Grady Class Spotlight: ADPR 5910 with Dr. Acosta-Alzuru

Dr.Acosta-Alzuru teaches her students many different business and managerial aspects of PR.

By Katherine White

ADPR 5910, Public Relations Management, is an upper-level course for public relations students. The course is focused on exploring the managerial and business side of the public relations industry. More specifically, the course encourages the development of ethical communication, public relations management skills, critical thinking, public relations planning and budgeting skills. Although it sounds complex, the course is designed to teach students these skills through hands-on assignments and activities. Writing assignments, case study analysis, exams, class presentations and group projects make up the bulk of the course work. 

One thing that is interesting about ADPR 5910 is that it is a management course. This means that the course takes a look at the competitive business and social environment that public relations practitioners must be familiar with. By diving into topics like ethics, communication theories and strategic planning, ADPR 5910 aims to demonstrate real world problems that the public relations industry faces on a daily basis. 

Another upper-level required course for public relations students is ADPR 5920. This course, instructed by Tom Cullen, focuses more heavily on understanding AP Style, public relations writing and the concepts of publics and press releases. Both courses are fundamental in learning the essentials of working in public relations, but take different approaches. Tom Cullen pushes his students to problem-solve through the production of an independent final portfolio. ADPR 5910, on the other hand, requires a final team project where students come together to outline a local organization’s strategic public relations plan. 

ADPR 5910 is taught by a variety of professors, but I am currently enrolled in ADPR 5910 with Dr. Acosta-Alzuru. Dr. Acosta-Alzuru is an inspiring professor who proudly shares her Venezuelan culture and strength as a woman in the industry. Each day in class I feel inspired by Dr. Acosta-Alzuru’s positivity and confidence. One thing that stands out about ADPR 5910 is the class size. Classes only have about 15 students. In my opinion, smaller classes provide a more welcoming environment. It is also easier to develop relationships with your classmates and professor. If Dr. Acosta-Alzuru taught a larger class size, our class dynamic would not be quite the same.

Some topics we have covered include international and multicultural public relations, gender in public relations, crisis management, accounting, financial statements and ethics. For example, when learning about gender and public relations, we had multiple class discussions that explored the pay gap, the “glass ceiling” and how public relations is a generally female-dominated field. This opened the door to many other interesting topics that we analyzed as a group. While there are many more topics to be explored, we have covered a wide range of information so far. This course is especially beneficial to public relations students who are pursuing the Terry College minor of general business. By blending public relations with business management skills, ADPR 5910 prepares its students to enter the workforce with critical thinking skills, leadership skills and experience in working productively with a team.