The country's charged political environment is engulfing even the most benign brands, as a divided populace scrutinizes every move for signs of partisanship. With the president incessantly tweeting—sometimes directly at marketers like Delta and L.L. Bean—and new executive orders and policies emerging and inciting emotion and protests nationwide, it's near impossible for brands to find cover. But should they keep out of the fray? According to communications experts, brands can absolutely join the discussion, but they have to ask a few key questions first.
"As far as getting involved in particular issues, some questions to ask include: How important is your relationship with the administration? What's your status or relationship with the administration and have you been active in building a relationship with key government officials?" said Jim Moorhead, senior counselor in APCO Worldwide's International Advisory Council.
He added that brands also have to ask themselves, "Is this issue important to you from a business or values standpoint and do your stakeholders and employees expect to hear from you on this issue?"