need some help, hire a mechanic.