Poster or Presentation Title

That’s Not What I Heard: A Study on University Communications and Marketing to Different Publics Regarding COVID-19 Policies.

Student Author Information

Hannah M. BelayachiFollow

Access Type

Campus Access Only

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Department

Communication Studies

Abstract

This study will investigate how small independent institutions and state-flagship universities have communicated policies regarding the COVID-19 pandemic to students and faculty. This study will mainly look at one institution within each of the previously mentioned categories and compare their general messages regarding COVID-19, how it fits with the Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT), and if any other methods within the SCCT could have been more effective. A subsection within this paper will include looking at public commentaries made by publics associated to the institutions of study (i.e., parents, alumni, and students) and evaluating their comments using a sentiment analysis on their comments and seeing how this affects the spread of information using the diffusion theory of innovations. The expected findings are that the small independent institution communicated more frequently than the state-flagship universities and utilized more methods of communication under the SCCT while communicating with its publics. Additionally, schools within politically red regions will have spread more misinformation about COVID-19, have less student compliance, and less likely to agree to the policies the universities have put in place.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Laura Kicklighter Jeremy Langett Jimmy Roux

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That’s Not What I Heard: A Study on University Communications and Marketing to Different Publics Regarding COVID-19 Policies.

This study will investigate how small independent institutions and state-flagship universities have communicated policies regarding the COVID-19 pandemic to students and faculty. This study will mainly look at one institution within each of the previously mentioned categories and compare their general messages regarding COVID-19, how it fits with the Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT), and if any other methods within the SCCT could have been more effective. A subsection within this paper will include looking at public commentaries made by publics associated to the institutions of study (i.e., parents, alumni, and students) and evaluating their comments using a sentiment analysis on their comments and seeing how this affects the spread of information using the diffusion theory of innovations. The expected findings are that the small independent institution communicated more frequently than the state-flagship universities and utilized more methods of communication under the SCCT while communicating with its publics. Additionally, schools within politically red regions will have spread more misinformation about COVID-19, have less student compliance, and less likely to agree to the policies the universities have put in place.