Not As Dumb As He Looks! Trump Earns $400 Million Worth Of FREE Media In February

In the space of a few months, Donald Trump has captured the imagination (and attention) of many. Whether his effect on people is welcome or frowned at is dependent on their attraction to the man. But one thing is clear: he sure knows how to keep media attention trained on himself.

This is better captured by how he (Trump) wins primary after primary with the smallest campaign budget.

You may wonder how he manages to receive so much media attention without a super PAC. Even as far as expenditures go, he still doesn’t spend a lot on television advertising, which is the largest advertising expense for most campaigns.

SMG Delta tracks TV advertising and provided these statistics.

Trump presidential_spend

Source: SMG Delta By The New York Times

If his budget is low compared to other major presidential candidates, how then does he manage to receive so much media attention?

Like all candidates, he benefits from earned media – news and free commentaries centered on his campaign on television, in newspapers and magazines, and on social media.

Earned media typically produces more results and pack more punch that paid advertising. In this, Trump seems to have mastered the art of attracting earned media to himself; far more than any other candidate. In fact, he’s so good at it that he seems to never be out of the airwaves.

To support this, mediaQuant, a firm that tracks media coverage of each candidate and computes a dollar value based on advertising rates and potential reach of all media types (including social media outlets Facebook, Twitter and Reddit) clearly states that Donald Trump is not just better than the other candidates at earning media; he’s way ahead of them all.

The data:

Trump bought_vs_earned

Data by mediaQuant and SMG Delta for The New York Times

Donald Trump earned over $400 million of free media last month, about the total Presidential campaign budget of McCain in 2008. He is also touted to have earned close to $2 billion worth of earned media, about twice the value of the most expensive presidential campaigns in history. It is also twice the value of the nearest contender, Hilary Clinton, whose media attention came to $746 million within the same period.

Paul Senatori, mediaQuant’s chief analytics officer, says of Mr. Trump:

“He has no weakness in any of the media segments.”

This means that he is strong in every type of earned media, from traditional to social.

While it isn’t all media attention that is positive, any attention at all shows that the candidate is “trending” and is definitely occupying more discussions whether offline (traditional media) or online (social media).

Trump media_earned

Data by mediaQuant for The New York Times

The image above shows the ‘trending’ patterns of all the candidates. In February, Ted Cruz of Texas earned almost as much media coverage as Hilary Clinton, and about as much as Donald Trump earned last October.

In all though, Trump still leads by a huge margin, so much so that in February alone, he earned as much media as Mr. Cruz and Hilary Clinton combined.

He’s not as stupid as he looks, is he?

Featured Image Credit: Gage Skidmore Via Flickr Under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 2.0 Generic License

Olumide currently lives in Lagos, Nigeria from where he consults with clients on Content Management, Leadership, Security Systems Management, and Social Media. His quest for knowledge has taken him across many fields including; Information Systems Management, Security Systems Management, Massage Therapy, Business and Content Development, and Social Media Management. He is passionate about nature, the God-concept, music, relationships, motivation and people management,and finally, health and wellness. He is rebranding and starting a blog on fitness;