Texas Tech University

Trent Seltzer

Associate Professor & Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies
Public Relations

Email: trent.seltzer@ttu.edu

Phone: +1.806.834.3803

Research: Social media, Health, Political, Crisis or risk  

Office: 158C

Web:  https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Trent_Seltzer

Social Media:
 https://twitter.com/tseltzer

Ph.D. University of Florida, 2007
M.A. University of Central Florida, 2000

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Trent Seltzer

Biography

I grew up in Panama City, Florida. I have a great wife and two amazing kids. I decided to become a teacher after serving as an instructor as part of my fellowship while at University of Central Florida. This led to my pursuit of a doctorate at the University of Florida, where I fell in love with public relations research. I've been at TTU for 10 years and have served in a variety of administrative roles including six years as the chair of the Department of Public Relations and two years as the assistant dean for graduate studies in the College of Media & Communication. 

Research

Originally, my research interests were constrained to the study of organization-public relationship (OPR) management within political contexts; for example, examining how political parties use communication to manage their relationship with party members as well as determining what outcomes result from successfully or unsuccessfully managing these relationships. Over the years, I have extended my study of OPRs and organizational relationship management from politics to health, consumer, social media, and other areas.

Recently, I have launched a second line of research investigating the role of strategic communication in promoting adolescent mental health with an emphasis on supporting programs that cultivate resiliency among youth. Two recent projects in this line of work involve studying the information seeking and sharing behaviors of parents and examining the public's perception of both news and entertainment media portrayals of adolescent mental health.

Methodologies

  • Content Analysis
  • In-Depth Interviews
  • Focus Group Interviews
  • Survey

Research Areas

  • Social media
  • Health communication
  • Political communication
  • Crisis or risk communication 

Selected Publications

  • Abitbol, A., Lee, N., Lee, S., & Seltzer, T. (in press). #RaceTogether: Starbucks' attempt to discuss race in America and its impact on company reputation and employees. Public Relations Journal. Read the publication.

  • Holland, D., Krause, A., Provencher, J., & Seltzer, T. (in press). Transparency tested: The influence of message features on public perceptions of organizational transparency. Public Relations Review. Read the publication.

  • Lee, N., Seltzer, T., & Callison, C. (2017). Relationship building in the craft beer industry: A study of public relations within the growing artisanal and locavore movements. Public Relations Journal, 11(2), 1-20. Read the publication.

  • Callison, C., Merle, P., & Seltzer, T. (2014). Smart friendly liars: Public perception of public relations practitioners over time. Public Relations Review, 40, 829-831. Read the publication.

Teaching Focus

I primarily teach courses focused on integrated communication campaigns. At the undergraduate level, I am one of the primary instructors of PR 4312: Public Relations Campaigns, which is the capstone course for the public relations majors where we work for real clients to develop comprehensive strategic communication campaigns. At the graduate level, I regularly teach MCOM 6315: Integrated Communication Campaigns. This course focuses on the intersection of both the pragmatic aspects of designing public information campaigns as well as the theory and research regarding message design, campaign design, targeting, and media channel selection. I love campaigns courses because they involve hands on, active learning, bridge the gap between the practitioner and academic realms of communication, and are focused on producing not only publishable research, but also helping members of the community.

In addition to campaigns courses, I teach a number of graduate courses in our master's programs, including communication theory, research methods, and public relations strategy. I've also developed and delivered a number of special topics courses related to public relations, persuasion, and political communication. Among these is Global Issues Management, a special topics course that is part of the graduate program's annual study abroad program that is designed to facilitate international professional experiences for our masters students.

  • Public Relations Campaigns (PR 4412)
  • Seminar in Mass Communication Theory (MCOM 5366) 
  • Public Relations Problems and Cases (PR 5343)
  • Integrated Communication Campaigns (MCOM 6315)
  • Global Public Relations: Issues Management (PR 6315)

Leadership & Awards

  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Public Relations Research
  • Ketchum Excellence in Public Relations Research Award from the Institute for Public Relations
  • Texas Tech Alumni Association New Faculty Award
  • The Bill and Avis Ross Mass Communications Faculty Achievement Award
  • The L. U. Kaiser Teaching Innovation Award
  • The TTU President's Excellence in Teaching Award
  • Texas Tech Integrated Scholar
  • Texas Tech University President's Leadership Institute