Date of Award

January 2014

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Safety, Security, and Emergency Management

First Advisor

E. Scott Dunlap

Department Affiliation

Safety, Security, and Emergency Management

Second Advisor

Ryan K. Baggett

Department Affiliation

Safety, Security, and Emergency Management

Third Advisor

Sarah Morris

Department Affiliation

Safety, Security, and Emergency Management

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to identify how effective the use of social media is when used by university students during emergency events. The literature review included in this thesis studies the cases made by other researchers, who were equally as curious about social media's communication effectiveness, and in some incidents evaluated how it was used, the results produced, and what contribution it made during the timeline of that emergency.

The methodology inquired about, and examined, the types of events which students most commonly use social media, the frequency of such use, and their interest in seeing this type of platform applied for official emergency communication purposes. A survey with a total of thirty-three questions was developed and made available online for voluntary completion by members of randomly selected student organizations at Eastern Kentucky University, with the final results delivering a compelling case for further discussion and research on this topic.

While the results are not a reflection of the thoughts and opinions of the student population of Eastern Kentucky University, the students that volunteered their time to participate provided valuable insight, which appears to strengthen the argument for the use of social media as a mass communication tool during emergency events, with the majority of survey responses in agreement with using this tool at the university level.

Share

COinS