Date of Award

Summer 8-27-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Public Relations


Horn, Bradford

Subject Categories

Communication | Social and Behavioral Sciences


This thesis explores how the COVID-19 pandemic forced a shift in the way parasocial relationships between music artists and their followers are created and maintained on social media platforms. Previous literature on the phenomenon of parasocial interactions advancing into parasocial relationships was discussed and analyzed as foundation for the research. The researcher conducted an online survey questionnaire and a social listening content analysis to study participants' behavior prior and during the pandemic, and how this affected participants' parasocial relationships with the music artists that they follow on the social media platforms that they use. The goal of this thesis was to aid public relations professional in the music industry understand how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the way artists and followers engaged and connected, and how this in turn affects strategies and tactics moving forward. Through the survey questionnaire and the social listening content analysis, the research revealed patterns of behavior among followers on social media since the start of the pandemic that differed from patterns of behavior prior to the pandemic. Additionally, solicited and unsolicited testimonies from followers gave insights onto where they stand in terms of their connections to artists.


Open Access

Included in

Communication Commons



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