Donald Trump hedges a great deal of his bid for the White House on his stance against illegal immigration. And while people from many cultures around the world migrate illegally to the United States, his primary target in anti-immigration talks centers on Mexicans, who make up the bulk of illegal immigrants in America.
This position continues to gain traction in the United States as many Americans believe immigrants are largely to blame for lost jobs, crime, and violence. Trump therefore successfully capitalized on these sentiments to give his campaign – some would say – a winning edge.
President Nieto’s Response
Now, Mexico is fighting back. After holding his tongue for some time and then condemning Trump from a distance, President Enrique Peña Nieto sends a new ambassador to the United States to spread a different message. In doing so, he hopes to promote a better image of Mexico, and its people.
Will it Work?
PR can seem like a simple solution to complex issues – even when it’s not. Nevertheless, PR comes with many tools at its disposal to turn around even the most impossible situations. These tools include media relations, social media campaigning, government relations, and reputation management.
Presenting the Other Side of the Story
According to a study on Hispanic trends, conducted by the Pew Research Center, more Mexicans return home than enter the United States – and most do so, voluntarily. Though some well-read members of the population may know this, this is not common knowledge.
Presenting the other side of the story through social media and other forms of media relations helps change the conversation. This forces people to stop, think, and re-evaluate what the media feeds them as fact.
Building Strong Relationships
If the new ambassador is to succeed, he must strengthen government relations. As with PR in any industry, connections are the most valuable possessions any specialist can possess. By forming good connections, he keeps the best interest of relations with Mexico in the minds of key decision-makers.
Social Media Campaign
On social media, Mexico’s best bet is to change the conversation altogether. Everyone knows of Trump’s heated battle with Mexican illegal immigration and the leaders he believes allow it to continue. Thus, there’s no need to repeat it. Instead, Mexico should focus on pushing the positive side of the country and its people.
What has Mexico achieved recently as a country, or Mexicans as a people? Won any sports? Made any major initiatives? What does Mexico have to offer to potential tourists or entrepreneurs? Whatever it is – push a positive image.
Whether or not these or any other PR strategies work depends on how they are executed and sometimes even the people who do them. There’s no telling how effective a PR campaign on behalf of Mexico will be in the early stages, but it’s better than doing nothing while Mexico’s reputation continues to deteriorate.