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Robertson School professor interviewed by BBC on Trump's Twitter strategy

Jan 10, 2017

Posted in: News

Over this past weekend, VCU Robertson School journalism professor Marcus Messner, Ph.D., was interviewed live by BBC Radio on the recent argument between actress Meryl Streep and president-elect Donald Trump, as well as Trump’s overall Twitter strategy.

The interview aired on the Sunday edition of BBC5 Live and was later picked up and aired internationally by BBC World Service. In the interview, Messner discussed Trump’s Twitter strategy and how Trump has utilized the platform to publicly vent his personal frustrations with critics.

“The strategy is that Trump is speaking his mind and that he is not taking criticism lightly,” Messner said. “He comes from entertainment and has built a big brand, so anything that might damage his brand, or that is a public criticism of him, he’s hitting back (against).”

As an entertainer, Trump has utilized Twitter much in the same way he has since winning the election in November, Messner said. It is Trump’s unique use of social media that has the potential to alter and influence the way in which politicians across the world use social media platforms.

Messner noted that Trump’s dominance of the news cycle is largely carried out by the use of Twitter. By creating the news—no matter if it is through an argument with a celebrity or other politicians-- through his Tweets, journalists in turn must follow every word that he says or writes, Messner said.

“They (journalists) can’t disregard his tweets because he is the most significant politician in the world,” Messner said. “Trump is going to be the president of the United States so anything he does is newsworthy. It’s hard to see how they could ignore this.”

Listen to the entire interview here (Messner comes in between 22:00 and 31:00).