Date Approved

6-16-2004

Embargo Period

5-1-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Public Relations

Department

Public Relations & Advertising

College

College of Communication & Creative Arts

First Advisor

Fulginiti, Anthony

Subject(s)

Amusement parks; Crisis management

Disciplines

Public Relations and Advertising

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis was to evaluate whether effective amusement park crisis management can shorten the crisis news life cycle. Twenty-two in-depth interviews with seasoned media, amusement park public relations practitioners, and park PR practitioners who formerly worked in media were conducted and analyzed through content analysis. Coverage of an amusement ride incident was analyzed through content analysis to support interview findings. Numerous strategies are identified to build a foundation for effective crisis management, and to shorten the duration of crisis news coverage. Differences in managing print media versus television media are discussed. The thesis identifies amusement park incident criteria that either indicate one-day crisis coverage, or high volume and frequency of coverage and the likelihood of continuing crisis coverage. The identified strategies and crisis criteria can help amusement park public relations practitioners manage crises and shorten the news life cycle.

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