We don’t know, of course, whether Mr. Trump will continue to tweet such criticisms, possibly from the @POTUS account after the inauguration. But CEOs worried that they may find themselves in Mr. Trump’s cross hairs can take four meaningful steps to mitigate potential fallout before a situation even begins:
1. Assess risk. It’s impossible to predict what Mr. Trump will do or say on a given day. But some things predictably draw his fire: During the campaign, he attacked Ford and Nabisco after he saw reports that they planned to move jobs to Mexico. He has criticized companies that distanced themselves from his brand or that have government contracts he considered controversial. Businesses can review their practices and contracts to identify things that might trigger Mr. Trump.
2. Prepare a response. The time to prepare is now–not after the president-elect tweets. On Twitter, speed kills–not only will thousands of people instantly read and share Trump tweets, but news reports will also broadcast his criticism to millions more, amplifying the power of Mr. Trump’s criticism, even inadvertently. Response time is measured in minutes and hours, not days. Having a plan for how to respond to a Trump tweet–including pre-approved tweets–could save valuable time when it comes to defending a company’s reputation.