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Loyola University New Orleans Wins Top Prize in 2015 Bateman Case Study Competition

May 14, 2015

NEW YORK (May 14, 2015) — The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) announced the first-place winner of the PRSSA 2015 Bateman Case Study Competition: Loyola University New Orleans. The University of Florida won second place and the University of South Carolina came in third.

Conducted annually, the Bateman Competition challenges teams of college students on their ability to develop and present a comprehensive public relations campaign. The goals of this year’s Bateman Competition were to increase awareness among the American public and educate them about the serious consequences of poor quality housing, as well as inform and engage communities in steps they can take to help Home Matters® take action now. Participants were to implement a campaign that aligned with the mission of the client’s national movement or work with a local Home Matters® nonprofit member.

Sixty teams from colleges and universities across the United States were judged on their research, creation, implementation and evaluation of a public relations campaign. Teams from the top three finalist schools were invited to present to representatives from Home Matters®, Edelman, The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations and PRSA, in Chicago.

In support of the national Home Matters movement, the Loyola University New Orleans campaign partnered with two local Home Matters supporters to show New Orleans residents how home contributes to success and impacts education, health, public safety and economic development.

“The Bateman competition has been the most challenging academic experience of my life, but honestly the most rewarding. I am so proud of our team because it was our love and support of one another that helped us endure and show the city of New Orleans why Home Matters,” said Loyola University New Orleans team member NiRey Reynolds.

The campaign established the link between home and these core social issues, and emphasized the need to redefine the American Dream. More specifically, the team was able to accelerate action and conversation about housing in New Orleans through community outreach and instigation of policy change.

“The competition this year epitomizes all that is good in higher education, especially experiential and service learning. What an honor to experience the enormous professional and personal development of our team as they tackled complex social issues,” said Cathy Rogers, Ph.D., the Loyola University New Orleans team Faculty Adviser.

The University of Florida campaign focused on motivating Gainesville residents to think deeply about both the personal and societal importance of access to affordable housing, while the University of South Carolina campaign focused on championing the national housing movement through social and educational events.

As the first-place team, the Loyola University New Orleans team received a $2,500 monetary prize. The University of Florida team received $1,500 and the University of South Carolina team received $1,000. This year, for the first time, all honorable mention recipients also were offered a complimentary PRSA Associate Membership.

“The Bateman teams did a fantastic job of building awareness of the importance of home and its positive impact on individuals and communities,” said Dave Brown, CEO of Home Matters. “Home Matters is grateful to the PRSSA and the Bateman teams for helping us grow this powerful movement to ensure every American has access to a place they can call home.”

“Our mutual ties to Betsy Plank, who started the Bateman Case Study Competition during her presidency of PRSA, underscored our decision to co-sponsor the competition with Edelman this year,” said Ron Culp, chair of The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations. “Her commitment to making this a learning experience for students, while benefitting a national nonprofit organization, added to our interest in supporting PRSSA and the 60 teams that participated this year.”

The Bateman Case Study Competition originated in 1973 as a National Case Study, allowing PRSSA members to exercise the analytical skills required for public relations problem solving. In 1983, the name of the competition was changed to honor the late J. Carroll Bateman, APR. Bateman was a past president of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and was instrumental in the founding of PRSSA.

The three finalists will be recognized at an awards ceremony during the PRSSA 2015 National Conference, to be held in Atlanta, Nov. 6–10. For additional information about the PRSSA 2015 Bateman Case Study Competition, visit the PRSSA website. The campaign summaries from the three finalist teams soon will be available on the PRSSA website for the public to view.

About the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA)
The Public Relations Student Society of America (www.prssa.org) is the foremost organization for students interested in public relations and communications. Founded in 1968 by its parent organization, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), PRSSA includes more than 11,000 student members and advisers, and is active at more than 340 colleges and universities.