Bospar PR Survey: President Trump Is 2017’s Biggest PR Winner—and Loser
December 14, 2017
New data reveals that 90 percent of Republicans want to reelect Trump, 92 percent of Democrats want to impeach him, and a positive news article is more effective for changing American minds than peer-reviewed research
SAN FRANCISCO—December 14, 2017—Americans believe that Donald Trump is both the biggest PR winner and loser of 2017 according to a new survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults conducted by Propeller Insights on behalf of Bospar, the boutique PR firm that puts tech companies on the map. The survey also revealed which phrases throw doubt on a person accused of sexual misconduct, that Democrats and Republicans remain deeply divided over President Trump, and that one in five Americans are preparing for nuclear war in 2018.
2017: The PR Year in Review
When asked to pick the biggest PR winners of 2017, Americans said Donald Trump and his news dominance (28 percent) was 2017’s biggest PR success, followed by the Star Wars franchise (20 percent) and Disney’s #DreamBigPrincess campaign to inspire girls to study math and science.
However, even more Americans (37 percent)—and especially Democrats (59 percent)—count Donald Trump’s presidency as the top PR disaster of 2017. This is followed by:
- Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault scandal – 29 percent
- Wells Fargo’s fake account scandal – 28 percent
- Kevin Spacey’s sexual assault scandal – 26 percent
- Equifax hack – 26 percent
On the topic of sexual misconduct, there are certain phrases that cause Americans to disbelieve a person’s apology when accused, including:
- “Conspiracy” or “media conspiracy” – 58 percent
- “Fake news” – 33 percent
- “I swear” – 31 percent
- “The accusations are untrue” – 28 percent
- “From the bottom of my heart” – 27 percent
Americans also feel very skeptical when a person “can’t remember the details” (43 percent).
Deeply Divided Over Donald
A majority of Americans (59 percent)—including 81 percent of Democrats—believe the media’s reporting on Donald Trump has been “fair,” while 42 percent—including 67 percent of Republicans—feel it has been “unfair.” Additionally:
- More than half (56 percent) of Americans feel the reporting has been largely left-leaning; this includes an almost equal number of Republicans (55 percent) and Democrats (61 percent)
- Fifty-six percent of Americans—including 75 percent of Republicans and 44 percent of Democrats—feel the coverage of Trump has been biased
- Forty-four percent of Americans feel it has been unbiased
When Trump declares a story “fake news,” almost two-thirds (62 percent) of Republicans say they agree with him that the story is likely fake, while more than two-thirds (70 percent) of Democrats say they’d believe the story is likely true. Nearly a quarter of Americans (23 percent) said Trump’s declaration of “fake news” does not influence their thinking one way or the other.
Ninety percent of Republicans are open to the idea of Trump being reelected: because of his tougher stance on immigration and terrorism (53 percent), because of the robust economy (50 percent), and because of his honesty and lack of concern with being politically correct (48 percent).
Meanwhile, 92 percent of Democrats feel he should be impeached: because he has many unethical conflicts of interest (55 percent), because he lied about his ties to Russia (55 percent), and because he has bragged about sexually assaulting women (54 percent).
‘The Worst President Ever’
If President Trump were impeached, about a third of Americans (34 percent) would want a simple apology. However, almost a quarter (24 percent) would like to see him tried for treason, 21 percent would want to see him imprisoned, and 11 percent say that he should star in a reality TV show called “The Worst President Ever.” A particularly bloodthirsty 6 percent say he should get the death penalty.
More than a quarter (26 percent) of Americans—including 44 percent of Democrats—believe that Trump will be impeached in 2018, although Americans on both sides of the political divide (46 percent) agree that another Hollywood sex scandal is more likely. A quarter of Americans predict that Democrats will take over the House of Representatives, and one in five (21 percent) anticipate nuclear war with North Korea.
A Good Article Can Change Minds
When it comes to changing the hearts and minds of Americans, a good article in a trusted news outlet (33 percent) is most likely to change a closely held conviction—for example, a position for or against climate change. This is followed by:
- A good documentary film – 31 percent
- A peer-reviewed study – 26 percent
- Opinions of close friends – 13 percent
Almost a third of Americans (31 percent) say nothing could change their minds, although Democrats (77 percent) are slightly more open to receiving new information than are Republicans (69 percent), and Millennials (76 percent) are more open to it than are Gen Xers (62 percent) or Boomers (69 percent).
“For us, the most interesting statistic was that 70 percent of Americans would consider changing their convictions; the key is where to reach them,” said Curtis Sparrer, principal of Bospar PR. “The best way to reach people is through a news outlet that they trust. That works for about a third of the American populace and ‘trumps’ a peer-reviewed study or even close friends. That’s significant and further reinforces the importance of quality journalism.”
Putin or the Post?
When the Roy Moore scandal broke, the Republican National Committeeman from Alabama, Paul Reynolds, said he trusted Vladimir Putin more than the Washington Post. Bospar and Propeller Research put the same question to Americans and discovered that 78 percent of Americans—including 65 percent of Republicans—trust the Washington Post more than Putin, while 22 percent trust Putin over the Post.
When asked more broadly who they trust most, Americans picked journalists (26 percent) over their social networking feeds (14 percent). At the bottom of the heap were athletes (10 percent), politicians (8 percent) and actors (7 percent).
Bospar is a boutique tech PR firm featuring a team of highly seasoned professionals who exist to put tech companies on the map. Bospar’s principals include a longtime PR and tech industry guru, a former broadcast TV producer and award-winning media maven, a standout PR agency manager from the corporate side of a leading global law firm, and an experienced executive with both large agency and public company credentials. Bospar’s larger team includes experts in both social and traditional media, as well as financial and analyst relations and public affairs.
For more information, visit Bospar.com.