by Alli Inglebright
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) won third place in the 2017 Bateman Case Study Competition in Chicago. The team received $1,500 and a plaque. This is the third year the CoJMC has had a Bateman team.
The team presented its campaign “Redirect the Conversation” to its client The Campaign to Change Direction. “Redirect the Conversation” aimed to raise awareness on University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s campus about how students think and talk about mental health.
The students implemented the campaign in February and finished it in March. Team members included Erin Lenz, Cassie McCormick, Bari Pearlman, Karley Powell and Elizabeth Snyder, and their advisers Phyllis Larsen and Sheri Sallee.
“The students on the Bateman team really valued the experience of not only creating a campaign conceptually, but actually developing the creative elements and implementing the entire plan and measuring results,” Larsen said. “We don’t often have time to complete the process in other courses.”
The Bateman Case Study Competition gives students an opportunity to gain real-world experience while still in school.
“Out of the four years I attended college, nothing prepared me more for the real world than this campaign,” said Erin Lenz, copywriter for the campaign. “It was fast-paced, a huge learning and growth opportunity and it allowed me to put everything I learned in college to the test. By going to finals we got to practice pitching to our client as well. There isn't anything else offered in the college like this campaign that lets you have a hand in everything from start to finish. I will be able to use everything I learned from this process in my career field.”
While the team’s campaign had to end, The University of Nebraska–Lincoln Health Task Force has offered to use the campaign’s material and continue implementing the Bateman team’s work.
“Of course they were thrilled to have their work recognized as one of the top in the nation, but I think they were just as pleased with the impact of the campaign on our campus,” Larsen said. “It connected with so many people during the 30-day implementation period and many of the campaign elements will be continued through the campus collaborations the team developed.”
The PRSSA Bateman Case Study Competition, sponsored by Edelman and The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations, is a national case study competition for public relations students. Students are given a project brief and asked to come up with a campaign that they research, implement and evaluate. The University of Nebraska–Lincoln team competed against 66 teams to make it to the finals where they competed against the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, who took first, and the University of Alabama, who took second.