A spokeswoman for Donald Trump, Katrina Pierson recently proved on CNN and Twitter that not all publicity is good publicity – even for the Trump campaign. Bad publicity does far more damage than not getting any attention from the public at all. In this case, Katrina Pierson appeared on CNN to give her two cents on politics, while wearing a necklace fashioned out of bullets.
Katrina Pierson is, however HOT, gorgeous, sexy as many commentators noted. When asked about the significance of the necklace on Twitter, Katrina replied with “Made in #Texas! Real ammo. #2A Support your local business owners! #Trump2016.” Pierson no doubt believed her actions shed positive light on a sensitive issue, but her brash approach only stirred up further controversy and offense. People’s focus on the necklace also completely overshadowed the message of anything else she covered on air.
‘Hurricane Katrina’ – as some now call her – didn’t stop there. When the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense voiced her opinion on the fashion accessory, Katrina shot back. Shannon Watts stated, “Surely @KatrinaPierson wore bullet necklace on #CNN to bring attention to 90 Americans fatally shot daily #gunsense.” Katrina replied with, “Maybe I’ll wear a fetus next time & bring awareness to 50 million aborted people that will never [get] to be on Twitter.”
Pierson further accused liberals of taking offense with her fashion choices, and even called them “sexist.”
Her behavior violates several rules of public relations. For instance, Katrina made the situation about her. Instead, as a part of Trump’s campaign, she should be shedding the light on him – not herself. This tendency to claim and reclaim the limelight for her personal agenda shows an inability to put the client first, and to separate her work from her personal feelings. Katrina’s behavior also shows insensitivity to the public.
Public relations specialists should build bonds and relationships; not inspire division among people. By using a harsh approach to showcase her support for the second amendment, she offended those who want to limit gun ownership. She also embarrassed many Americans who believe in the freedom to own and carry weapons.
While many Americans agree, when it comes to an opinion on gun control, not everyone supports such blunt, brash, and careless support for the cause.
Whether Trump’s PR team came up with this stunt, or Katrina ventured into it alone, remains to be discovered. But, whatever the motive behind it, it reflects on a political team showing more than once a lack of diplomacy.
While politicians must have an opinion on political matters, there are better ways to show support for unpopular or polarizing causes.