Texas Tech University

Trent Seltzer

Associate Professor
Public Relations & Strategic Communication Management

Email: trent.seltzer@ttu.edu

Phone: +1.806.834.3803

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

Office: 1112

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

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

Trent Seltzer


I grew up in Panama City, Florida. I have a great wife and two amazing kids. I caught the teaching bug while completing my master's degree 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 since 2007 and have served in a variety of administrative roles including six years as the chair of the Department of Public Relations and four years as the assistant dean for graduate studies in the College of Media & Communication. 


Originally, my research interests were constrained to the study of organization-public relationship (OPR) management within political contexts; for example, I've examined 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 adolescents. Two recent projects in this line of work involve studying the mental health information seeking and sharing behaviors of parents and examining the public's perception of news and entertainment media portrayals of adolescent mental health.


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

Research Areas

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

Selected Publications

  • Bankhead, B. K., Bichard, S., Seltzer, T., Thompson, L., Chambers, B., Davis, B., Knowlton, L. M., Tatebe, L., Vella, M., & Dumas, R. P. (in press). Bias in the trauma bay: A multicenter qualitative study on team communication. Journal of Trauma & Acute Care Surgery.
  • Holland, D., Seltzer, T., & Kochigina, A. (2021). Practicing transparency in a crisis: Examining the combined effects of crisis type, response, and message transparency on organizational perceptions. Public Relations Review, 47(2), 1-11.
  • Seltzer, T. (2019). Political public relations and relationship management: Foundations & challenges. In J. Strömbäck & S. Kiousis (Eds.), Political public relations: Concepts, principles, applications (2nd ed., pp. 105-125). New York, NY: Routledge
  • Seltzer, T., & Lee, N. (2018). The influence of distal antecedents on organization-public relationships. Journal of Public Relations Research, 30(5-6), 230-250. Read the publication.
  • Lee, N., & Seltzer, T. (2018). Vicarious interaction: The role of observed online communication in fostering organization-public relationships. Journal of Communication Management, 22(3), 262-279. Read the publication.
  • Abitbol, A., Lee, N., Lee, S., & Seltzer, T. (2018). #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. (2018). 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 master's 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

  • Exemplary Program Award, Texas Tech's 2023 President's Emerging Engaged Scholarship Award
  • 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