Honors College Theses

Date

2022

Major

Public Relations (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Groover

Abstract

This research aims to analyze how Georgia Southern University handled COVID-19 through a public relations perspective using the discourse of renewal theory. In order to do this, this research looks at the communication sent from the University to the faculty, staff, and students during the time periods of March to April of 2020 and July to August of 2020. The three research questions this research will examine are: how did the University apply the discourse of renewal theory to speak to the students, faculty, and staff regarding COVID-19, how did the University use its email system to communicate with the students, faculty, and staff, and how did the University use its social media accounts to communicate with the students, faculty, and staff? In order to answer these questions, a codebook was created to record the most common words/phrases/hashtags during both time periods on communication from the University via email and social media. The research found that the University utilized all categories of the discourse of renewal theory. The research found that the emails predominantly used the discourse of renewal categories that meets the needs of stakeholders and the community along with prospective foci that is provisional and genuine. However, the social media accounts predominantly used the category culture and values within the discourse of renewal theory.

Thesis Summary

This thesis aims to see how Georgia Southern University used the discourse of renewal theory to communicate to students, faculty, and staff during COVID-19. This research looked at the communication via email and social media during the time periods of March tot April of 2020 and July to August of 2020 to determine how the University used the discourse of renewal theory. The research found that the University utilized all categories of the discourse of renewal theory. The research found that the emails predominantly used the discourse of renewal categories that meets the needs of stakeholders and the community along with prospective foci that is provisional and genuine. However, the social media accounts predominantly used the category culture and values within the discourse of renewal theory.

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