Graduate Program

Communication Studies

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion

Fall 2023

Thesis Director

Claudia Janssen Danyi

Thesis Committee Member

Marita Gronnvoll

Thesis Committee Member

Richard G. Jones, Jr.

Thesis Committee Member

Rashmi Thapaliya


This study interrogated how these theories were potentially used, or aspects of the theories used to create, alter, or maintain, the contestant’s personal brands on two social media platforms. Informed by previous literature on personal branding and impression management, 1,021 pieces of social media communication were analyzed, 499 pieces of communication from Taylor Hale, and 522 pieces of communication from Paulie Calafiore. This study determined that there were up to five different patterns on the kind of content produced that still qualified under these theories for Taylor Hale, and up to four different patterns for Paulie Calafiore. Some patterns appeared similar but were being used to achieve different means, while other patterns were used to assist in differentiation and enhancement of the personal brand and the persona conveyed. These varying patterns utilized were consistent enough through the social media posts analyzed that much of their content between the two platforms was able to be categorized in a select number of overarching themes. There were differences noticeable between only textual based content, image or video and text-based content, and only image or video-based content, as well as differences in how the platforms were utilized between the two contestants. This study demonstrated that personal branding and impression management theory are both tools able to be utilized to create, alter, maintain, promote and enhance a personal brand for an individual, especially if they have a “celetoid” (Rojek, as cited from Turner, p. 156, 2006) status.