This week in PR: Canada wins U.S. election, fire to New Balance and Michelle 2020.

What a week! And everything revolved around U.S. politics. My sympathies for all PR pros everywhere; the news cycle has completely been hijacked by an election that will undoubtedly go down in history. It was an election that rather than give us a president proclaimed Canada as the winner; so much talk about people leaving the country gave our neighbor a trending opportunity of gold. New Balance also got into the mix through endorsing the new president-elect, upsetting masses that took it upon themselves to light their NB sneakers in flames. Lastly, one other takeaway from this election is how much everyone loves Mrs. O; Michelle for 2020!

The true winner of the U.S. election is… Canada!


Photo: CNBC.

Once Trump was declared the 45th U.S. president, people immediately flocked to Canada’s immigration website; so much that the site crashed overnight. All travel and lifestyle pubs immediately began publishing pieces about moving to Canada, visiting Canada and tagging our neighbor on anything and everything in between. The clear winner from this election fiasco is our maple-leafed friend. Before the election result many joked about moving north, however once the joke was on us, those conversations became very real and everyone wanted more information.


Photo: Huffington Post.

Canada suddenly became trending topic. To add to this momentum, celebrity endorsements were not shy. Miley Cyrus, Samuel Jackson and Whoopi Goldberg among many more have been quick in letting followers know that they do not support Trump and threatened to move if he won. Now that Trump has been proclaimed winner; these threats have catapulted Canada’s trending status to a level that the country could not have predicted. On social, Canada’s tourism bureau has been immediate in implementing a marketing strategy to appeal to new visitors. My recommendation is for them to continue building upon this and tap into all influencers possible. This your moment, C; it’s yours to shine!

For those of you that are still contemplating a move; this is what you need to know to move to Canada.

New Balance goes up in flames.


Photo: The Boston Globe.

Unless you’re Canada, this election is one mess businesses should shy away from, at least until things cool off for a bit. Footwear manufacturer New Balance instantly expressed their support for Trump after his win. NB supports the president-elect’s trade stance on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The company’s demonstration of support was quickly met with public discuss. After more than half of the popular vote didn’t vote for Trump, enraged shoppers hit NB’s social accounts where they began attacking the brand calling for boycotts. Some users also shared photos and videos of their sneakers in the trash, toilet and on fire. Yes, NB has quite literally gone up in flames.

New Balance quickly released a statement after they felt they were unfairly vilified.

“As the only major company that still makes athletic shoes in the U.S., New Balance has a unique perspective on trade in that we want to make more shoes in the U.S., not less. New Balance publicly supported the trade positions of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump prior to Election Day that focused on American manufacturing job creation and we continue to support them today.”

My reaction to NB’s statement is seriously? Are you really surprised? You said a positive thing about Trump when the public sees him as a villain. What did the brand honestly expect to see when they expressed support for Trump? Either your leadership or your PR team has done you wrong, NB. Your target audience, that can afford your shoes, is not the same as those who voted for Donald. There was some serious lack of planning, lack of strategy and major disconnect among your key demographics and your communication going on here. If this isn’t some bad PR; I have no idea what is. Poorly planned and poorly done, NB. You couldn’t wait a few more weeks? It’ll be interesting to see how the brand can recover. They weren’t even running for office and they inserted themselves into the mess. SMH.

The world keeps falling in love with Michelle O.


Photo: Vogue.

If there’s anything good to be taken from this year’s election it is our love for Michelle. Aside from being the best-dressed of all first ladies, she knew how to motivate her followers, connect on a personal level and was just all around lovable. Who doesn’t have a crush on her? Vogue realized this early on and struck gold when they released photos of their December cover. Talk about timeliness; Michelle couldn’t have been a more perfect cover star. “The first lady the world fell in love with,” talk about a cover line; could there be a more perfect and accurate tagline?

HyperFocal: 0

Photo: Vogue.

If Michelle is having a moment in the light, Vogue is striking gold with this. Michelle’s glow rambles on through public opinion with many social accounts campaigning for a #Michelle2020 campaign. If that’s not some damn good PR; I don’t know what is. Melania, you have some awfully big shoes to fill and quite honestly, I just don’t think you stand a chance; you’ll definitely need some reinvention. Following in Michelle’s footsteps is simply not an option for you.

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