E-Net News

Elon students honored in national competition

For the fourth consecutive year, a team from Elon University has been recognized for its performance in the prestigious Bateman Competition, which annually showcases the work of public relations students around the country. Elon was one of 16 teams to receive an honorable mention in the 2010 competition.

From left: Ben Kauffman; Frances Ward-Johnson, adviser; Kaitlin Carlin; Craig Orsi; Molly Calpin; and Claire Derreberry.

Bateman is a national case study competition established by the Public Relations Society of America in 1973 to give university students an opportunity to exercise the analytical skills and mature judgment required for public relations problem solving. Sixty-eight teams entered the most recent contest.

The 2010 Bateman Competition involved creating an awareness campaign for the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Very few schools have a four-year streak of being in the top echelon,” said Frances Ward-Johnson, Elon’s Bateman Team adviser.

Five senior strategic communications majors made up the 2010 team: Molly Calpin, Craig Orsi, Kaitlin Carlin, Ben Kauffman and Claire Derreberry. Carolyn Vanbrocklin, a junior strategic communications major, served as alternate.

The University of Florida, University of Maryland, Indiana University and Brigham Young University are among the teams who join Elon with honorable mentions. “This year’s team worked tirelessly on their campaign, and this recognition bodes well for them, our Public Relations Student Society of America chapter, and for our school,” Ward-Johnson said.

The Elon team, after conducting primary and secondary research, implemented in the surrounding communities its “This is Why I Care” campaign about the U.S. Census.

Some of the team’s activities included hosting the 2010 Census Portrait of America Road Tour Stop and a Census Trivia Night; holding informational sessions at college coffee and at the N.C. Campus Compact Conference; visiting local churches; and deploying census cruisers, in which the windows of cars were painted with vibrant colors touting census information, and parked in prominent locations on campus and in the community.

The Road Tour visit received media coverage, including reports from NPR affiliate WUNC in Chapel Hill, from where Orsi was interviewed during a news program.

The group dedicated more than 20 hours meeting with students and community members, as well as administrators and key figures in the Burlington community. They also engaged in more than 35 hours of conversation at 11 events on and off campus.

The Bateman competition is a project of the Public Relations Student Society of America, which was founded by PRSA in 1968. The student organization has grown to more than 9,600 members and 280 chapters at colleges and universities in 43 states.

Elon has one of the 10 largest PRSSA chapters in the nation. The 2009 and 2008 teams placed in the top 10. Elon’s 2007 Bateman team finished in the top three.

Eric Townsend,
5/3/2010 11:51 AM