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The White House has Snapchat

White House

President Obama is already the most tech savvy president and has yet again added another social app to his resume, Snapchat. The White House official account went live January 11 with its first snap.


According to TechCrunch, The White House launched their account before Obama’s State of the Union address to give users a behind-the-scene look at the preparation leading up to the event. This included additional footage and camera angles. The account followed White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest through his rounds in the West Wing.

The White House is making the State of the Union address accessible and relatable to a younger generation. The speech has been available through YouTube for a couple years and this year it was available on Amazon for on-demand streaming.

The White House is no stranger to embracing social media, having already established a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Vine and Instagram.

“There are over 100 million daily active Snapchat users, and over 60 percent of American smartphone users between the ages of 13 and 34 use the platform,” said White House’s director of product management Josh Miller. “In light of the number of Americans who use the service to consume news and share with their friends, the White House is joining Snapchat to engage this broad cross-section of the population in new and creative ways.”

While once known best as the “disappearing” messaging service, Snapchat has since developed a social platform for sharing content in a more authentic way. Snapchat’s Stories features is becoming one of the app’s go-to-draws, in which users will see all of the posts by the White House. These short-form, mobile-friendly media collections have grown over time to attract millions of users. Live Stores, for example, are capable of drawing in an audience of 20 million in 24 hours.

As for the new White House Snapchat account, the launch is a continuation of the company’s efforts at “meeting people where they are” – that is, on the social media platforms they use, said Miller.

For those who just want to see the president doing goofy things, that may not be coming just yet. But it won’t be all serious posts. The account has already been full of Sunny and Bo, the President’s dogs, lounging around on the lawn.

Check out the full article here:

2015: A Year in Review


The holidays are upon us and here at Paramount Public Relations we would like you wish you and your families a happy holiday and joyous New Year. As 2015 comes to a close, it comes time to reflect on the year that has now passed noting the most memorable moments. We decided to share with you 10 of the most memorable news stories from the past year.

  1. “The Dress” Phenomenon: Early in the year, a photo of a dress surfaced on social media and there was one major question: was the dress blue and black or was it white and gold? Society weighed in on the debate, making the picture one of the most shared items on social media. While it was confirmed that the dress was indeed both blue and black and white and gold, the light reflecting off the dress influenced the color.
  2. Same-Sex Marriage Legalized: On June 26, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the marriage of same-sex couples in the U.S. was legal in all 50 states and U.S. territories. In the history changing 5-4 ruling, the country joined 21 other countries to legalize same-sex marriage.
  3. Blackhawks Win Stanley Cup: For the 3rd time in the past 6 years, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. Being based in Chicago, here at Paramount Public Relations we were very excited about this achievement. Defeating the Tampa Bay Lighting, the Hawks brought home the title with a 2-0 win on June 13 to win the 6 game series.
  4. Left Shark Stole the Show: The football players on the field usually draw the crowds for the Super Bowl but this year the halftime show had everyone talking. During Katy Perry’s performance, dancers dressed in shark costumes stole the show and became a viral meme sensation. The Patriots may have won, but Left Shark is who the fans remembered.
  5. I Am Cait”: In June, Caitlin Jenner told the world her story as the cover model of Vanity Fair magazine and reached 1 million Twitter followers in a record breaking 4 hours and 3 minutes. Caitlyn’s original fame happened when “Bruce” Jenner, won an Olympic gold medal for the triathlon. Now she has added another award to her list, the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage.
  6. A New Princess: On May 2, Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, welcomed their second child. Their daughter, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, is fourth in line for the British throne after her grandfather Prince Charles, Father Prince William and older brother Prince George.
  7. FIFA World Cup: The women’s FIFA World Cup was held in Canada from June 6-July 5. It all came down to the final match-up, The United States vs. Canada. The game ended with a 5-2 U.S. victory. Winning for the first time in 16 years, the U.S. ended the drought and brought home the victory.
  8. Pope Francis: Making his first trip to the U.S., Pope Francis visited 3 cities: Washington D.C., New York and Philadelphia. Giving numerous masses, meeting with world leaders and speaking in front of the Senate, House of Representatives and the United Nations, the Pope spread his message on U.S. ground.
  9. #PrayForParis: On November 13, terror struck the city of Paris as gunmen and suicide bombers hit a concert hall, soccer game and restaurants simultaneously. Events of the night left 130 dead and hundreds wounded. The world was instantly saddened by this horrible event and publicly displayed their grievances and support for Paris creating the hashtag #PrayForParis, while major cities shined French colors on national monuments.
  10. Water on Mars: NASA has confirmed that they found liquid water on Mars. Using advanced digital imaging they concluded that certain slopes and seasonal dark streaks are highly correlated with the presence of water on the planet. The news has created an exciting buzz because even if the water is very salty, it could still represent the presence of life on the planet.

