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Date of Award
Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted
Master of Arts (M.A.)
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Twitter has become a foremost public relations tool due to its capacity to facilitate two-way communication; however research suggests few organizations are using it effectively to engage in conversation with their customers (Rybalko & Seltzer, 2010; Briones, Kuch, Liu, & Jin, 2011; Lovejoy, Waters, & Saxon, 2012; Waters & Jamal, 2011). Using Grunig and Hunt's (1984) models of public relations and uses and gratifications theory (Katz, Blumler, & Gurevitch, 1974) as the guiding framework, this study examines how teams in the National Hockey League (NHL) communicate with fans on Twitter. The study used a content analysis and coded 815 team tweets into one of five content themes based on the fan gratification being met. Findings revealed that teams are most likely to meet fans' information needs and use models of press agentry and public information, despite the opportunity for conversation and relationship building Twitter provides. The results indicate there is a lack of two-way conversation being facilitated by NHL teams to build relationships with fans. The results of this study will inform sports teams, as well as other organizations, on current and future communication strategies on social media.
Allen, Megan. (2015). Twitter usage by professional sports teams: A content analysis. University of the Pacific, Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted. http://scholarlycommons.pacific.edu/uop_etds/199
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