5.10.2016

Grady students earn certificates in Performics AdWords Certification program

Twelve advertising and public relations students at Grady College earned their Google AdWords certificates April 26, 2016, in a ceremony in the Peyton Anderson Forum.
The Performics AdWords program at Grady is a three-month series of meetings and online sessions where students are mentored about how to use Google AdWords. The students are given a budget to practice their skills with real clients and each student must successfully pass the online Google AdWords exam before earning their certificate.
The mentors are employees from the Atlanta office of Performics, a national performance marketing agency that specializes in paid search, natural search, social, display, affiliate and mobile marketing. Elaine Lin, an assistant professor of advertising, directed the program this year.

Karen King (second from left) and Elaine Lin (third from left) are joined by program mentors Sara Beth Naylor, Claire (Doiron) Russell (ABJ ’10), Brittany Busik (ABJ ’14) and Logan Frost (ABJ ’15).
The two client websites that were used during the training were the Grady College and Talking Dog, a student-run advertising agency. In the one-month campaign period, the Grady College search campaign attracted more than 55,000 impressions and more than 250 clicks, while the Talking Dog search campaign achieved a click-through rate (CTR) of over 10%.
“It was a valuable opportunity for the students to work on campaign optimizations with the mentors,” said Lin. “They were able to learn how to generate actionable data-based insight and make strategic decisions for improving campaign performance.”
Performics, as well as other firms such as The Media Kitchen and Workshop Digital, have hired several graduates from this program. The program just completed its fourth year and was started by advertising professor Karen King and Grady alumna Dana Todd (ABJ ’91).
Logan Frost (ABJ ’15) was in last year’s Performics AdWords program and was hired by Performics as an associate media manager after graduation. In his junior year, at Grady College, Frost developed an affinity for media classes.
“I absolutely love it,” Frost said of his chosen career. “I can’t imagine sitting at a desk and not being part of the Performics team.”
Brittany Busik (ABJ ’14), who is an associate media manager with Performics and worked with as a mentor of the group, had high praise for the students.
“You were a really impressive group,” Busik said during the certificate presentation. “It’s really inspiring to see seniors their last semester in college being so engaged with this program. It’s a really rewarding feeling to graduate college and come back to Georgia and teach you a little bit about what we do every single day.”
The certification program sparked an interest for student Alyssa Lagimoniere.
“I applied for AdWords kind of hoping to put something on my resume, to be honest, and I ended up really finding an interest in it,” said Lagimoniere. “It’s really so important. Digital marketing is on the rise and it’s not stopping anytime soon.”
Students have reported to Lin and King that having the AdWords certification on their resum├ęs comes up almost every time in interviews.
Lagimoniere expects having the AdWords certification will help her after graduating, too. “When I’m applying for jobs, I see people searching for search engine marketing expertise and I think having the certification is going to improve my hire-ability and my career.”
Author: Sarah Freeman, freemans@uga.edu
Contact: Elaine Lin, jhlin@uga.edu,

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