Trump uses internal team for comms message

In the wake of Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts' recent recapitalization announcement, the company's comms strategy is timely disclosure, steadying the message.

In the wake of Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts' recent recapitalization announcement, the company's comms strategy is timely disclosure, steadying the message.

The company plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and engage in a $400 million bailout, which is in response to the company's $1.8 billion in debt. In the process, CEO and chairman Donald Trump would abdicate top executive position and remain chairman. His stake in the company fall from 56 percent to 25 percent.

Scott Butera, EVP and director of corporate and strategic development, is acting as the PR point person for the company. He said there were about four people working in-house on communications.

"We considered using a PR firm [and] decided against doing that," Butera said, adding that the company has historically handled its PR in-house

The company's immediate communications strategy, he said, was to work with the newswires to send out press releases and post them on its website. Most of the media outreach time is being spent with the financial press.

"We're trying to be as open as possible," Butera said, adding that Donald Trump is being made as accessible to the media as his schedule permits.

With Donald Trump's recent foray into television with the show The Apprentice, the public's interest in the company has extended past the business section. In a bit of irony, if the deal goes through, Trump will no longer hold the CEO position. Accordingly, many in the mainstream media have co-opted his catchphrase, "You're Fired," for their headlines.

Butera said the headlines didn't bother the company, but he admitted some dismay that the media was focusing on the technical element of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which he adds is being done voluntarily, rather than the benefits of the recapitalization.

"Unfortunately that's gotten a lot of the attention, but I don't think that's the [main] issue behind this deal," Butera said. "Obviously our message is how good a transaction this will be."

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