About Melissa Aronczyk…

Photo: Blaga Ditrow

Melissa Aronczyk is Professor of Media Studies in the School of Communication & Information at Rutgers University. She is the co-author, with Maria Espinoza, of A Strategic Nature: Public Relations and the Politics of Environmentalism (Oxford University Press, 2022), which won the National Communication Association’s Outstanding Book Award in the PR division.

Her research on how PR affects our ability to communicate about climate change has been featured in The Nation, the Financial Times, Rolling Stone, CNBC, The Intercept, Grist, AdWeek, and Yes Magazine. She has also written stories about PR and sustainability for The Washington Post and Foreign Policy magazine.

Audio interviews about her work include an episode of the podcast DRILLED on greenwashing (available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify), an appearance on This Moment in Democracy hosted by the Eagleton Institute of Politics, and a long-form interview on the New Books Network.

Her previous books include Branding the Nation: The Global Business of National Identity, available from Amazon or via Oxford University Press; and Blowing Up the Brand: Critical Perspectives on Promotional Culture, edited with Devon Powers, available from Amazon.

At Rutgers, Prof. Aronczyk is a Faculty Associate with the Eagleton Institute of Politics and Affiliated Graduate Faculty with the Department of Sociology. With Jeff Lane, she co-hosts the Digital Ethnography Working Group at Rutgers. She is also a Faculty Fellow with the Center for Cultural Sociology at Yale University and a Research Affiliate with the Center on Digital Culture & Society at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.

She is an adjunct Research Professor in Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University in Canada. She has held visiting positions at the London School of Economics, Yale University, and the University of Helsinki.

She holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University.

As of July 2023, Dr. Aronczyk is the Director of the PhD Program in Communication, Information and Media in Rutgers’ School of Communication & Information.

Contact Information

Melissa Aronczyk, PhD
Professor, School of Communication and Information
Rutgers University, USA

Recent & Upcoming Events

Fall 2022:

Advertising and the Environment Roundtable, hosted by Advertising & Society Quarterly

Author-Meets-Critics Panel, SSHA (Social Science History Association), Chicago, IL


In Fall 2021 Prof. Aronczyk received a two-year grant from the Climate Social Science Network to study the extensive role played by public relations and their promotional (advocacy, branding, advertising) campaigns to manage their clients’ responses to the climate crisis. PR firms often create the rule book by which corporate and political actors coordinate and pursue their objectives. The project will track key actors and organizations and how they develop strategies to reshape environmental problems, with lasting effects on our ability to take action on global warming in political and public spheres.