Holly Higginbotham

Associate Professor

AdZou, Strategic Communication

280E Gannett Hall
Missouri School of Journalism
Columbia, MO 65211-1200


B.A. in English, University of Missouri

Areas of Expertise
  • Audiences and Persuasion
  • Public Relations
  • Strategic Communication

HOLLY HIGGINBOTHAM is an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism, where she teaches strategic communication courses that cover the principles of the field, public relations, copywriting, audiences and persuasion, and strategic campaigns. She is the director of the school’s AdZou program, a faculty-led, student-run agency that has served hundreds of local, nonprofit, regional and national clients since its inception at the school. She also serves as the faculty advisor for the student chapter of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) and the university’s Student National Advertising Competition (NSAC) team, which placed third in the nation in 2018 and 2020. She represents AAF’s District 9 (Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa) as a member of the National Education Executive Committee, which works to advance the interests of students studying advertising, connecting students, faculty and advertising professionals.

Her background in journalism began at an early age working summers at a weekly newspaper owned by her family. As a young journalism professional fresh out of college, Higginbotham worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock as a copy editor and late-night assistant wire editor. She also served as a staff writer for a national specialty magazine based in Little Rock. In 1992, she made the move from traditional journalism to the corporate communications world. She spent the next decade promoting a multihospital healthcare system with focused efforts on marketing communications, public relations and employee communication. As a practicing professional, Higginbotham received numerous writing and publication awards from the Missouri Hospital Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges. She is a 1989 graduate of MU, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.

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Updated: July 30, 2020