Climbing ROPE to Success: PR Student Society of America honors SHU professor

Amanda Boyer/Photography Editor

Amanda Boyer/Photography Editor

“Some people build houses, I build sentences.”   This is the elevator speech crafted by writer and editor of Terri McAdoo Communications, LLC. and SHU adjunct professor Terri McAdoo about her adventurous career in public relations and journalism.

McAdoo is this year’s recipient of the Public Relations Student Society of America ROPE in Success award. The honor was presented to McAdoo at the eighth annual ROPE in Success event Tuesday, April 7.

The award is an acronym for the four components of a successful PR campaign: research, objectives, programming and evaluation. It seeks to acknowledge an exceptional professional in the tri-state area who has mentored Seton Hall public relations students, interns and graduates.

“It is an honor to be recognized for mentoring students,” said McAdoo. “I tell students to please consider me as (their) coach. I want that coaching relationship. I want them to trust me, to come to me and really dig into their questions and coach them through.”

McAdoo said the above objective is exactly why she had begun teaching in the first place.

McAdoo started her career on the journalism track as a newspaper, radio and TV reporter. She was named Journalist of the Year by the New Jersey Press Association. She then laid her journalism career to rest and found a new beginning in PR.

She founded Terri McAdoo, LLC. in 1996 and has taught promotional writing at SHU for 12 years now.   McAdoo said she loves teaching at SHU because it is a faith -based university which allows her to show compassion and the students coming through her track are very passionate about what they are doing.

Living up to the legacy of this award in routine tasks, McAdoo said she loves when students keep in contact with her. Students who have graduated will contact her and ask for advice and even send over their work to hear what she has to say.   McAdoo had a few tips to offer to all students entering their careers.

“Make sure whatever project you’re working on, small or huge, make sure you bring your creativity to the table every time,” said McAdoo. “You never know where one assignment will take you.”

But McAdoo warns that your creativity should not fly solo, but be married to ethical practices.

“At SHU we learn what is right and what is wrong. I tell students to do what’s right, you know what’s right,” she added.

Ethics on a more personal level are key too.

Whether working in a board room or boiler room, treat everyone with respect. It will help move your cause forward, according to McAdoo.

Those who seem to be most critical of your work are those who will keep pushing you forward as your skills progress, she said.

“Don’t be intimidated by someone who seems to be critical of your work, look at that person as the one who can teach you the most,” said McAdoo.

And finally: “Be fully present in whatever you’re doing…you will be amazed at how you can rally your full skills if you give it your full focus,” she said.

McAdoo has changed her career five times, venturing from one side of communications to another. She said it is great to know there is so much out there and so much to explore.

“That’s what is beautiful about life, (it is) definitely an adventure for us,” said McAdoo.

Michelle Foti can be reached at

Author: Michelle Foti

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This