Advertising + PR History, Mission and Vision


Advertising Education at Michigan State University

By Richard T. Cole, Gordon E. Miracle and Jef I. Richards

The Department of Advertising and Public Relations (AD+PR) at Michigan State University continues to evolve and grow. Formerly known as the Department of Advertising, Public Relations and Retailing, and before that as the Department of Advertising, it is one of the oldest and largest university advertising, or advertising and public relations, departments to be found anywhere in the world.

What follows is a chronological tracing of the department’s growth and change. While a department is made up of far more than just its chairpersons, each new chair represents at least some level of change, so we have organized this by each one’s “era.” [Besides, since we are the ones writing this and we all have experience as the Departments chair, we claim the right to organize it this way.]

Read the full history


The department of AD+PR has a mission to be recognized among faculty in peer programs, as well as among advertising and public relations practitioners, as the top advertising and public relations program in the United States. We also strive to maintain our leadership status in advertising and public relations ethics and social responsibility, and specifically to advance such responsibility toward vulnerable populations.

In the years to come, we will continue to research cutting-edge topics in advertising and media, both nationally and internationally as well as remain one of the top advertising programs in the nation and around the globe. Our goal is to maintain our status as the leaders in AD+PR creativity and continue to obtain external funding for our program, allowing us to maintain our leadership and stay on the cutting-edge of knowledge and technologies affecting the advertising and public relations fields.


Historically, AD+PR has been known for its research (science), but in the past few years we've been focusing on building up our creative (arts) side, and continue to add to our creative reputation.

In addition, advertising and public relations industries today are suddenly awash in data, and they need employees who can handle and get the most from that data, so we now offer a minor in “Advertising Analytics” to address this growing need.

Lastly, the terms “shopper marketing” and “brand activation” did not even exist 20 years ago, but over the past five years, they have become more and more common - and central - in the field of advertising. In the spring of 2016 we began offering the first complete “shopper marketing and brand activation” course available at any university, and over the next few years, we intend to make this a regular part of our department’s offerings.