PRSSA students apply classroom experience

Members of Butler University’s branch of Public Relations Student Society of America are currently participating in the Bateman Competition, a nation-wide case study competition for public relations students.

The purpose of the competition is to give students “an opportunity to apply their classroom education and internship experiences to create and implement a full public relations campaign for a national client,” according to the Bateman Competition page on prssa.org.

Participation in the competition teaches students real-world experience that could be useful in future jobs and its involvement to add to their resumé and portfolios.

All teams work with the same client, and this year’s client is Ally Financial, formerly GMAC.

Unlike most public relations competitions, the Bateman Competition asks students to actually execute a campaign instead of just planning one.

Past Bateman Competition clients have included the U.S. Census Bureau and Habitat for Humanity.

“The purpose is to inform a target demographic about how to establish good credit, manage a budget and evaluate financing and insurance options,” junior integrated communications major Courtney Scott said.

Butler has two teams, each made up of five students, both finding their own means to publicize the campaign.

Teams are expected to conduct their planning from November to January, carry out their plan in February and final entries are due in March.

PRSSA members and other professionals will judge them on creativity, effectiveness, cohesiveness within the team and how the campaign targeted their audience.

After the first round of judging, three teams are picked to advance and present their campaigns to sponsor representatives in May.

At the competition, which takes place May 12-13, all teams will present a plan book, which will give an overview of how they executed their plan.

More than 60 schools are competing nationwide.

First place wins $2,500 along with a trophy; second place wins $1,500 and a plaque; third place receives $1,000 and a plaque.

The top three teams are then recognized at the national conference.

To execute their plan, Scott’s team will be holding five information sessions, one of which will be held at Butler, to educate others on finance.

They need at least 150 people to attend the information sessions.

“We’re not promoting Ally’s financial services or promoting their products,” Scott said. “We’re educating for financial literacy.”

The target demographic is low-income communities, women and minorities.

The financial information session will take place March 3 in Gallahue Hall 108. All students are welcome to attend.

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