Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Roxanne Watson


crisis, facebook, internet, networking, relationship management, social media


The purpose of this study was to determine how organizations communicate on Facebook during a crisis, from a relationship management perspective, and how their interactivity, responsiveness, and transparency affect their Fan page's relevance, importance, and appeal. In this study, the researcher conducted a controlled experiment to examine if a strategized Facebook Fan page that contained a high level of interaction, responsiveness, and transparency contributed to long-lasting relationships with fans or helped organizations recover/prevent a crisis. The researcher created eight different conditions (Facebook Fan Pages) presenting a crisis message, and recruited 200 students (25 participants per condition) from the University of South Florida (USF) to participate in the experiment. The findings did not demonstrate exactly what the research study was designed to find. The individual hypotheses were not supported during the ANOVA tests, except Hypothesis 1a. The ANOVA tests showed that the high vs. low interactivity, high vs. low responsiveness or high vs. low transparency did not have a significant effect on a Fan page's relevance, importance, and appeal. The variables did not have an independent influence, and they did not show any significance standing alone. However, the ANOVA tests surprisingly revealed a dramatic three-way interaction effect of all three independent variables on relevance and importance.