How Political Views are Impacted by Your Sense of Humor & Social Media

Social media can become an addiction, especially when you have run out of shows to watch on Netflix or when you find yourself stalking anyone/anything imaginable.

Although contrary to popular belief, social media does dominate significant ideals and morals in our lives, including our political views. I will not discuss how solid statistics and facts read on new media (like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest) are more likely to influence your personal views and future attitudes on political candidates, rather than opinions. Instead, I’d like to explain how your political view relates to your sense of humor, which in turn effects how you view social media. Social media is not only a symptom of a need to see an outsider’s view in order to create your own, but it also is a side effect of a changing technological world.

Conservatives tend to use exaggerated jokes that could be repeated several times and contain very clear punch lines. However, liberals tend to use jokes that incorporate sarcasm and irony.  tweet

So, lets break it down. Your sense of humor ultimately defines what you find intriguing, and thus influences your social media searches and “likes.” Conservatives are looking for more “breaking news” stories, like a hot scandal on how Florida’s 29 Electoral College votes should have been given to Gore, and the votes must be recounted. Conservatives’ exaggerated news will change their attitudes to more intense and possibly instantly view changing, depending on the media’s emphasis or importance.

On the flip side, liberals’ ironic sense of humor can have them more infatuated with ironic news, such as a Harlem doctor who is trying to help cure Ebola patients, but cannot detect his own Ebola illness. What’s more ironic than a doctor trying to save Ebola patients, while potentially spreading that epidemic to America’s largest city? It provokes thought.

With these different senses of humors come different social media cravings and disputes, because you read it on the Internet, so it MUST be true. The overall problem is that we all find different things humorous; it’s that simple. If only there was a joke category all people always enjoyed and could fall back on. However, if that were the case, there would also be no need for persuasive social media tactics. Then what would we do on our unproductive procrastination Sundays?

By: Alexandra Chiodi

Alexandra Chiodi, sophomore bachelor of arts in mass communication and bachelor of science in marketing, with a minor in advertising. She is currently the Co-Founder and Co-President of Pencils of Promise at UDel. Follow her on Twitter: @chiodii2 and @udelpop.

Research: “Fundamentals of Communication: Theory Readings and Exercising,” by Dr. Steven Mortenson.

The First Of Many Successful Meetings

PRSSA-UD shattered records of attendance at its very first general meeting on Monday, September 8 with a whopping 101 students packed into a Gore Hall classroom. Intrigued, the crowd sat and stood in any spot they could grab to hear the inspiring Laura Woodin share some of her wisdom on how to succeed in the PR world.

Working in Engineering Communications for DuPont, and being a former Blue Hen herself, Laura discussed everything and anything that could potentially help PR-hungry students. Topics such as how to possibly land jobs and internships through successful interviews, ways to help your business and peers flourish, and how to have the ability to foresee both barriers and opportunities for your company were all touched on. Because Woodin got her first internship due to PRSSA, it was quite refreshing and motivating to hear how she came full circle and succeeded in what she dreamt about. Laura explained, “When you have passion for the topic you’re interested in, that shines through.” This statement proved true, as throughout the presentation, all PRSSA members were enthralled in the information being given to them because of the content, but also in the enthusiastic and motivating way Woodin spoke about it.

Members got a chance to hear about a typical day for our hard-working guest speaker, although as pointed out in the presentation, no day in the public relations world is “typical.” The first meeting came to a close with Laura taking any questions from the crowd to better the group’s understanding. Overall, the first general meeting was a major success! And with how many interested and intelligent students showed up to learn, the PR world should brace itself for greatness.

 

PRSSA meeting

 

Photo credit to: Natalie Hines, PRSSA-UD President

By: Brittany O’Connell is a freshman communications interest with a hopeful minor in advertising. She is currently a new member of PRSSA-UD and hopes to broaden her horizons, step out of her comfort zone and help many throughout her first semester at UD.

Four Ways to Get the Most of Your Summer Internship

The weeks left until the start of another semester dwindled down to just three, and if you’re like me, you still have part of that time left at your summer internship. In that amount of time, you can tackle a big project or meet an Executive who offers to look over your work. I know I plan to take on as many assignments as possible until my last day.

With all the professional development opportunities awaiting you, it may seem hard to narrow it down to just a few. Look at these four ways to get the most out of your summer internship and see just how much you can achieve in three weeks!

  1. Ask Questions

The longer you intern for a company, the better you can understand which of your co-workers work in positions you hope to one day. Ask them to lunch, walk with them on the way into work in the morning, or grab a coffee date and ask them any question you have. Once you’re with them, ask as many questions as you can. Most of the time professionals are happy to help an intern learn more about their industry or must have skills. I found a recent graduate at my internship who worked in the department I liked the most. We grabbed lunch one day and I learned more about her day to day work activities than I would have as an intern in another department.

