Is there a PR savvy to Trump’s taunts?

The GOP frontrunner is often called a bully, but his branding of rivals has been ruthlessly effective. What are the PR lessons? How can labels frame the debate—or your brand?

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If there’s one tactic that has stood out in this presidential campaign, it is the way GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has slain his foes with the jawbone of an ass.

Trump’s penchant for labeling his opponents—from “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz to “Low-Energy Jeb” Bush—has been like a boxer’s left hook to the liver. It doesn’t look like much until the other guy drops.

Now Trump is trying to do the same to his Democratic foes, calling them “crooked” and “crazy.”

After The New York Times Magazine explored the issue (“Donald Trump Shares His Opponent-Branding Secrets“), I wondered: Do the same labeling techniques work in PR and marketing? Whether it’s throwing mud or branding oneself positively, does Trump offer lessons to PR pros?

The consensus is that such tactics can work, but mudslinging is “risky,” a word Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton uses in an effort to brand Trump.

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