On 22nd March 2017, UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland welcomed Prof. Henry Sun, Senior Research Fellow of China Pangoal Institute to deliver a public lecture on Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and Trump’s Twitter as part of his political marketing. Professor Liming Wang, Director of UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland, chaired the lecture which was attended by around 100 audience, including UCD Vice President Prof. Michael Monaghan. H.E. Dr. Yue Xiaoyong, Chinese Ambassador to Ireland, gave an opening remarks to the audience.
While The Art of War is a Chinese classic on war strategies, new media, with its fast and up-to-date speed, has transformed people’s communication habits. That’s why today’s political and commercial marketing relies heavily on the new media. How is the ancient Chinese war wisdom incorporated into new media and applied to political marketing campaigns? The recent American Presidential Election presented a great case study of modern political marketing strategies. Prof. Sun offered a unique perspective by analyzing Trump’s election and his Twitter war against the American main-stream media.
Prof. Sun started with Trump’s passion with The Art of War. Trump is a big fan of this ancient Chinese military treatise, hence the title of his famous book is entitled The Art of the Deal. Whether at the beginning of his election campaign or in the Whitehouse, his numerous smack talks and fiery Twitter zingers may seem random and lack of any logic, but they are actually the combination of modern political marketing and the ancient war strategies written in The Art of War. The interaction between Trump’s team, the American media and the voters effectively influenced the public’s voting behavior. Trump’s bluntness and volatile campaign style successfully dragged the silent majority into the election, while the media’s intensive report on him created a psychological effect much like conditioned reflex, which increased the public’s interest and even support in him. Trump’s media and business experience enabled him to make better use of this complicated and interactive relationship. Trump also gains rapid political capital with his radical speeches on changing global political situations. With the help of all the above strategies, Trump established a strong self-image and his own political stances.
Prof. Sun specializes in political marketing and was the first scholar to introduce it to China. His publications include Overview of Global Political Marketing (published in 2011 by Beijing University Press), Introduction to Political Marketing (published in 2008 by Fudan University Press).