Devin Knighton is an Assistant Professor of Public Relations in the School of Communications at Brigham Young University. He earned his Ph.D. in Public Relations from Purdue University in August 2019 and his Masters in Strategic Public Relations from The George Washington University in May 2010. Knighton also earned his Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) from the Universal Accreditation Board in 2016.
He is an experienced communications strategist who spent more than ten years working with technology companies to build their public relations and social media programs. He has led one company through an Initial Public Offering (IPO) and another through a $76 million acquisition. He has directed teams in the US, UK, and Australia. One of his campaigns resulted in more than 1 billion impressions on social media and more than 1,000 news articles. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies, startups, and agencies, both as an employee and as a consultant and advisor.
His experience informs his approach to research. He seeks to discover how big data from social networks influences the communication strategy of the organization and its relationships with stakeholders. In 2018, he received the W. Ward White Award for Top Three Papers of Practical Significance from the Institute for Public Relations for a paper he co-authored on public, audiences, and stakeholders.
Knighton is also an award-winning instructor. He has taught and facilitated courses in public relations at BYU, Utah Valley University, The George Washington University, and Purdue University. While earning his Ph.D. at Purdue University, Knighton received the Bruce Kendall Award for Excellence in Teaching. He left full-time work in public relations because he loves working with students and wants to help them be prepared to contribute and to succeed.
Knighton is actively involved in the Public Relations Society of America. He previously served as the President of the Utah Valley Chapter and chaired the Utah PR Conference for two years in a row. He is also serving as the Communications Chair for the Communications Technology Division in the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (AEJMC).
He and his wife, Shawna Knighton, have five children. They met at BYU and are forever loyal to the university. They and their children have a big blue motorhome, and when they can, they use it to travel the country together.