You Should Hire Donald Trump To Run Your Company
This is not a political post. I don’t care if you voted for the Democrat, the Republican, the Green Party, the Yellow Party or the Purple Party.
I want to talk about presidents and technology.
In 1994, I was working for Microsoft writing training materials for the Microsoft Exchange email program. As an employee, I got a discount on Exchange that made it essentially free. My mother owned a small accounting firm. They didn’t use email.
Mom, you should let me install email for your employees.
We don’t really need it. We have lots of those pink “While you were out” notes.
Tell you what, let me install it and if after a month you don’t want it, I’ll take it out.
A month later, her employees threatened to quit if she removed email.
It’s a different world than it was in the 1990’s when I was installing email systems. And the United States presidency was one of the last holdouts against technology. President Bill Clinton was the first president to send email. During his 8 years in office from 1992-2000, he sent exactly two emails. One was a test email and the other was a brief congratulatory note toward the end of his presidency.
President George Bush used email extensively as governor of Texas. However, when he became president in 2000, he stopped using email entirely.
One of the challenges that President Barack Obama’s technical team had in 2008 was that the new president wanted to continue using his Blackberry device. Ultimately, his computer guys figured out how to secure his device enough that the president could securely use it to conduct official business, including email.
You might look at this history and ask why the presidents were so slow to adopt technology? The issue is two-fold. First, was an issue with security. Presidential communications are the most important in the world. Even if the only information is what the president is doing for lunch, that information is important. Obviously, he also talks about wars, and international and domestic policy. Basically, the stuff he knows is stuff we don’t want other people to know.
The second issue with presidential electronic communications is an issue of archiving. Everything the president does or says is preserved. How do we successfully retain digital communications? Of course, we’ve been saving digital communication for decades, but is presidential email different? If someone goes to the trouble of drafting a memo, that gets preserved. If a president writes “Come see me” on a post-it note and leaves it for the vice president, I’m pretty sure no one is saving the little yellow paper rectangle. What if the president emails the VP and says, “Come see me”? Now, all of a sudden that incidental note is important enough to be preserved for posterity.
We’ve fixed these problems, of course. But, it’s been interesting to watch the evolution of our presidents’ adopting technology.
And then we had the election of 2016. President Donald Trump has rocketed presidential electronic communications into the 21st Century in a “yuge” way. Not only is he “keeping his Blackberry,” (Actually, according to the meta data on his tweets, he uses an Android device), he’s using it to communicate with other government officials and the entire world.
History will judge the correctness of his approach. Honestly, it had to come at some point. Whether now is the right point, I’ll leave to others to decide. I want to discuss what this means for your company.
The illusion of social media, and Twitter in particular, is that famous people are accessible. You can tweet at @realDonaldTrump and your message will show up in the president’s Twitter feed. You can contact not only the president, but actors, sports figures, and nearly anyone else on the planet. Social media has shrunk the world down to 140 characters.
Is your company president one of those people? Is it easier for someone to contact the president of the United States than it is for them to contact the president of your company? I’m not suggesting that your company president should spend his or her time monitoring their Twitter feed. You should have a PR team for that. But, if you want to appeal to modern consumers, your company and its leaders must at least appear to be accessible.
It should at least be as easy to contact you via social media as it is to contact the leader of the free world.
Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.
(c) 2017 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved