PR Transitions with White House

By: Donald Smith

On January 20, the inauguration for Donald Trump to assume his presidency was held. However, a controversy followed shortly after the event. The topic of the controversy was the size of attendance at President Trump’s inauguration being substantially smaller than Barack Obama’s from 2009. The comparison was characterized by this photo tweeted out by the National Park Services.

[A composite image showing the presidential inauguration comparison for Obama (left) and Trump (right)] By, Barnes
This comparison created a negative outlook on President Trump’s administration. In order to curb this reaction press secretary Sean Spicer held a non-conventional press conference the following day. In the press conference Spicer scolded the media for purposely engaging in false reporting. Later, Spicer referenced several statistics that were reported as false afterwards.

Kellyanne Conway, senior adviser to Trump, then proceeded to back up Spicer’s claims in a separate broadcast interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” In this interview she stated that Spicer was not using false information, but “alternative facts.” This statement has created a hashtag on Twitter called #alternativefacts where people post comedic material satirizing the political situation.

Now, both Spicer and Conway are seen as public relations professionals. Therefore, by them making false claims on the inauguration attendance size, they have created a distrust between the public and the profession, as if the public did not trust us already. In an attempt to try and conduct some PR for the profession, Public Relations Society of America has stepped into the fray and made a statement rejecting the new White House staff for breaking the code of ethics held up by those in the organization and profession with the “alternative facts.”

Not only have these events caused distrust, but due to Trump consistently discrediting national mainstream media outlets (i.e. CNN) and criticizing large name corporations (i.e. Boeing) professionals will have to differ in tactics in how they go about interacting with the media. So, they will have to be on their toes for the next several years as trust level and relationships among the White House and the media determine effective ways to reach publics.

Social Media: Society’s New Mirror

Written by Jasmine Echols

A photo by María Victoria Heredia Reyes.

Image Source

“Mirror, mirror on the wall I don’t look like those girls at all…”

How many times have we compared ourselves, or our lives to something we’ve seen on Social Media? I can say for myself, I have done it more times than I care to think about. In today’s society, Social Media has a greater impact on our lives. There’s Facebook where I can share my relationship status, I’m now in a relationship with Josh, the hottest guy at school. Then there’s Instagram where I post pictures from my recent trip to London.

Let’s not forget about Snapchat where I give you a peak at the coolest party of the year. And while I know the secret insecurities I house within myself, my audience has no idea of what my life is really like. They see the highlighted version of my greatest moments but never the secret struggles of my everyday reality. And because my peers don’t realize that I too struggle with insecurities, that I pick and choose the best moments to share, they end up comparing their lives to my highlights and trying to live up to those moments.

It’s as though Social Media has become a mirror; I look and adjust. Although in this case, it’s not so easy to ‘adjust.’ Especially when I’m told that I’m too fat, or I’m too skinny. My boobs are way too big or not big enough. Where do we draw the line? Social Media has played a big part on the way we see ourselves. It’s even caused some if not most of its users to be dissatisfied with their bodies, therefore creating an unhealthy body image.

There was a study done earlier this year that linked social media use to body image concerns among other things. Being that Social Media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram have become a platforms that tend capitalize on how many ‘likes’ users receive on a photo—which in our minds can represent a form of acceptance or approval—it’s easy for users to compare themselves to those who have more likes than them.

While Social Media isn’t the blame, it’s simply a tool that helps us to reach others in a more convenient way; it’s easy to see the impact that it has on our world today. We’ve gone from comparing ourselves to what we see in the mirror to comparing our bodies and lives to those around us—be it online or in person. The use of Social Media has helped to paint the picture of the ‘perfect body’ or the ‘perfect life’ when in reality, the perfect body is the one you live in living the is the perfect life you were meant to live being the best you that you can be!




J Paxton Professor, School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University, Susan, and Siân McLean Research Fellow, La Trobe University. “Social Media Can Damage Body Image – Here’s How to Counteract It.” The Conversation. 25 Sept. 2016. Web. 29 Sept. 2016.

Simmons, Rachel. “How Social Media Is a Toxic Mirror.” Time. Time, 19 Aug. 2016. Web. 29 Sept. 2016.