|For my Departmental Honors Research project, I researched and analyzed the influence of social media on defensive and crisis communication within the airline industry. I looked into the history of how airlines have responded to crises in the past, and how their strategies have changed with the use of social media. While crisis communication focuses more on large-scale catastrophes or disasters, defensive communication serves to defend or uphold a company's reputation. For my research, I first studied crisis and defensive responses in general. After getting a better understanding of communication strategies in the industry, I determined the role social media plays in different airlines' responses. This analysis is important because reputation management needs to be upheld amidst a crisis. I researched factors that influence the communications that a corporation publishes, as well as the preparation that goes into them. Because airlines face crises with accidents, crashes, and recently the impact of COVID-19, social media has been essential to engage with both the public and key stakeholders. My goal in my research was to focus on how strategies have changed with the use of social media in the past ten years. Because reputation management is vitally important to any company, and crises are frequent with airlines, I chose this highly visible industry for my research. My thesis focuses on three main categories: the history of crisis communication in the airline industry, the current strategies used, and how effective these strategies, specifically the use of social media, have proven.