Melanie Formentin | Towson University

Education

Ph.D., Mass Communications, The Pennsylvania State University, 2014
M.A., Strategic Communication, University of South Florida, 2010
B.A. Mass Communications (Public Relations), B.A. Psychology, University of South
Florida, 2006

Areas of Expertise

Corporate Social Responsibility
Ethics of Care
Crisis Communication
Sport Communication
Public Relations Writing Practices
Public Relations History

Biography

Melanie Formentin is an assistant professor of public relations in the Department
of Mass Communication, where she teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses.
Dr. Formentin earned her Ph.D. in Mass Communications at Penn State University (2014)
and attended the University of South Florida for both her undergraduate (2006) and
master’s programs (2010). Prior to teaching at Towson University, she spent multiple
years working in public relations positions with the Tampa Bay Lightning and University
of South Florida Humanities Institute. She is a current member of the PRSA Maryland
chapter.

Formentin emphasizes building relationships with on-campus groups for both teaching
and service. In addition to serving on multiple assessment committees, she is an active
member of the UDL Community of Practice. She emphasizes building mentoring relationships
with students and colleagues, and actively supports transfer student initiatives on
campus. Through her MCOM453 campaigns class, she has guided student campaigns designed
to support multiple Student Health Services and Office of Civic Engagement and Social
Responsibility programs. She has also supported the Towson Reading Clinic, Child Care
Center, and New Student & Family Programs. In 2019 she won the university’s Outstanding
Service-Learning Faculty Member award.

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Formentin’s research primarily focuses on ethical corporate social responsibility
practices. She also examines crisis communication theory in professional sports contexts;
the impact of reputation on perceptions of errors in press releases; the history of
public relations usage in Scientology; and the impact of academic mentoring programs.
In addition to being published in Journal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Review, Journal of Communication Management, and Corporate Reputation Review, Formentin has written multiple book chapters. She also regularly presents at national
conferences including the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
and the International Public Relations Research Conference.

Selected Publications

  • Formentin, M., & Bortree, D. (2019). Giving from the heart: Exploring how ethics of care emerges
    in corporate social responsibility. Journal of Communication Management, 23(1), 2-17. doi: https://doi.org/10.1108/JCOM-09-2018-0083

  • Formentin, M., Hettinga, K., & Appelman, A. (2019). Two wrongs don’t make a right: Journalists’
    perceptions and usage of press releases. Corporate Reputation Review, doi https://doi.org/10.1057/s41299-019-00091-z

  • Formentin, M. (2018). Crisis communication and the NBA lockout: Exploring fan reactions to crisis
    response strategies in sport. In A. Billings, W. T. Coombs, and K. A. Brown (Eds.)
    Reputational Challenges in Sport: Theory and Application (pp. 117-134). New York: Routledge.

  • Formentin, M., Bortree, D., & Fraustino, J.D. (2017). Navigating anger in Happy Valley: Analyzing
    Penn State’s Facebook-based crisis responses to the Sandusky scandal. Public Relations Review, 43(4), 671-679. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2017.06.005

  • Spaulding. C., & Formentin, M. (2017). Building a religious brand through public relations: An examination of the
    Church of Scientology. Journal of Public Relations Research, 29(1), 38-50. doi: 10.1080/1062726X.2017.1281137

  • Ahern, L., & Formentin, M. (2016). More is less: Global warming news values on Fox compared to other U.S. broadcast
    news outlets. Electronic News, 10(1), 45-65.

  • Formentin, M., & Babiak, K. (2014). Playing the social media game: How sport organizations are
    communicating corporate social responsibility via new media. In A. Billings & M. Hardin
    (Eds.) Handbook of Sport and New Media (pp. 189-199), New York: Routledge.

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Courses Taught 

Undergraduate Courses

  • MCOM253: Principles of PR and Integrated Communication
  • MCOM357: Public Relations Writing
  • MCOM390: Mass Communication Research
  • MCOM419: Corporate Communication Management
  • MCOM453: Strategic PR and Integrated Communication Campaigns
  • MCOM460: Internship in Advertising & PR

Graduate Courses

  • MCOM632: Qualitative Research Methods
  • MCOM660: Crisis Communication
  • MCOM795: Independent Study in Mass Communication
  • MCOM897: MCOM Thesis

View more information: https://www.towson.edu/cofac/departments/mass-communication/faculty-staff/mformentin.html

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