By Edward M. Bury, APR, MA (aka The PRDude)
Along with favorable reports about the waning impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Chicago and nationwide and the outstanding early season performance of the Chicago Cubs, this recent news grabbed my attention: Former President Donald J. Trump pulled the plug on a blog he launched — after just one month gracing the digital landscape.
A June 2 Vanity Fair article from Bess Levin offers insight into why Mr. Trump discontinued the “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump” blog, which I did not read.
(In all honesty, I didn’t even know Mr. Trump joined the blogosphere. It’s doubtful I would have read his posts, since I get sufficient political commentary from other more established sources. I can attest that he’s not a subscriber to “The PRDude,” but my site is open to all. As of today, I have 138 welcomed followers.)
According to Vanity Fair and other media, Mr. Trump ditched his blog because of low interest by those who search the increasingly crowded social media network. For someone who worked seemingly obsessively to channel personal exposure through digital channels like his permanently blocked Twitter platform, the lack of readers had to hurt someone so accustomed to the limelight, be it in person or online.
From a personal perspective, it takes perseverance, commitment and a thick skin to manage a blog. When I push “publish” for this post, it will be post number 490! According to my WordPress stats, PRDude posts have been opened by U.S. readers 19,022 times since my first post in September 2009; and the blog has reached people in more than 100 countries and territories, including Jersey and Guernsey — two of the Channel Islands — and South Sudan.
I hope thousands will open and read my commentaries, but to get 100 or even 50 views for a new post is heartening. Readership stats and subsequent comments let me know someone allocated the time to click, open and read what I had to say that day.
So perhaps Mr. Trump should reconsider and resurrect his blog and demonstrate his commitment to employing the digital space to communicate thoughts, observations and opinions. It may be a viable option, since yesterday Facebook announced his Facebook and Instagram accounts will be banned until January of 2023.
Until then, Mr. Trump should investigate other online platforms. A suggestion: Pinterest, which according to a March 2021 Hootsuite report is the 14th largest social media network in the world, with some 459 million regular users. Pinterest allows subscribers to post “pins” or images. This concept is commensurate with Mr. Trump’s practices while in the White House, where, according to this Business Insider article from 2020, he preferred graphics to words.