Can Trump Reach Millennials

Now that the election has settled down and almost 30 days has past, we still witness protests from voters who are not in support of the president elect. Although President Elect Donald Trump was successful with reaching inner America and the working class, it is clear there is a significant communication gap between his administration and the Millennial generation. Experts have likely already begun on developing a strategy for this Mr. Trump to not only target this group, but to reach the milestone of simply getting through to those who oppose him from this generation. Although they may not like his politics, he will need to work diligently at earning their respect. There is a silver lining  with Millenials: they did not care for Hillary Clinton either. There could be long-term benefits should trump win over this group across the country.

Amongst Millennials, both candidates were considered highly unfavorable (Gangitano, 2016) and neither were candidates of choice. As a communication specialist, I find significance with dedicating resources to reaching this audience. Although the challenges facing Trump are clearly emotional and likely perceive as fresh wounds, his time and decisions in office could slowly earn respect and mend the torn tissue from the election process. Simply put, Trump will need to think about how his decisions will impact this generation four years from now. I believe he has an entire team of experts figuring that out as we speak.

Reference

Gangitano, A. (2016). Generation Gap: Can Clinton and Trump Reach Millennials? Retrieved from: http://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/can-clinton-trump-reach-millennials

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Can Trump Reach Millennials

  1. Nathan says:

    Martin,
    I agree with you about the obvious disconnect between the Trump administration and millennials. Finding a middle ground where all parties can agree seem like a nonexistent outcome at the moment. I believe that if he plans on running for reelection the millennial vote must have a part. The silent vote was definitely undervalued when it came to this general election process.
    Great Post!
    Best,
    Nathan

  2. Felicia says:

    Like Nathan,

    I agree with you that there is a disconnect between Trump and millennials. Honestly, I think there is a disconnect with the working class that voted for him, and everyone else besides those of wealth (I even think he has a disconnect with some of them as well).

    Trump is a marketer, and does his research to sell the people what they want. As long as you can capture the feelings of an audience and make them feel as if you are talking directly to them you can sell to them even if you disagree with them, or have no intention to help them. Unfortunately I think that is what Trump did. I believe that he is a great marketer and used his marketing strategies to touch the hearts of those that feel disenfranchised by the government. I do not believe he has any intention to stick to his words when it comes to the promises he made during the campaign.

  3. Jennifer Eting says:

    Hi Martin,

    I agree with Felicia regarding Trump’s marketing skills. He knows that many working class people are looking for someone they can get behind who will give them a sense of hope. Unfortunately, I think he made empty promises.

    If you were to look at Trump as if you were selecting a celebrity to endorse your product, and you can somehow set aside his MANY flaws, you might find someone who achieved financial success, fame, fortune, etc. — perhaps someone who many people aspire to be. Or maybe people just see him as different because he isn’t a career politician. I am still trying to figure it out….

    Gaining the trust of the millions of Americans who did not support him will be a long uphill battle. I can’t imagine that he could accomplish that in four years even with expert marketers behind him.

  4. Kristina says:

    I concur. And in regards to communication, we shall see if Mr. Trump learns and adjusts his way of communicating – especially through the use of social media.

  5. Carolyn says:

    Interesting topic. I had just read about the five-point spread between Hillary and Obama of the same age group from the 2016 election and the 2012 election; Hillary earned five percentage points less than Obama had of the 20-somethings. Clearly, as you point out, millennials were not happy with either candidate, and many opted for 3rd party candidates or chose not to vote at all. This election was, in my lifetime, the most divisive and intense that I can remember. Everyone I spoke with had strong opinions about both candidates, yet no one was “thrilled” about either candidate. It will be debated and analyzed for years. Fasten your seatbelts, everyone. It’s going to be a bumpy four years!

  6. Christina says:

    Hi Nathan,

    I think that this is definitely a challenge for him. On one hand the “alt-right” and related groups, which helped him ascend to the presidency, primarily consist of millennials, but on the other these groups don’t represent the general population by any stretch. His image is very unfavorable to most millennials, and I think that his lasting imprint on them can only be salvaged if he solves problems that affect them the most, such as student loans, job security, social mobility, and economic equality. Unfortunately, I am not optimistic that he is even particularly interested in addressing those issues in a way that would improve the quality of life for millennials in any real way. He’s probably not going to ever truly manage to win them over, generally speaking.

    Best,
    Christina

  7. James Min says:

    Hi Nathan,

    Donald Trump has demonstrated his mastery of media, especially social media, which is the digital language of Millennials. I believe it is important to remember that though most Millennials have common characteristics and attributes that make them unique from other generations, this group is also diverse and is also aging. In other words, not every Millennial is the same and this trend will only continue as they become the largest group in our population. This leads me to believe that Donald Trump will reach many Millennials with a topic or issue that he himself does not even know yet, but in a channel and medium that they are comfortable with. Donald Trump has demonstrated repeatedly that he tests out ideas by posting provocative social media, sometimes forming a strategy around topics that gain strong response or interest. Many have underestimated his natural ability to use social media, particularly Twitter, to his advantage. People are often distracted by offensive language or provocative talk, but it continues to be a highly effective medium for the President-elect.

  8. Lindsay King says:

    Hi Martin,
    This presidential election seems to be the one that will never end. From his campaign, it didn’t seem that he was interested in the millennial vote. He appeared to be after the older voters, but in order to be successful he will need to engage that audience. I think he took steps, just like Hillary Clinton. She used celebrities, he used Twitter. If Trump plans to run for re-election, he will definitely need to engage the millennial audience.

  9. Courtney says:

    Martin,

    I really hate being this way but 30 days later and I am still incredibly upset with the election results. It upsets me that we are talking about this from a communication perspective even though of all places, this would be the appropriate one. I have very little confidence that he will reach Millennials and as your point out, his team of “experts” are not helping to boost that confidence.

    Thanks,
    Courtney