The University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication has launched its first AdPR Academy, a week-long bootcamp designed to teach students from diverse backgrounds tangible skills from the advertising and public relations industries.
Co-founded by Moxie and Erwin Creates, the program includes over 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. 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.”
Dr. Tom Reichert, Advertising and Public Relations Department Head at UGA, tells DIVERGE more:
Where did this idea come from?
The profession has attempted to address diversity shortcomings for years with mixed results. It was our idea to create a program primarily targeted to students at HBCUs. Many of these institutions do not have robust advertising and public relations coursework, so students in these schools do not have awareness of opportunities in this field. We were also looking for a way to get diverse students and many diverse professionals together so the students could identify role models.
Why is it important to address?
Agencies/companies are increasingly reaching diverse consumers and stakeholders. A diverse staff allows these organizations to reach these audiences in a more meaningful way. Second, diverse viewpoints and perspectives lead to better decisions.
Who can participate in this program?
Junior/seniors/MA students primarily at HBCUs and other colleges and universities with diverse student bodies. They need to have an interest in the profession.
Will diversity be a focus?
Many of the speakers are diverse and/or from HBCUs so they are sharing their stories and how they got into the profession and why they find it important and meaningful. For example, our first two speakers on day one were graduates of Spelman College and Hampton University.
Erwin Creates and Moxie, our founding sponsors, were instrumental in helping us expand and implement our vision. More than 30 professionals from about 15 organizations are participating in the Academy, ranging from Porter Novelli to Home Depot to Turner to PHD to Creative Circus to Sapient Nitro.