Public Relations Defiance: Updated

Recently, the White House has placed a gag order on several federal agencies and sub-agencies.

The sub-agency that started the whole thing was the National Park Service.

Could it be that the National Park Service is making a bold move, acting defiantly against the new White House administration?

A social media manager for the Badlands National Park sent out a barrage of tweets about climate change yesterday.  The tweets have since been deleted, but not before being retweeted by thousands.

The official statement from the National Park Service is that the tweets were made by “a former employee who is not currently authorized to use the park’s account” (CNN).

On Twitter, many are applauding the NPS for making a bold move against the White House gag order.  Do you agree?

Do you think that we’ll see more of these acts of public relations defiance? 

As public relations pros, we all know that it’s our duty to uphold the message that our employer wants to convey.  If we were to stray from that message, we’d probably find ourselves on the unemployment line pretty quickly.

But, the United States government is different.  The government exists for the benefit of the people.  And the people have a right to know what is going on in the government.

We have several entire agencies that have been issued a gag order from the White House and I have some important questions for you regarding this.

  1. Do you think that the public relations employees of this agency should uphold the gag order, or do you think that they should act defiantly?
  2. If you think that they should ignore the gag order, do you think that this is an ethical or unethical public relations practice?
  3. If you worked for one of these agencies, what would you do regarding the gag order?


As always, thank you for following, and I invite you to comment on these questions.


Almost as soon as I finished this post, another item of interest regarding the National Park Service came to my attention.

I guess my question Do you think that we’ll see more of these acts of public relations defiance? is answered.

Some active employees of the National Park Service have been tweeting on  an independent Twitter account


AltNatParkSer has been on Twitter since 2015



And tweeted this defiant message to President Trump late last night.



What do you think about this? Who will win this public relations war? President Trump or the employees of the National Park Service?  Will other public relations employees follow suit? 



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