Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management

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Exploring social media use in university crisis communication: An experiment to measure impact on perceived crisis severity and attitudes of key publics

This study seeks to investigate the impact of an exposure to a university's social media on publics’ perceptions during a crisis. Data from this study showed that participants (= 269) expressed more favourable evaluations towards the university and their perceived severity was mitigated after viewing its official statement on university's Facebook posts. The results of this empirical research offer a meaningful suggestion to crisis communication scholars and practitioners interested in assessing the impact of universities’ statements in social media by providing ways to understand the importance of the organizational usage of social media during a crisis, why that is important, and why practitioners should make effective social media communication tactics a priority during a crisis.

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