Engaging social media users with attitudinal messages during health crisis communication

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


To cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, various policy measures accompanied by health crisis communication were adopted in China to engage publics. In this study, we investigated how People's Daily communicated COVID-19 messages on Weibo. Drawing on the Appraisal Framework, we developed a three-stage mixed method approach to study 400 COVID-19 posts to identify the attitude resources employed and their association with public engagement. We found that attitudinal posts were more engaging than non-attitudinal posts. Judgment, both positive and negative, was positively associated with public engagement, whereas the use of positive Affect and Appreciation could be ineffective. These findings contribute to the understanding of how public engagement on social media can be enhanced through the use of attitudinal messages in health emergencies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103199
Early online date27 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Appraisal Framework
  • Attitude
  • China
  • COVID-19 communication
  • Public engagement
  • Social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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