Melanie Formentin

Assistant Professor

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Contact Information

Van Bokkelen, 205D


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


Melanie Formentin is an assistant professor in the public relations and advertising unit of the Mass Communications and Communication Studies department, where she teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses. Prior to teaching at Towson University, she spent multiple years working in public relations positions with the Tampa Bay Lightning and the University of South Florida Humanities Institute. She is a current PRSA Maryland member, serving as a volunteer on the Communications Committee.

Formentin’s research primarily focuses on ethical corporate social responsibility practices. She also examines crisis communication theory in professional sport contexts, the impact of reputation on perceptions of errors in press releases, and the history of public relations usage in Scientology. In addition to being published in the Journal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Review, and Environmental News, 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. She has also presented work at the National Communication Association and the International Communication Association conferences.

Selected Publications

  • Formentin, M., Bortree, D., & Fraustino, J.D. (in press). Navigating anger in Happy Valley: Analyzing Penn State's Facebook-based crisis responses to the Sandusky scandal. Public Relations Review.
  • 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. Environmental 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.
  • Batchelor, B. & Formentin M. (2008). Re-branding the NHL: Building the league through the “My NHL” integrated marketing campaign. Public Relations Review, (34)3, p. 156-160.

Courses Taught 

Undergraduate Courses

  • MCOM253: Principles of PR and Integrated Communication
  • MCOM357: Public Relations Writing
  • MCOM390: Mass Communication Research
  • 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