Date of Award

Spring 5-25-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Program of Study

Communication - Corporate Communication

Language

English

First Advisor

Minna Logemann

Second Advisor

Allison Hahn

Third Advisor

Eric Gander

Abstract

This capstone study explores entrepreneurial narratives centered around the role of communication within a start-up environment and to what extent strategic communication plays a role. I am addressing the following question: To what extent do start-ups see themselves as strategic actors when approaching communications and financing within their companies? To answer this question, I conducted seven oral histories with entrepreneurs within the Public relations, online sales, and real estate fields. The start-up companies varied in the amount individuals that are currently working for them. This study builds upon previous research about start-up companies and strategic communications. Past research was more focused on the quantitative method, structured interviews, and secondary data. This study differs by using the oral history approach, which allows acquiring information that is more unique to each entrepreneur's experience. The findings of this study show that when entrepreneurs are speaking about their communication plans, they would often refer to the systems that they have in place to help support their communication. Furthermore, when speaking on strategy or a strategic communication plan entrepreneur mentioned planning sessions, meetings and different internal assignments. Interviewees reported that they would use their nine to five jobs and savings as the primary funding sources for their companies and defined success as a space between monetary gain and giving back to other people. Finally, interviewees share that communication will play a vital role in the future of their company.

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