Public Relations Program Named #1 in the Country by PRWeek

Jul 31, 2020

The Department of Advertising and Public Relations (APR) in the College of Communication and Information Sciences (C&IS) was named the Most Outstanding Education Program by PRWeek during the 2020 PRWeek Awards. APR finished ahead of the four other finalists, Boston University College of Communication, NYU School of Professional Studies, Syracuse University/Newhouse and Pennsylvania State University. This marks the ninth time that APR has been named a finalist, and the first time the program has won the honor.

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by PRWeek as the most outstanding public relations education program in the nation,” said Dr. Damion Waymer, department chair for advertising and public relations. “It is evidence of The University of Alabama having one of the best student-run agencies in the nation, a decorated faculty, award-winning students, and a highly-regarded Industry Immersion program that gives students exposure to top companies and agencies. We have always believed that we have a very special public relations program, and it is great to be recognized officially in this regard!”

Additionally, two APR students were named in the top 5 finalists for the Most Outstanding PR Student Award: Maribeth McClenny from Tallahassee, FL, and Annie Hollon from Flower Mound, TX. McClenny was named as Honorable Mention for the award. This marks the fourth year in a row at least one C&IS student has been a finalist, including back-to-back winners of the award in 2018 and 2019.

“This honor is indicative of the continued excellence of our advertising and public relations department,” said Dr. Mark Nelson, dean of C&IS. “It is a testament to our dedicated faculty and staff, who go the extra mile to ensure the success of our students. We are proud to have such a quality academic program with outstanding experiential learning opportunities.”

The judging criteria for submissions consider each program’s faculty contributions to PR in teaching, research and service to the industry, and the program’s initiatives in connecting current and former students to the PR industry in three areas: job and internship placements, speakers and events, and consulting and experiential learning.

Submitted entries for the PRWeek Awards are deliberated upon by a panel of judges including PR education professionals and senior PR professionals from agency, corporate, nonprofit and government teams.