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Chelsea Woods

Chelsea Woods, Assistant Professor

Chelsea Woods
Chelsea Woods, Assistant Professor

School of Communication
110 Shanks Hall
181 Turner Street NW 
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-6689 |

Chelsea Woods is an assistant professor of public relations at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Her research explores the intersection of public relations and organizational communication, and her research interests include crisis communication, issues management, reputation management, and activism. Her published research examines topics including effective communication practices amid crises and disasters, how governing sport bodies employ corporate social responsibility, and activist groups' efforts to erode corporate reputations. Her research appears in journals such as Public Relations Review and Public Relations Inquiry, and has earned awards from the public relations divisions of the National Association of Communication and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Before pursuing her Ph.D., Woods practiced public relations in the non-profit and hospitality sectors. 

  • Crisis communication
  • Issues management
  • Anti-corporate activism
  • Reputation management
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • PhD in Communication, University of Kentucky
  • MA in Communication Studies, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • BA in Communication Studies, Campbell University
  • Second Place Poster, Public Relations Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, 2018
  • Top Four Faculty Paper, Public Relations Division, National Communication Association, 2017
  • Top Four Faculty Paper, Public Relations Division, Southern States Communication Association, 2017
  • Top Student Paper, Interpersonal Communication Division, Southern States Communication Association, 2017
  • Top Student Paper, Applied Communication Division, Southern States Communication Association, 2016

Select Journal Articles

Woods, C. L., & Veil, S. R. (2020). Balancing privacy and transparency: A legal public relations case study. Journal of International Crisis & Risk Communication Research, 3(1), 103-134. doi: 10.30658/jicrcr.3.1.5

Woods, C. L. (2019). “We really have to hit them where it hurts”: Analyzing activists’ corporate campaigns. Journal of Public Interest Communications, 3(1), 117-140. doi:10.32473/jpic.v3.i1

Woods, C. L. (2019). From an “outside group” to a catalyst for corporate change: Examining activists’ legitimation strategies. Public Relations Review, 45(2), 332-347. doi:10.1016/j.pubrev.2019.02.001

Woods, C. L., & Stokes, A. Q. (2019). ‘For the game, for the world’: An analysis of FIFA’s CSR initiatives. Public Relations Inquiry, 8(1), 49-85. doi:10.1177/2046147X18804286

Woods, C. L. (2018). “Are your tanks filled with orca tears?”: Crisis frames and message convergence in SeaWorld’s tanked Twitter campaign. Corporate Reputation Review, 21(1), 9-21. doi:10.1057/s41299-017-0039-y

Veil, S. R., Woods, C. L., & Hecht, R. D. (2018). The journalist as the audience: Evaluating the U.S. Navy’s “Sailor for a Day” campaign. Public Relations Review, 44(5), 717-723. doi:10.1016/j.pubrev.2018.08.010

Sutton, J., Woods, C., & Vos, S. (2018). Willingness to click: Risk information seeking during imminent threats. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 26(2), 283-294. doi:10.1111/1468-5973.12197

Williams, G. A., Woods, C. L., & Staricek, N. C. (2017). Restorative rhetoric and social media: An examination of the Boston Marathon Bombing. Communication Studies, 68(4), 385-402. doi:10.1080/10510974.2017.1340901

Woods, C. L. (2016). When more than reputation is at risk: How two hospitals responded to Ebola. Public Relations Review, 42(5), 893-902. doi:10.1016/j.pubrev.2016.10.002

Sutton, J. N., & Woods, C. (2016). Tsunami warning message interpretation and sense making: Focus group insights. Weather, Climate, and Society, 8(4), 389-398. doi:10.1175/WCAS-D-15-0067.1


Book Chapters

Woods, C. L., & Stokes, A. Q. (2019).  Patching a crisis with CSR: How the NFL fumbled its handling of domestic violence. In D. P. Burns & T. Rentner (Eds.), You make the call: Case studies in sport communication (pp. 21 – 31). New York: Routledge.

Woods, C. L. (2018). Should I stay or should I go now? Exploring the effects of organizational crises on Millennial recruitment and retention. In S. A. Smith (Ed)., Recruitment, retention, and engagement of a Millennial workforce (pp. 125 – 146). London: Lexington Books.

Getchell, M., Sellnow-Richmond, D., Woods, C., Williams, G., Hester, E., Seeger, M., & Sellnow, T. (2018). Competing and complementary narratives in the Ebola crisis. In H. D. O’Hair (Ed.), Risk and health communication in an evolving media environment (pp. 316-335). New York: Routledge.

  • National Communication Association
  • Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Public Relations Society of America

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