PRSSA Kent entered two teams into this year’s PRSSA National Bateman Case Study Competition, which tasked students to create public relations campaigns focused on mental health on behalf of Campaign to Change Direction. After months of hard work, both teams received honorable mentions.
Sixty-seven teams participated nationwide, fifteen were recognized with honorable mentions and three teams presented their campaigns as finalists.
Each year, ten PRSSA Kent members are invited to participate in the PRSSA National Case Study Competition. Tim Roberts, associate lecturer and undergraduate studies coordinator, advises both teams and is assisted by one professional adviser for each team.
The PRKent program has a great history with the Bateman competition, receiving second place in 2013 and an honorable mention in the past three out of four years. This is the first time in the history of PRKent that both Bateman teams have received honorable mentions.
Two Kent State teams of public relations majors participated in the 2015 National PRSSA Bateman Case Study Competition. The teams partnered with Cleveland clients who supported the national client, Home Matters.
The teams, Bateman Blue and Bateman Gold, researched, created, implemented and evaluated a public relations plan for their clients, said Professor Timothy Roberts, the Kent State Bateman Advisor.
The Bateman Blue team consists of: Erin Zaranec, Hanna Moore, Justin Graci, Endya Watson and Katie Smith. Bateman Blue paired with Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) to spread the mission of Home Matters throughout the city of Shaker Heights by empowering homeowners to use HRRC's services The Bateman Blue team developed the 'Raising the Roof' campaign to target young parents in Shaker Heights.
“We collaborated with our partner to host a 'You Can Do It! 10 Simple DIY Repairs' class in Shaker Heights,” Erin Zaranec said. “We nearly doubled the highest attendance record HRRC has ever had.”
The Bateman Gold team included: Rachel Gill, Kristen Kobe, Blair Donald, Arbrion Chambliss and Ellie Enselein. Bateman Gold partnered with Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland (NHSGC) to help raise awareness of housing issues in Cleveland area. The Bateman Gold team developed the #CLEisHomeToMe campaign targeting millennials, young mothers and Cleveland homeowners in the Greater Cleveland area.
"By using #CLEisHomeToMe, the team was able to generate curiosity and awareness about NHSGC and its services, " Rachel Gill said.
According to Roberts, the two teams started researching and creating their plan in the fall, implemented their plans in February and will submit their final casebooks to the PRSSA Headquarters by spring break.
Visit the PRSSA website for more information on the 2015 Bateman Case Study Competition.
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 Bateman team gold has launched the Bullies to Buddies campaign that will continue throughout the month of February on behalf of this year’s national PRSSA Bateman competition.
The goal of the Bullies to Buddies campaign is to increase awareness about the impact of youth bullying and to educate middle school students, their parents, faculty and other key audiences at Stanton Middle School in Kent, Ohio about steps they can take to prevent bullying.
Last week, team gold began implementation of the campaign by hosting a Kick Off event during the students lunch period. Team gold introduced themselves and the campaign while also distributing blue anti-bullying ribbons to students and faculty for them to wear.
Team gold also began one of its four anti-bullying activities called Kindness Week with an activity that encouraged students to create Valentine’s Day-inspired notes that included positive anti-bullying messages.
Team Gold consists of: Bethany Johnson, Bobby Batyko, Cindy Deng, Megan Corder and Shannen Laur.
For more information about the campaign, contact any of the team members: Bethany (firstname.lastname@example.org); Bobby (email@example.com); Cindy (firstname.lastname@example.org); Megan (email@example.com); and Shannen (firstname.lastname@example.org).