New year, COVID-19, and political public relations

A mixed methods frame analysis of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s crisis communication on Twitter


  • Nana Kwame Osei Fordjour University of New Mexico
  • Godwin Etse Sikanku Ghana Institute of Journalism


COVID-19, Twitter, US, governor, polittical public relations


This study adopts a mixed methods approach to analyze the crisis communication frames in the COVID-19 tweets (n=459) of Gov Andrew Cuomo. Findings indicate a prevalence of leadership tweets (29%), action (25%) tweets, severity (17.8%) reassurance (15%), and collaboration (7.6%) tweets. To explain these tweets, we conducted a qualitative frame analysis and observed that the governor’s tweets portrayed him as a leader on top of issues and committed towards equality by espousing three frames namely: Vaccination efforts, pandemic impact, and relief, as well as hands-on leadership. He displayed authenticity by his dominant use of statistics, bilingual tweets, and rhetorical questions to display authenticity. Findings contribute to literature on using social media in crisis communication by extending a mixed-methods approach to study a popular phenomenon in the field.

Author Biographies

Nana Kwame Osei Fordjour, University of New Mexico

Nana Kwame Osei Fordjour is a Ph.D. student in the Communication and Journalism department at the University of New Mexico. His research interests are in political communication, strategic communication, and media

Godwin Etse Sikanku, Ghana Institute of Journalism

Etse Sikanku is a senior lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Journalism. He obtained his PhD from the University of Iowa and is currently the Executive Director for the Center for Public Discourse Analysis (CPDA).


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