For the first time, a team of Kent State University students will compete as finalists in the Public Relations Student Society of America's annual Bateman case study competition.
The Bateman competition requires students to create, implement and evaluate a public relations plan for a real client. For the 2013 competition, students were given the task of creating an anti-bullying campaign and implementing it in a local school.
Out of 68 teams from across the country that submitted entries, PRSSA judges chose Kent State’s “Blue” team as one of three national finalists. Kent State Blue will present its campaign via Skype May 10 to a second panel of judges, who will then determine the final three placements.
KSU Blue team members are:
“We really didn't have a set goal in our minds that we'd make it to nationals,” Potts said. “We just wanted to do well and make a difference along the way.”
Erin Orsini, a 2011 KSU public relations graduate and associate at True Digital Communications in Cleveland, served as professional advisor for KSU Blue. Tim Roberts, a lecturer and interim graduate coordinator for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, served as faculty advisor for the team.
“The Bateman competition’s rules restrict the role of advisors, so being named a finalist is a testament to the creativity and hard work put forth by these five students,” Roberts said. “They developed and implemented an outstanding campaign that got results and, obviously, impressed the PRSSA judges.”
Teams were given three months to research the topic, create a plan, implement the plan, evaluate the plan, and create a casebook. KSU Blue implemented its plan at Rootstown Middle School.
“The PRSSA Bateman Case Study Competition is extremely demanding and requires the utmost amount of commitment, so it is truly rewarding to see Kent State Blue's hard work pay off,” Orsini said. “The entire team has put countless hours into this campaign and has learned how to provide effective solutions for the challenge at hand for which they deserve this great
The team chose to emphasize the role of a bystander in a bullying situation and provided students with several techniques they could utilize if they witnessed a bullying situation.
To help students understand the role of a bystander, the team created stickers listing proactive bystander techniques and passed them out to students. The team also held an art contest for students to participate in where students were required to draw a bullying situation with a bystander intervening.
Group members said they thought their focus on the bystander role might have been what set them apart from other groups. The team’s research revealed that bystanders can effectively diffuse bullying situations.
Another aspect the Blue Team members thought helped elevate the cohesiveness of their plan was the closeness of the group.
“The key to our team was how well we were able to work together as a group,” Sager said. “Before Bateman, I didn't know any of the other students on my team, but it didn't take long for us all to become good friends.”
The Kent State Blue Team members said they hadn’t expected to place in the finals, so the news came as quite a shock.
“I was sitting in the Franklin Hall lobby when I first heard the news, and I was so shocked,” Potts said. “I literally could not stop shaking with excitement.”
Orsini said national finalist status is not just an honor for the team.
“Being named a Bateman competition finalist is not only a great achievement for each member of Kent State Blue but also for the entire PR Kent family,” Orsini said.
PRSSA Kent is celebrating winning an Organization Excellence Award for the entire chapter; a Student Leader of the Year Award for president Christine Morgan; Leadership Excellence Awards for officers Ryan Collins, Trent Chavez, Stephanie Black, Taylor Titus, Mady Etzel and Breanna Reffel; and an Advisor Excellence Award for Professor Michele Ewing. Congratulations to everyone!
The YouToo Social Media Conference is an all-day event featuring different sessions with topics related to the latest trends in social media. This year’s conference topic is Social Visualization and Gamification and features keynote speaker Shel Holtz, Principal of Holtz Communication & Technology and opening speaker Kevin Dugan, Director of Marketing at the Empower Group.
Students can benefit from this year’s student-only development track at the conference. In the morning, students can attend a one-on-one session with Shel Holtz as he talks about how he got into the industry and relates his experience to the students. The afternoon has a wrap-up session by the Akron Area Young Pro’s group just for students helping them apply what they learned during the conference to their school work and internships.
The benefits of attending this year's conference include:
As a student who has attended past conferences, I can say from experience the YouToo Social Media Conference is a great way for us to network with professionals and get our name out there. I also learned a lot of information I know I can use in my school work now and future career. The conference is a great experience for upcoming young public relations professionals, and I highly encourage you to attend," Taylor Titus, VP of professional relations, says.
For many, the color purple is a point on a color wheel or a novel by Alice Walker. For others, the color purple represents cancer research and the Relay for Life Foundation.
Kent State University will be hosting its Relay for Life, an organized overnight community fundraising walk, on April 27.
PRSSA Kent is working with AAF Kent to organize a team.
According to Relay for Life’s official website, joining Relay is about more than fighting to cure a specific type of cancer. Instead, it is about creating a world without disease.
“We’re fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community,” the website reads. “Each person who shares the Relay experience can take pride in knowing that they are working to create a world where this disease will no longer threaten our loved ones or rob anyone of another birthday.”
Megan Brown, a sophomore magazine journalism major, joined the PRSSA/AAF Kent team because of the personal connection she felt towards Relay for Life.
“Relay for Life has always been a huge part of my life,” Brown said. “My mother was diagnosed with cancer in 1995 and luckily made it through her hard stages with chemotherapy and is still with us here today.”
Her own family experiences with overcoming cancer influenced her to start participating in Relay for Life.
“My mother's battle with cancer has made me a believer in miracles,” Brown said. “I do not know where I would be without her. I was only 3 years old at the time, but I knew what was happening. I participated [in Relay for Life] when I was younger with my mom’s hospital where she works in our town.”
Brown said that she thinks that the Relay for Life event is impactful because it connects groups across campus.
“Having an 'all campus' relay event is what Relay is all about: coming together,” Brown said. “When you have more people who join the cause and help out, so much more can be done.”
Brown said that the color purple, which represents Relay for Life, represents hope and the willingness to fight the battle against cancer.
Brown, who has a variety of future aspirations, said she was inspired to join PRSSA because of the impressive student leaders. She hopes to develop her skills to be like them.
Brown said that she has a clear goal for her future career. She wants to work for Rolling Stone magazine. For right now, she's focused on Relay for Life. Student involvement in awareness events is something Brown said she feels is very important.
“It gives you an opportunity to raise money and awareness of every type of cancer,” Brown said.
If you are interested in joining the PRSSA/AAF Kent Team, please visit http://bit.ly/Y5Ihs4.
Contact intercampus liaison Cindy Deng (firstname.lastname@example.org) or treasurer Megan Corder (email@example.com) with questions.