Strong associations for the marketing and communications profession exist to elevate performance and exchange best practices.  Below are the key groups and associations that the Division of Marketing & Communications encourages our community’s participation.

On-Campus Communicators

The following communities exist for marketing & communications professionals across the University of Georgia. Please join all upcoming meetings and bring insights from your college, school or unit.

Full Name Description Organizer Upcoming Meeting Dates
Strategic Communications (StratComm) Campus public relations specialists and brand communicators responsible for overall marketing of academic and administrative units. Wendy Jones
  • August 22, 2017 (Emergency Exercise)
  • September 19, 2017
  • October 31, 2017
  • November 28, 2017
  • January 23, 2018
  • February 20, 2018
  • March 20, 2018
  • May 22, 2018
  • June 19, 2018
  • July 24, 2018

Networking begins at 8 am, meeting 8:30–9:30 am.

Core Strategic Communicators (Core StratComm) Campus public relations specialists and brand communicators (specifically from the 17 colleges and schools and 12 major units of the University) responsible for overall marketing of academic and administrative units. Wendy Jones
  • August 8, 2017
  • September 5, 2017
  • October 3, 2017
  • November 7, 2017
  • December 5, 2018
  • January 9, 2018
  • February 6, 2018
  • March 6, 2018
  • April 3, 2018
  • May 8, 2018
  • May 22, 2018
  • June 5, 2018
  • June 19, 2018
  • July 10, 2018

All meetings take place in the Hodgson Oil Conference Room (286 Oconee Street, Suite 200 North), 8:30–10am.

Social Media Users Group (SMUG) Social media professional at UGA who seek to improve the quality of university communications across all social platforms. Kalena Stull
  • November 10, 2017
  • February 16, 2018
  • May 11, 2018

Meetings times are 9am–10:30am in the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Library auditorium (2nd floor).

Designers on Campus (DOCs) Graphic artists and designers responsible for the visual expression of university branding and communications. Janet Beckley
  • October 4, 2017
  • November 10, 2017*
  • January 24, 2018
  • February 16, 2018*
  • March 14, 2018
  • May 11, 2018*
  • June 13, 2018

Meeting times are 3:00–4:00pm. Locations will vary.

*SMUG-DOC MEETINGS: These meetings will take place after the SMUG meeting from 10:30–11:30 am in the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Library auditorium (2nd floor).

Campus Web Developers (DWEEBs) These professionals provide internal and external access to university marketing content and messaging. Derek Greer  
Research Communicators Campus professionals responsible for marketing and communications related to research in the humanities, arts and sciences. James Hataway
  • August 16, 2017
  • September 13, 2017
  • October 17, 2017
  • November 15, 2017
  • December 13, 2017

All meetings go from 2:00 to 3:00 and take place in the Hodgson Oil Conference Room (286 Oconee Street, Suite 200 North).

Magazine Communicators Campus editors, writers, and designers who are dedicated to producing UGA’s print and electronic publications. Eric Rangus
  • September 7, 2017
  • October 5, 2017
  • November 2, 2017
  • January 11, 2018
  • March 8, 2018
  • May 3, 2018
  • June 28, 2018

Meeting times are 10–11:30am. Locations will vary.

Professional Memberships

Members of these organizations come together to increase knowledge of their profession and the guidelines under which they operate. These associations serve this mission through sponsored research, government affairs programs, industry conferences and seminars, as well as publication of books and journal about specific topics related to their field. Such groups also offer industry certification education and programs to regulate core competencies and elevate professionalism.

To follow are marketing organizations that university communicators can join to build professional relationships and strengthen industry ties.  

NOTE — University of Georgia group memberships are managed within the business office of the Division of Marketing & Communications. For more information or to submit a membership request, contact Fran Burke.

American Marketing Association (AMA)

One of the largest marketing associations in the world with over 30,000 active members, the AMA strives to shape the marketing profession through leadership and professional excellence, and by connecting its membership within a single professional community. Membership provides access to knowledgeable marketing professionals around the world, as well as training programs and seminars on the latest tools, tactics, and cutting-edge thinking.  Information can be found here for the Atlanta Chapter.

Annual membership fee of $235 annually and includes membership to the Atlanta chapter. Memberships are non-transferable.

Conference dates

American Marketing Association

Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)

An organization of public relations professionals with more than 22,000 public relations and communications professionals, in addition to more than 10,000 university and college students through the Public Relations Student Society of America.  PRSA seeks to impact standards of ethics and excellence for its membership, as well as promote the discipline as a vital component of business and professional communications.  Information on organization benefits can be found at Benefits, and those privileges specific to the university at Georgia Benefits.

