Student Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 6-1-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Program of Study

Communication - Corporate Communication



First Advisor

Minna Logemann

Second Advisor

Stuart Davis


Apologies issued by public figures, brands, and companies after a scandal or public perception of wrongdoing are common occurrences that have a significant impact on a brand's overall reputation. The impact on reputation hinges on how apologies are dissected and criticized by audiences on social media, which in turn influences public opinion and perception of the brand, company, or public figure. Furthermore, social media has exacerbated condemnation or support for public apologies, because it provides a platform for public discourse on the matter. Apologies are powerful tools that can be effective if implemented well or can be detrimental to a company, brand, or public figure that is experiencing a crisis. This research study focuses on past public apologies, the social media reactions to them, how these reactions differ based on the discursive strategy utilized in the apology, and what lessons can be learned.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.