During the COVID 19 pandemic, one of the most critical tasks of the university was to effectively communicate with students, faculty, and staff members. This study aims to explore perceived universities’ crisis response messages during the pandemic and examine the effectiveness of each response strategy on public relations outcomes. A survey with 346 university students in the U.S., results showed how defensive and accommodative response strategies differently affected PR outcomes. Accommodative strategies generated higher OPR and greater perceived transparency efforts among students, while several defensive strategies affected students’ negative evaluations on post-crisis OPR and perceived transparency of their universities. Such results revealed valuable insights that make significant contributions to theory and practices in university crisis communication and management, especially when dealing with public health crises that are seen as external locus of control.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management