Membership fee is $345 ($255 national + $90 Atlanta Chapter) and are transferable. New memberships can be added at a prorated cost throughout the year.

Public Relations Society of America

American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA)

The oldest and largest professional organization for the advancement of graphic design as a profession and as a cultural force.  AIGA strives to enhance the value of graphic design as a vital element of business and society.  Members come from all backgrounds and interests are welcome to join.  Information on the local chapter in Atlanta can be found at Atlanta Chapter.

Cost to join the University of Georgia membership is $75. Visit the national and Atlanta Chapter websites for benefits, resources and events, such as the monthly creative networking sessions and In-House Roundtable.

American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA)

University Photographers’ Association of America (UPAA)

The UPAA is an international organization of college and university photographers concerned with the application and practice of photography as it relates to the higher education setting. This organization is committed to photographic excellence through continuing education and networking with other professional colleagues.

$75 annual membership for professional photographers; $25 annual membership for students.

University Photographers’ Association of America

Higher Education Organizations

Academic organizations create professional alliances across universities and regions, with a focus on alumni and development, and organizational marketing communications and public relations.  University marketers are encouraged to join the below organizations to build relationships with other professionals that understand the unique challenges of higher educational institutions.

Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)

A professional association serving educational institutions and the advancement professionals who work on their behalf in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and allied areas. CASE helps its members build stronger relationships with their alumni and donors, raise funds for campus projects, produce recruitment materials, market their institutions to prospective students, diversify the profession, and foster public support of education.

Council for Advancement and Support of Education

CASE District III

2017 Annual Conference - Nashville, TN - February 5-8, 2017. $389/person group rate deadline is January 8, 2017 (Must have 3 people to register at the same time. Others can be added at that rate.)

CASE AWARDS deadline for submissions is November 11, 2016. $40/entry

CASE District III

Georgia Education Advancement Council, Inc. (GEAC)

A statewide organization for those at public and private colleges and universities who work in educational advancement including the areas of alumni, development, publications and communications.

GEAC holds conferences in the summer and in November at various locations around the state.  Stay tuned for updated information on upcoming conferences

Georgia Education Advancement Council, Inc.

Conferences and Workshops

Elevate Georgia

Elevate Georgia is the University of Georgia symposium specifically designed for communications and marketing professionals at UGA, and other USG and regional higher education institutions, involved in marketing and communications. This intensive two-day professional development opportunity features sessions, workshops, keynotes, and panels to equip you with the essential know-how to help take your college, school, or unit marketing to the next level.  2017 session presentations can be downloaded for reference and review.  Click the below link and search in the Speakers section. 

Planned of early summer, registration fee is $35/person and includes access to two days of content sessions, lunch, and snacks. The second annual Elevate Georgia symposium dates will be announced in early 2018. 

Elevate Georgia

CONFAB Higher Ed

Content Strategy Conference brings together communications professionals everywhere who realize the value of content. Organizers present seminars in content strategy, management and metrics. Conference goers can meet with their peers from various professional and industry backgrounds to discuss improving user experience, increasing marketing effectiveness, IT challenges, as well as business and storytelling successes.

CONFAB Higher Ed

University Communicators

Touted as the premier conference for university public relations, marketing and communication administrators, this event offers professional development workshops and seminars tailored for strategic communicators and marketers at institutions of higher-educations. Conference goers can attend group-oriented, interactive learning sessions, roundtable discussions and other after-hour social and networking activities.

University Communicators Conference

College Media Conference

Hosted by the Council of Independent Colleges and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, this conferences helps campus professionals develop marketing and communications techniques that work, prepare media materials that produce results, and make contacts with some of the nation’s top reporters, editors, producers, bloggers, and digital media experts. It also features presentations and panel discussions with experienced college and university public relations professionals who share best practices and new ideas.

College Media Conference

HighEdWeb Association

This international organization of higher education web professionals strives to advance web professional careers and development, to highlight technologies, and to create standards and best practices in higher education. Their annual conference brings together internationally recognized leaders with marketers, managers and designers that face the challenges of web-design, function and maintenance facing the national colleges and universities.

HighEdWeb Conferences


This conference, hosted by the National Association of Science Writers, provides an annual forum for the continued improvement of the craft. Offering professional development workshops, briefings on scientific research presented by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, and lab tours and science field trips organized by the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, there is much to gained by professional who attend.

A meeting for science writers, by science writers.

ScienceWriters 2016