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University of North Carolina, Chapel, Hill Wins Top Prize in 2017 Bateman Case Study Competition

May 15, 2017

NEW YORK (May 15, 2017) — The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) announced that the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, has been selected as the first-place winner of the PRSSA 2017 Bateman Case Study Competition. University of Alabama won second place and the University of Nebraska – Lincoln came in third.

Annually, the Bateman Case Study Competition challenges teams of college students on their ability to develop and present a comprehensive public relations campaign. The overarching goal of this year’s competition is to change the culture of mental health in America so that all of those in need receive the care and support they deserve. Sixty-seven teams from across the country developed strategies to support The Campaign to Change Direction (a Give an Hour initiative) in its mission to encourage Americans to care for their mental well-being just as they do their physical well-being.

All entries 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 Give an Hour, Edelman, The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), in Chicago.

The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, campaign, named The Emotional WELLness Campaign, created a message that was both inclusive and unifying. The Emotional WELLness Campaign raised awareness of The Five Signs of Emotional Suffering to establish a universal and comfortable language to stimulate dialogue about mental health. They accomplished this through distributing hundreds of posters, flyers and stickers as well as crafting social media posts to interact with our audiences.

“This experience was critical not only because we had the opportunity to educate our community about the importance of mental health and self-care, but because it challenged us to re-evaluate our roles as family members, friends, classmates and citizens of our community,” said University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, team member, Sloan Taylor. “This campaign required our audience to take an active role in changing the culture around mental health, and we realized that had to start with each member of our team. This campaign gave us the tools we needed to be a better version of ourselves, and as a result, our community, our family and our well-being is growing healthier every day.”

As the first-place team, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, team received a $3,500 monetary prize. University of Alabama received $2,500 and the University of Nebraska – Lincoln received $1,500. All honorable mention recipients also were offered a complimentary PRSA Associate Membership.

“We are very proud that the Campaign to Change Direction was chosen as the inspiration for this year’s Bateman Case Study Competition, and so impressed with the work of these extraordinary college teams,” said Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, founder and president, Give an Hour. “In order to change the culture of mental health, mental illness and emotional well-being, we must reach everyone with our critical public health effort. Through creative messaging like that created by the students involved in this competition, we truly can ensure that those in need receive the care they deserve,” she said.

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 PRSA and was instrumental in the founding of PRSSA.

The three finalists will be recognized at an awards ceremony during the PRSSA 2017 National Conference, to be held in Boston, Oct. 6–10. For additional information about the PRSSA 2017 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 Give an Hour

Give an Hour, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) providing free mental health services to military members, veterans and their families, was founded in September 2005 by Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, a psychologist in the Washington, D.C., area. Give an Hour has been instrumental in the development of the community-based approach to addressing the challenges that face our nation’s military community, having created a successful model for harnessing skill-based volunteers eager to offer their services. Thus far, the network of nearly 7,000 licensed mental health professionals has provided more than 220,000 hours of care and support to those in need. To learn more, visit www.giveanhour.org or https://connected.giveanhour.org.

About The Campaign to Change Direction
The Campaign to Change Direction, a national initiative to change the culture of mental health in America, encourages Americans to care for their mental well-being just as they do their physical well-being. The Campaign is led by Give an Hour, a national nonprofit organization providing free mental health services to the military and veteran community. Change Direction addresses common barriers to understanding mental health and raises awareness about Five Signs that may indicate someone is suffering emotionally and needs help: change in personality, agitation, withdrawal, decline in personal care and hopelessness. Over 400 partner organizations are using their unique skills and opportunities to spread awareness. Organizations and individuals interested in learning more or making a pledge can visit www.changedirection.org.

About The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations

The Plank Center is the leading international resource for practitioners, educators and students who are passionate about advancing their careers and the public relations profession. Its mission is to help develop and recognize outstanding diverse public relations leaders, role models and mentors to advance ethical public relations in an evolving, global society.

About Edelman

Edelman is a leading global communications marketing firm with more than 5,500 employees in 65 cities worldwide. Edelman partners with many of the world’s largest and emerging businesses and organizations, helping them evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations.

Edelman was named one of Advertising Age’s “Agency to Watch” in 2014; one of Forbes’ “14 Most Influential Agencies of 2014”; and The Holmes Report’s “2013 Global Agency of the Year.” Edelman was awarded the Grand Prix Cannes Lion for PR in 2014 and was among Glassdoor’s “Best Places to Work” for the third time in 2014. Edelman owns specialty firms Edelman Berland (research) and United Entertainment Group (entertainment, sports, experiential), a joint venture with United Talent Agency.

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.