Image Repair: Exploring Trump's Tweets in Response to Family Separation Crisis



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Image repair was brought into the spotlight in 2018 when the family separation crisis put President Trump under significant public scrutiny when his image was tarnished regarding his actions towards the issue. This study’s objective was to identify the image repair strategies Trump employed in his tweets in order to repair his image, and evaluate their overall effectiveness during this time. A qualitative approach to content analysis was used to categorize the image repair strategies according to Benoit’s (1995, 1997) typology. Gallup presidential approval ratings were also used to determine the effectiveness of those strategies. The analysis yielded the use of reducing offensiveness, denial, and evading responsibility as predominant defense strategies employed by Trump. Political polarization and demographic characteristics were two of the main factors that impacted the effectiveness of the used strategies.



Image repair, Twitter