Dr. Maya Angelou: An Incredible Voice


maya angelou

On Wednesday, the world lost inspirational poet and humanitarian Dr. Maya Angelou. Angelou was a legendary voice in the world of communications who influenced PR professionals with her exquisite way with words.

Described on her website as a “global renaissance woman”, Angelou spent her life traveling the world and pursuing her passion for performing arts and poetry. Her list of accomplishments is extensive. In her lifetime, Angelou served on two presidential committees, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Arts in 2000, the Lincoln Medal in 2008, received 3 Grammy Awards and had over 50 honorary degrees. She worked alongside many influential public figures including Malcom X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bill Clinton.

Despite her outstanding humanitarian efforts and impressive participation in music and film, Angelou was best-recognized for her writing. Her most successful book of poetry, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, is considered an American classic by both critics and audiences. Published in 1970, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is an autobiographical account of Angelou’s early years. The powerful book covers a variety of heavy topics, from rape to racism.

“Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning.”– Dr. Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

In a statement released by her son, Guy, on her website, Dr. Angelou is said to have been “a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace.” Her voice and her spirit will be sorely missed by the PR community.

To learn more about Dr. Maya Angelou, visit her official website.

Avoiding The Go-To Costume

Happy Halloween Everyone!

As people start scrambling to find the perfect Halloween costume for the weekend, most people will resort to dressing up as their favorite TV show character. Molly Horan from Mashable proves that this could lead to an awkward party of four Walter Whites and instead suggests that people dress up as their favorite character did in a Halloween episode.

Whether you are a third wheel like Ted Mosby on How I Met Your Mother or an honorary Hogwarts Student like Liz Lemon on 30 Rock, Horan’s article shows us how to be creative this Halloween and rock a one of a kind costume.

Read and see more costume ideas here:

Government Communicators Deemed “Non-Essential”

As of Tuesday October 1st at 12:00 AM the U.S. Government officially entered a partial shutdown for the first time in almost 20 years. As a result of this shutdown, government communicators are now being classified as “non-essential” and will be furloughed, leaving them silent during this shutdown.

This is making the output of PR efforts difficult and could cause communicators to have a tough time returning to quota once the shutdown ends.

“It will be interesting to see how things unfold externally during a crisis without carefully crafted messaging, not to mention there will be no internal communication during this process, so employees will be left in the dark as well,” says PR News writer Caysey Welton.

To read the full article click here.


The Great Gatsby and Public Relations

One of America’s beloved novels and one of the summer’s highly anticipated films, The Great Gatsby, has inspired PR Daily’s “What ‘The Great Gatsby’ Can Teach Us About PR.” Elissa Freeman tells us what PR practitioners can learn from this classic tale:

  1. To thine own self be true. Originally from a poverty-stricken Midwestern family, James Gatz reinvented his persona to become a self-made, mysterious millionaire who threw extravagant parties. In PR, it’s easy to fall into the trap of being who your client, or C-suite thinks you should be. The strengths you bring to the job and the personality that goes with it are why you were hired. Colleagues and clients will soon see through any phoniness, which will hurt relationship-building down the road.    Continue Reading →

Toyota’s Media Crisis!

Here is a great assessment of Toyota’s recent media crisis from industry expert Andy Gilman, president and owner of CommCore Consulting Group. Andy worked on the Tylenol crisis years back and has great industry insight and experience.

Assessing Mr. Toyoda’s Role Through the Ongoing Recall Crisis at Toyota

As the recall at Toyota turns from a crisis to a long term saga that impacts the company’s reputation, the company is finally doing many of the right things and trying to avoid missteps. The full-page advertisements in 20 national newspapers, the helplines and emails, the updates and webpage buttons are all well and good and necessary. While these efforts may be too late to pacify many disgruntled customers, dealers and stakeholders, apologies are finally coming from North America heads (namely North American CEO Jim Lentz) and other company spokespeople. CEO Akio Toyoda was even quoted as recently as this past weekend saying he was “very sorry” to a local Japanese auto trade publication.  To read the full post, please visit

In Honor of Marketing Moms

While on a flight home from visiting my mom for mother’s day, I had some time to reflect about how I was born to be a marketer. It’s in my blood, literally!  After filling my childhood with memories of crafts and creativity, my mom went back to work in the marketing department of a bank.   She recently retired after a successful career in meeting/event planning and marketing. It was wonderful to see her so happy and relaxed after all the blood, sweat, tears and entire being that she put into her career.  This is after all, written for all the marketing moms out there—dads, you will get your turn next month.

Here is to all the moms and moms-to-be in my life and yours, many of whom are marketers, whether by career or by nature!   Being a mom, aunt, step-mom, etc. gives a unique perspective to any marketing program, especially since moms are often the major caregivers and decision makers in their households.

Happy mother days to all of the Moms in my life, especially my Mom! Thank you for holding the world on your shoulders all the while with smiles on your faces.

“All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.” -Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest