Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

MA Public Relations


Communication and the Arts


Kristen A. Koehler, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Renee Robinson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ruth Tsuria, Ph.D.


public relations, crisis, communication, emotions, stoneman douglas, reaction


All entities and individuals can use, design or generate content appealing to emotions to maximize message saturation, audience reach, and engagement on Twitter during a crisis. The purpose of this study was to identify which specific emotion(s) yielded the highest engagement during the 2018 Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting. Specifically, tweets conveying the emotional appeals of fear, anger, empathy, and advocacy were measured in terms of average likes, retweets, replies, and overall engagement using a content analysis and the constant comparative method. Results revealed which emotional appeal(s) yield the most likes, retweets, replies, and overall engagement with tweets.