  1. Learn a new skill.

Every internship experience is different, so take the time to learn a new skill during your last few weeks there. If you focus on transferable skills, you can transfer what you learned to your next internship or even job. I developed my leadership skills by taking on the lead of a project. I received the chance to delegate tasks to my peers, problem solve, and effectively manage a team. All of those skills can be transferred to a future position, each with an example I can communicate in an interview. Expanding your skill set will help you continue to set yourself apart from other qualified candidates.

  1. Network with your peers.

If you work with other interns, it’s important to network with them; you could run into them again in the future. Take the time to talk to them during your lunch break or on the way out of the office at night. Employers notice you taking the time to build a relationship with your coworkers, showing you’re a team player. I’m lucky enough to work with 8 other interns, and I spend a lot of time getting to know them and their varied skills at work. These connections will be useful slow day with no projects, but will also allow me to meet some of the people I could be working with again when I graduate. It’s important to know the people working in your industry and to look to them for support or advice. You also get a better understanding for your competition when applying for jobs.

  1. Get as many samples for your portfolio as possible.

Your work portfolio showcases your skills to future employers and can be filled with samples from work or independent projects. Samples from projects you worked on at your internship, however, really stand out. Use these next few weeks to draft as many samples for your portfolio as possible. My portfolio is filled with press releases, articles, and event materials, some of which were used by my Supervisor for actual projects. In these upcoming days I’ll be looking for any chance to write a press release, article, or to be included on a project where I can produce tangible work. Taking on a chance to work, no matter how small, shows your initiative to learn as well.

By: Betsey Coulbourn

Betsey is a senior Political Science major with a triple minor in journalism, political communication, and Islamic studies. She currently serves as Historian for PRSSA-UD for the 2014-2015 academic year. In addition to being on the PRSSA-UD executive board, she is a Field Organizer with the Delaware Democratic Party and a member of Active Minds. Connect with her on Twitter @betC__.

New executive board spotlight: Historian, Elizabeth Coulbourn

Name: Elizabeth Coulbournbetsey
-Class Year: Senior
PRSSA E-Board Position: Historian
-Nickname: Betsey Boodle
– Favorite meal/foods: Breakfast–anything with eggs and sirracha.
– If you could meet anybody, who would it be? Janis Joplin.
– Dream career: To combine my love of public relations, government, policy, journalism, and Islamic studies. Working for a government agency is my dream. 
– Sibling(s): An older brother. 
– Pet(s): A dog named Lucy.
If you could travel anywhere: I would travel somewhere exotic and seclusive, anywhere off the beaten path.
Favorite place to study on campus: I love studying in Purnell.
Guilty pleasure: Two words: frozen yogurt.
– Weird habit: No idea (haha). I don’t think I have one!

From Captive to Pariah: Public Relations Lessons from the Coverage of Bowe Bergdahl

It had all the makings of great media story – an American soldier rescued from five years of terrorist captivity and returned home to his family and loved ones in a small Midwestern town. But as most Americans now know in the case of Bowe Bergdahl, the reality is not that simple. The feel-good story of the returning soldier morphed into a public relations nightmare.
The United States brokered a deal to exchange five Taliban prisoners for Bergdahl’s safe return on May 31. The seemingly simple exchange became tainted by details of Bergdahl’s prior military service. A Pentagon investigation concluded that Bergdahl walked away from his post shortly before his capture, and further reports allege that as many as six soldiers were killed in the search for Bergdahl. Finally, many view the trade as a departure from America’s policy to not negotiate with terrorists.
In creating messages for high-stakes issues, communicators need to address both established principles and uncomfortable allegations. Despite the controversy of Bergdahl’s actions, he was an American soldier and prisoner of war, and as such, the military was honor-bound to bring him home. The military will still try him for any crimes he committed as a soldier, but can only do so if he survived his captivity. Despite the disrepute brought by his actions, Bergdahl deserves a fair trial separate from the conditions of his release from the Taliban. These factors are time-honored codes of the U.S. government and military. Communicators cannot speak to negative details in the absence of established principles, and vice versa.

The media maelstrom over Bergdahl’s release also highlights the fickleness of media and political pundits. Several politicians tweeted out initial congratulatory messages about Bergdahl’s release, only to delete them within days – or hours – after a growing tide of criticism. Stakeholders and audiences can change sides quickly and without warning. Their decisions can depend heavily on factors external to the issue itself, such as the political environment. Two lessons can be learned here: review all the facts before establishing a hardline position, and don’t expect public attitude to remain static. Public relations professionals must constantly gauge public opinion and adjust strategies accordingly.


While politically complex stories such as that of Bowe Bergdahl offer no simple responses, PR professionals can maintain inclusive, consistent messages and monitor public attitudes. These communication methods have the potential to shape public discourse as much as the story itself.
Sources:
http://mashable.com/2014/06/03/republicans-delete-bowe-bergdahl-praise/

Maddie Brooks is a rising senior Mass Communication major with a minor in Public Health. She is a UD Social Media Ambassador and a member of PRSSA, Lori’s Hands, and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Follow her on Twitter, @BlueHenMaddie and @Mbrooksinde.