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TL;DR: I received 155 Trump emails in 30 days. All emails used ego-inflating communication techniques similar to QVC call-in shows and late-night Ginsu knife commercials touting artificial scarcity.

A few months ago, I signed up for Trump’s emails. It was radio silence all summer, until September 1st when they started to arrive.

I created a Gmail filter that funneled them into a folder affectionately named “Trump Trash”. I was curious to see what he was sending out. Of course, reading them would spike my blood pressure and turn me into an agitated grump for the rest of the day. But as the month progressed, I became genuinely interested to see, from a marketing perspective, how his campaign was nudging donors down the conveyer belt from awareness to conversion. My grumpiness quickly subsided as the emails kept coming because I began to see how shallow, desperate, and Home-Shopping-Network-esque they were becoming. …

Neon sign in the shape of a like and comment button.
Neon sign in the shape of a like and comment button.

TL;DR — We need a new definition of the word “advertising.” Social media represents the opinions of only a very small and very loud group of people. Get your news from at least three sources. Reduce social media usage and read more books. Social media perpetuates “othering”, which is the root cause of many of the greatest human atrocities.

Social media is eroding the fabric of our society, and we should all chuck our phones into the ocean, escape to the mountains, and live out our remaining days in yurts. Am I right? Well, not exactly. If you’re like me, and many other Netflix subscribers, you may have recently watched The Social Dilemma and were left with a knot in the pit of your stomach I’d describe as a cocktail of panic, existential dread, powerlessness, and, of course, apathy. Like Neo waking up, you begin to understand the enormity of the world’s problems, as well as your inability to do anything about it. …

Your Department is a Media Company

Gary V. Love him or hate him. Admittedly, I’m a fanboy, and I think he’s one of the smartest marketers today. In a YouTube rant back in 2003, he proposed the idea “You are media company first and foremost, and a [your type of business] second.” In higher education, this means those who are reacting and documenting what is occurring around them (the faculty lectures, alumni mixers, graduation ceremonies) are missing out on a significant percentage of the media opportunities out there to be exploited. …


Chris Alexander

Senior Director of Digital Communications & Brand Experience at NYU School of Global Public Health / Podcast Producer / Occasional Bowhunter

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