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David Clementson

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Assistant Professor, Public Relations

About: Dr. Clementson teaches undergraduate- and graduate-level public relations. His research examines the effects of public figures and politicians dodging questions. When he isn’t on campus teaching, running experiments, and cheering for the Bulldawgs, he loves watching the Atlanta Braves and the Oakland Athletics, and he plays the drums. He and his wife Laura have two sons, who are bilingual in English and Brazilian Portuguese.


Dr. Clementson’s teaching specialties include: introduction to public relations (graduate-level), public relations (honors undergraduate-level), public relations campaigns (undergraduate- and graduate-level) and quantitative research methods.


Dr. Clementson’s public relations and political communication research is inspired by his professional background. He worked in journalism, politics and public relations for about a decade. He was a journalist for newspapers and magazines, primarily covering politics and government. He ran successful political campaigns for Democrats and Republicans in several states along the U.S. East Coast. He also served as a communication director for a public relations, marketing and advertising firm, a professional opposition researcher for politicians, and the director of communication and press secretary for Attorney Generals. Before coming to UGA, Dr. Clementson was an assistant professor of public relations at California State University, Sacramento, where he was a co-advisor to PRSSA.




Ph.D., Communication, The Ohio State University

M.A., Communication Studies, University of Miami

B.A., Political Science, James Madison University

Research Interests:


Dr. Clementson runs experiments testing how politicians and business spokespersons dodge reporters’ questions and whether audiences notice. He builds theoretical models that explore how the public will cognitively process deception in media interviews. His latest studies assess whether the public can detect when a company spokesperson is dodging questions amidst a company crisis, and the different ways a public figure might deceive audiences. His work has been published in Journal of CommunicationPublic Relations ReviewPolitical PsychologyCommunication StudiesJournal of Language and Social PsychologyPresidential Studies QuarterlyDiscourse & CommunicationMass Communication and SocietyInternational Journal of Sport Communication and Journal of Political Marketing. His research has also appeared in Politico, NPR, NBC News, the Boston Globe, the Daily Mail, Scientific American, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Houston Chronicle, the Huffington Post, the New York Post, the Washington Examiner, New York magazine, Psychology Today and Newsweek.

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