UGA’s Advertising and Public Relations program named top five in nation

PRWeek finalist logo marking 25 years of its awards.
The Department of Advertising and Public Relations at Grady College has been named a top five program in the country by PRWeek. This is the 25th anniversary of the awards ceremony, which will take place in March in New York City.

UGA’s Advertising and Public Relations program named top five in nation

December 18, 2023

The University of Georgia’s Advertising and Public Relations program has been named a top five finalist for Outstanding Education Program in the nation by PRWeek , one of the leading publications in the public relations industry.

The Department of Advertising and Public Relations at Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication is a finalist for the iconic 2024 PRWeek US Awards which evaluates programs based on faculty, student body, programs and courses, workforce impact and professional involvement/association.

“PRWeek has confirmed what we all long have known: that Grady’s AdPR department is one of the nation’s best,” said Charles N. Davis, dean of Grady College. “These awards are the gold standard of recognition in the communications industry, and we are honored by this recognition that is a reflection of the hard work of the faculty, staff and students of the AdPR department.”

The top education award will be announced at a PRWeek gala in New York City on March 14, 2024. Programs joining UGA in the top finalists include The City College of New York, Syracuse University, University of Florida and University of Southern California.

“I am beyond excited to receive the official notification that our program is a finalist in the PRWeek Awards,” said Juan Meng, a UGA Athletic Association Endowed Professor and head of the AdPR department. “It is not only a milestone to celebrate the accomplishments of the Department of Advertising and Public Relations. More importantly, it is a true testament of leadership, collaboration and quality of the program, faculty, students, alumni and industry leaders. It is their efforts and hard work that led to this highest recognition.” 

This is the first year the UGA AdPR program has submitted an entry for the awards. The comprehensive entry was coordinated by Meng and an adhoc committee of faculty, alumni and members of the AdPR Executive Advisory Board.

“The Advisory Board is proud to see and support AdPR making it to the PRWeek Awards shortlist. The programs on the shortlist represent the best of the best education teams who care deeply about students’ academic training, engagement opportunities, and professional success. The nomination confirms the quality of AdPR education that supports the profession’s needs to have more inspired students and young pros”, said Ellen Ryan Mardiks, chairman at Golin and co-chair of AdPR Executive Advisory Board.

The requirements for the award are data- and outcome-driven to showcase the best work the program has produced over the past academic year. The awards entry committee used this as reflective learning to gather information and talk to recent graduates and industry recruiters. Perspectives from them helped shape the storyline and confirm the program is making the right efforts to provide strong curriculum and opportunities in experiential learning, professional developmental and student involvement.

The Outstanding Education Award is one of more than 45 awards presented by PRWeek that celebrate the best of the best in corporate, agency, nonprofit and education teams, as well as the work produced during the entry period. This is the 25th anniversary for the awards.

Author: Sarah Freeman,