UGA Grady College launches first AdPR Academy to address diversity gap in advertising, public relations industries

UGA Grady College launches first AdPR Academy to address diversity gap in advertising, public relations industries

October 02, 2019
Hadley Dreibelbis

Learn more about AdPR Academy at

The University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication is launching its first AdPR Academy, a week-long bootcamp designed to teach students from diverse backgrounds tangible skills from the advertising and public relations industries.

bootcamp participants
Participants in the 35-hour bootcamp earned a certificate of completion.

This program includes more than 35 hours of training from experts and professionals in the industry, including skills-based classes, participation in a capstone project and daily networking sessions with corporate executives and agency professionals. Participating students include juniors and seniors from the following regional colleges and universities: Savannah State, Florida A&M University, Albany State, Emory University and the University of Georgia.

According to 2011 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the diversity gap in these industries is expansive, with only 8.7 percent African-Americans/Blacks, 7.3 percent Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders and 15.3 percent Hispanics/Latinos holding advertising, marketing and public relations jobs.

“As these industries continue to serve a global consumer market, it is imperative that the workforce reflects a more diverse perspective,” said Tom Reichert, head of the Department of Advertising and Public Relations Department. “UGA Grady is committed to helping strategically address this gap through our creation and future growth of AdPR Academy.”

Coursework during the week includes topics of message development, writing technique, communications tactics and measurement. Courses will be taught by professionals from agencies and corporations such as Moxie, Porter Novelli, Home Depot, Turner, Golin and others. At the end of the week, students will present campaigns to a panel of judges and receive a certificate of completion from the University of Georgia.

“We are eager to impart both in-depth knowledge of the technical aspects of this career and a practical understanding of the day-to-day activities of an industry professional to these students,” said Solange Claudio, President of Moxie. “Participants will leave the Academy with invaluable skills, knowledge of opportunities in the industry and a broader network of professional relationships with top leaders in advertising and public relations.”

Keynote speakers during the week include:

  • Sean Reardon, Chief Executive Officer, Moxie
  • Avin Narasimhan, Head of Communications Planning, PhD Media Group
  • Briony McCarthy, President New York, PhD Media Group
  • Jenna Thomas, Senior Director of Public Relations & Social Media Marketing, Nebo
  • Melissa Golden, SVP of Purpose Practice and Client Director, Ketchum
  • David Haan, Executive Director, Creative Circus

Moxie and Erwin Creates are co-founders of the 2017 AdPR Academy. Sponsors include Turner, Coca-Cola, The Creative Circus, The Home Depot, MR Media, Nebo, PhD Media Group and Porter Novelli. The bootcamp is funded at no cost to the participating students.

Following @adpracademy on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.