Scotland’s newspapers slow to play their Trump card

President Donald J Trump

It has been fascinating reading over the last couple of days that the new US President, Donald Trump, is likely to spend much of his state visit to the UK in Scotland.

Not least because, for all the Donald continues to give the media of his own nation a hard time, he’s on record as throwing his support behind the press of his (literal) motherland.

Two years ago, the Scottish Newspaper Society – the trade body for Scotland’s newspaper industry — revealed a new campaign citing big-name support for the role of newsbrands in delivering value for money for advertisers.

It featured an eclectic group of business leaders and figures, from the head of Barrhead Travel to Scottish Rugby, giving glowing testimonials about the impact newspapers had had in helping them promote their companies and engage with the public.

And among the dozen or so luminaries gathered to voice their support was one Donald J Trump, saying:

I’ve had my battles with the Scottish press and seen my fair share of tough headlines, but the impact of advertising in the Scottish media — particularly The Press and Journal and Evening Express – can’t be underestimated.

When we advertise my 5-star hotel, restaurant and the world’s finest golf course in Aberdeenshire, people respond immediately. It’s a totally efficient and effective way to gain business.

President Trump has enjoyed a very good relationship with the Press and Journal over the last few years — including writing a exclusive column for them during the 2016 White House election race, which was presumably aimed at any ex-pat US oil industry workers preparing their postal ballots.

All of this is, of course, hardly new — there was significant coverage of the original announcement back in February 2015, for instance.

What is surprising, however, is that the SNS hasn’t exactly followed up on it.  After all, President Trump is now the Leader of the Free World, and a man whose visibility and name recognition, globally, is second to none.

With that in mind, you’d think the fact he had hailed the ‘impact of advertising’ in the Scottish media as ‘efficient and effective’ would be trumpeted from the ramparts at every opportunity, particularly after a recent set of ABCs that depict another worrying fall in circulation for many of the country’s leading titles.

Yet they seem to have kept a curious reserve about the fact that the President of the United States of America was so glowing about the newspapers of Scotland, and especially the North East.

They usually run a big campaign around this time of year flagging up the importance of Scottish newspapers to the economy.  Will President Trump be reappearing this time around?