A Great Public Relations Future Ahead For Hope Hicks

5WPR CEO - A Great Public Relations Future Ahead For Hope HicksRonn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR

Hope Hicks, the 29-year-old White House Communications director recently resigned to “pursue other opportunities,” receiving the President’s blessing in leaving. Hicks is the youngest person ever to fill this position, she did excellent work (clearly in a very hard role, for a very hard boss), and by all accounts was well-liked within the White House.

While there’s been reports the veteran of multiple Public Relations agencies, including Zeno Group & Hiltzik Strategies is considering crisis communications gigs, I think she’d do great at this (or any other role) she takes on. Can she possibly have any more pressure than the role she has already filled at such a young age?

Hicks has already proven her worth in dealing with crises in her job at the White House – multiple times a day often on completely different fronts. Beyond the professional challenges, the lifestyle takes a toll.  You’re always on, traveling frequently, often with the President, on trips around the world. While in the position, she proved herself to be candid and even-keeled, character traits that allowed her to relationships with reporters and amongst her counterparts, by going well beyond what anyone would have asked or required of her.

As a model for both Ralph Lauren and Ivanka Trump, Hicks is no stranger to the limelight, yet possesses the keen ability to blend in while not being ignored, a necessary skill for a PR pro or a crisis communications expert. Beyond that, it’s in her DNA as a third-generation PR pro representing powerful figures and organizations. Her father represented the NFL and Big Tobacco and her grandfather repped Texaco during the energy crisis of the ‘70s. While she has impressed in her role, it’s clear that this is in her bones.  It has to be. Combined with the demands both personally and professionally of the job, one has to believe she has the mettle to succeed in any future endeavor in the field.

Her time working for President Trump – undoubtedly one of the world’s most difficult PR clients – positions her well for whichever work she may choose to do in the private sector. By the way, let’s remember that Ms. Hicks is still shy of her 30th birthday and has the experience of working in what many would agree to be possibly the most chaotic White House environments of any President in recent memory, perhaps ever.

The lessons she has learned while working in the face of such controversy equip her with a deep and wide-ranging PR toolkit. Of course, this also means she still has plenty of time to learn from past mistakes and missed opportunities. Very few people at her age have learned everything they need to do to reach their pinnacle. She still has time.

Hicks clearly has the pedigree, the experience, and the drive. According to a report released by the White House in July 2017, while working for the Trump White House, Hicks’ income was the max for a White House aide at $179,000 a year, This PR agency CEO suspects she will earn considerably more in the private sector PR world.  Count me among those who’d be happy to interview her.


About the Author: Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, one of America’s fifteen largest PR firms



  1. Rick on March 6, 2018 at 10:49 am

    Regarding the headline, I hope not.
    Hope Hicks set the PR field back years with her testimony before the House Intelligence Committee that it was her job to lie for Donald Trump. That’s not what PR professionals do.
    The former model with no PR education (English major) missed out on ethics education which is most paramount for any young person entering the field.
    She may go to jail for collusion in the Russia investigation after testifying to a Congressional committee that she had told “white lies” on Trump’s behalf. Then she refused to answer any questions about her tenure in the White House as not to further incriminate herself.
    The next day when the news broke she resigned, but of course according to “multiple sources” she had been planning to resign for months, and her announcement was unrelated to telling congress she regularly lied for the president.
    That’s not PR, and it does the industry great harm to hold this up as doing “excellent work.”

  2. Kathleen Lewton on March 6, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    And may I add to the previous comments, that one’s looks and ability to wear clothes and be in the spotlight are not on any list of qualifications for public relations practitioners that I have ever seen. (Nor is Daddy was in PR, but that’s another issue.)

    Her achievements of all sorts have been hashed over in the mainstream media, but I found it cringeworthy that a public relations professional would ever include steaming the boss’ trousers, while he is wearing them, in her job duties. Even sending out dry cleaning went out as a job duty decades ago. And the mental imagery of a young woman steaming anyone’s clothes while they were wearing them doesn’t do much for the image of our profession, nor does having multiple affairs with fellow staff members, but at least the second one was divorced.

    Beyond that, White House staffers have reported that Ms. Hicks was the one who gave approval for senior staff to do interviews with Michael Wolff. Wolff was known as a writer of sensationalized tell all tales, and I’m not sure any corporate PR person would have given him carte blanche access to senior executives, for private interviews (who knows if they taped or took notes. Staffers reported (take it with a grain or shaker of salt) that they were simply told to “spin it positively” when they sat down with Wolff.

    Those are basic PR 101/media relations 202 things that any proficient PR professional would have handled differently.

    SO not sure I can predict she’ll have success in corporate PR; I was going to say maybe fashion or . . . . and then I realized my colleagues in those fields would likely feel as insulted as I did reading this opinion column.

    I think Ms. Hicks, from steaming trousers to opening White House West Wing to a tell all writer, has not shown the world what good public relations is.

    Just my two cents’ worth.

  3. Angela Sinickas on March 6, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    Hope would do well to use this downtime to pursue a master’s in PR and learn something useful about her chosen profession. Until she does, and comes to understand all the enormous mistakes she made in her very short career so far, she will be nothing but a liability for her future employers and clients. And she has done so much damage to the perceptions of our profession. I truly hope she decides to pursue something completely different in her next role for which her education has prepared her. Just because she learned how to write well and has a father in PR who connected her to 5 years of jobs in no way makes her a communication strategist who is worth $179,000 a year. I’d love to see what she puts on her resume as her strategic accomplishments in the last year–the communication coming out of the Trump White House has been the least strategic and most chaotic, reactive and dishonest of any administration I’ve lived through.

  4. Douglas J. Swanson, Ed.D APR on March 12, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    Any public relations “professional” who lies, admits she lies, and takes glee smiling to the cameras after her testimony about lies…. ugh, I was going to finish that sentence but now I’m too nauseous to do so. Hope Hicks is a clinging, climbing opportunist – just like everyone else in the president’s administration. And, Mr. Torossian, please tell us how you condone liars or hiring liars to represent your clients? Does the PRSA Code mean anything to you?

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