Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Ekachai, Daradirek

Second Advisor

Chattopadhyay, Sumana

Third Advisor

Slattery, Karen


President Donald Trump’s use of Twitter to primarily communicate with the public is unprecedented and demonstrates a simplistic and informal style of presidential communication. The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not this online presidential communication strategy successfully implements traditional public relations strategies, specifically Kent & Taylor’s (1998) Dialogic Communication Theory and rhetorical strategies. A content analysis was used to examine the use of Dialogic Communication Principles and rhetorical strategies in tweets sent from @realDonaldTrump within his first 100 days in office. It was then determined whether or not the use of these principles and strategies have an effect on engagement (the total number of retweets, likes and comments) on tweets. Key findings of this study suggest that the use of pathos (emotional and patriotic appeals) within tweets positively affects engagement totals on tweets, and the use of various dialogic communication principles within tweets negatively affects engagement totals received on tweets.