There has been much criticism of the reckless use of Twitter by the US President-Elect Donald J. Trump. Yes, it does make him sound like an unthinking dolt. It does seem like he is drunk tweeting (something I am far too familiar with), although it is said that he does not drink (but I do.)
I could go on and on with the obvious issues that everyone talks about. I won’t. I have a slightly different angle here. While his tweeting is an issue for him in many ways, the most detrimental one is the least discussed. His tweeting is inspiring a cottage industry of Twitter psychics, who are trying to read the stars to understand what it all means.
If I take 140 characters and vomit out an abbreviated statement, it means nothing. No one is reading them anyway. However, #theTrump is the President-Elect of the most significant country in the world. He has decided to SEVERELY limit his press availability. If this man tweets something out, hundreds of thousands of people all over the world will read it on Twitter and millions will hear about it all over the world from the press.
Basically what he is doing is limiting his ability to clearly communicate his messaging. He is inviting, even insisting that people draw their own conclusions about what exactly he meant from 140 characters. #theTrump is causing himself trouble by leaving his actual thoughts open for interpretation by people who want to assume the very worst about them.
This shotgun concept worked for him during the election. He would spray and pray a message out to the world so it was open to interpretation. Those people who supported him would read into it what they wanted to see. Be they white supremacists, soccer moms, factory workers, coal miners, old retired men, cops, whatever they were they could he the message they wanted because it was 140 of vagueness.
Meanwhile the opposition would spin his 140 characters their own way and tell the world how horrible and stupid he was. The people that took it less poorly would feel like they were being attacked because they didn’t see that at all. The ones who hated him would take it and run with their own interpretations feeding their disgust for him.
The rub is clear, the election is over. Scatter-gunning your views over Twitter now is an insight into what your decisions as the leader of the Free World is going to look like. Does he really want those to be left to interpretation? The answer is no. He should not want his tweets to be his primary means of communication. He needs to talk to the press, take questions, speak long form on his plans and give the world an accurate articulation of what to expect.
Have a press conference. Speak to your pool reporters. Let your true message get out, you have to have one by now.