Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Marketing and Sales

Document Type



In order to meet increasing consumer demands and protect their reputations, brands must implement a combination of communication and service strategies on social media today. Corporate apologies are an effective crisis communication strategy to reduce online interactions that damage brand reputations. While the value of social media corporate apologies has been established in the literature, few studies have broken down the elements of apologies used in service interactions on social media platforms.

This study manipulated previously untested linguistic components of corporate apologies on Twitter to test their effects on perceived apology sincerity, forgiveness, purchase intentions, and brand advocacy. Results showed that the inclusion of a personal greeting and closure can impact perceived sincerity when directives are consumer-responsible, that directive type does not show significant effects on behavioral intentions, and that perceived apology sincerity can increase forgiveness, which in turn predicts purchase intentions and brand advocacy.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Joanna Phillips-Melancon, Ph.D.


Business | Communication | Marketing | Public Relations and Advertising

Available for download on Thursday, January 08, 2026