Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

MA Public Relations


Communication and the Arts


Renee Robinson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ruth Tsuria, Ph.D.


crisis communication, public relations, reputation management, crisis response phase, Twitter, social media, case study, textual analysis, reduce offensiveness, Critical Race Theory


There are multiple message strategies utilized for public relations (PR) when communicating information on Twitter during a crisis. The purpose of this study was to determine the most effective reputation repair practice(s) used during racially bias related crises surrounding three retail companies. Tweets from the crisis response phase conveying apology, corrective action, denial, evasion of responsibility, and reduce offensiveness were examined in terms of likes, retweets, and replies through a case study and textual analysis approach. Results revealed that the reduce offensiveness strategy yielded the highest overall engagement and produced a best practices guide for future public relations professionals.