Title page for ETD etd-04202011-133123

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Tadie, Elizabeth Barrow
URN etd-04202011-133123
Title Stay Calm and Tweet: A Best Practice Approach to the Use of Social Media in a Crisis Situation
Degree Master of Mass Communication (M.M.C.)
Department Mass Communication
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dahmen, Nicole Smith Committee Chair
Broussard , Jinx C. Committee Member
Mann , Robert Committee Member
Popp, Richard Committee Member
  • theory of issues management
  • theory of image restoration
  • best practice
  • crisis communication
  • social media
Date of Defense 2011-04-11
Availability unrestricted
At some point in its history every organization will face a crisis situation. How an organization responds to a crisis incident decides its survival. As Internet technology flourishes, public relations practitioners are provided with additional tools to manage crisis situations.

This study investigates the role that emerging social media components play in the field of crisis management. It presents a best practice approach to using new technology in times of emergency.

A qualitative study of Louisiana public relations practitioners analyzes how and why social media is being integrated into crisis communication plans. Social media components are used to quickly communicate succinct messages and promote two-way symmetrical communication in times of crisis. Social media’s role in the theories of issues management and image restoration is explored and incorporated.

This study contributes to the literature on crisis communication and social media in regards to the field of public relations. Its findings can be useful to public relations theorists and practitioners in preparing for, handling, and recovering from a crisis. A best practice approach to using social media in a crisis, as concluded from the results, is presented at the end of the study.

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