Communicating Through COVID-19: A Quantitative Analysis of CommunicationStrategies, Credibility, And Transparency of Local Government Organizations’ Social MediaPlatforms

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Committee Chair

Brenda Jones

Committee Member

Kenneth Knox

Committee Member

Lewis Chongwony


Social media had a tremendous impact during the pandemic as a means of disseminating information about COVID-19. Local state government organizations utilize various social media platforms to share information with the public about their adjusted services, positive COVID-19 numbers and more, which is essential. There is little research analyzing organizations' overall social media communications with stakeholders and how organizations are using social media to serve the public during the pandemic. The non-experimental, quantitative study analyzed the public perception of local government social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter) activeness during the pandemic and if they perceived the organizations’ content as credible and transparent. The literature reviewed for this study reiterated the importance of social media use by the public and organizations, theoretical frameworks, and measurement tools and scales for the survey questionnaire. Literature reviewed found no measurement tool for measuring activeness on social media platforms. Simple linear regression provided insight into the variance of the independent variable (activeness) and the dependent variables (transparency and credibility). Simple linear regression led to the findings of a statistically significant relationship. However, the independent variable alone was insufficient in predicting the perceived dependent variables of local state government organizations given the derived R-squared value. The study results indicated that participants perceived an organization as active if they post 2-5 times per week on their social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter). Although this study was limited to state government organizations, the findings have potential implications for all organizations on knowledge of how active they are on social media sites and how it may impact the perception of their credibility and transparency. This study determined if understudied local government agencies took advantage of two-way communication when socially exchanging on social media platforms to share credible and transparent information with the public. The study was also significant in contributing to the theoretical understanding of how social media platforms change the societal way the public receives and perceives information from businesses during a pandemic. Thus, the present formal analysis of how active, transparent, and credible government organizations were when disseminating information to the public during the pandemic addresses a gap in the literature.