Richard Waters

Richard D. Waters

Associate Professor

Full-Time Faculty
SFH Downtown Campus, Room 226


Richard D. Waters is an associate professor in the School of Management, where he teaches strategic communication and communication management courses. His primary research interests are fundraising, stakeholder loyalty and relationship cultivation, and the use of new technologies in organizational communication efforts.

He serves on the editorial review boards at Public Relations Review, Journal of Public Relations Research, Journal of Public and Nonprofit Sector Management, Journal of Promotion Management, and Prism. He is the current associate editor of Case Studies in Strategic Communication. He is the editor of Public Relations in the Nonprofit Sector: Theory and Practice (2015, Routledge) and co-editor of Coming out of the Closet: Exploring LGBT Issues in Strategic Communication with Theory and Research (2013, Peter Lang).

Currently, he is the chair of Public Relations Society of America's Association and Nonprofit Organization Professional Interest Section and the vice head-elect for the public relations division at the Association for Education of Journalism and Mass Communication.


  • Public relations and strategic communication

Research Areas

  • Communications
  • Public Relations


  • PhD, Mass Communications, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 2007
  • MS, Public Relations, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, 2000
  • ABJ, Public Relations (Minor in Political Science), University of Georgia, Athens, GA, 1998

Prior Experience

  • Assistant Professor, North Carolina State University
  • Alumni Fellow, University of Florida
  • Consultant, Walt Disney World Parks & Resorts, Doctors Without Borders, among others

Awards & Distinctions

  • Vice Chair, AEJMC Public Relations Division, 2016

  • PRSA Association/Nonprofit Professional Interest Section Chair, 2015

  • Outstanding Research Award, USF School of Management, 2012 and 2014

  • Outstanding Paper of the Year Award, Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 2012

  • Top Faculty Paper Research Awards from International Communication Association, National Communication Association, and Association for Education of Journalism and Mass Communication

Selected Publications

  • "What do stakeholders “like” on Facebook? Examining public reactions to nonprofit organizations’ status updates," Journal of Public Relations Research, Vol. 26, Issue 3, 2014 (w. G. D. Saxton)

  • "Virtual stewardship in the age of new media: Have nonprofit organizations moved beyond Web 1.0 strategies?," International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, vol. 18, Issue 3, 2013 (With K. L. Fenley)

  • "Tracing the impact of media relations and television coverage on U.S. charitable relief fundraising: An application of agenda-setting theory across three natural disasters," Journal of Public Relations Research, vol. 25, Issue 4, 2013

  • "Improving volunteer retention efforts in public library systems: How communication and inclusion impact female and male volunteers differently," International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, Vol. 17, Issue 2, 2012 (With D. S. Bortree)