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Loyola University New Orleans Public Relations Students win national championship for Be Your Own Boss Week

Loyola press release - May 24, 2000

From left to right: Board of Trustee member Shawn Donnelley,
Ashley White, Jeanne LaCombe, Luissa Alba, Faculty Advisory
Cathy Rogers,and Ryan Furby.

(New Orleans)—A team of communications majors at Loyola University New Orleans were national winners Saturday in Chicago at an annual public relations campaign competition. Their campaign to launch a dot.com was ranked first among the three finalists who were selected in April to participate in the oral presentation phase of the competition.

In a presentation to the "client" for the competition, Solobiz.com, Loyola’s public relations students outranked teams from the University of Florida and Cal State at Long Beach in the annual Bateman competition sponsored by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSSA).

Loyola’s Bateman presentation team was comprised of senior Ryan Furby of New Orleans, and juniors Ashley White and Jeanne LaCombe of New Orleans and Luissa Alba of West Palm Beach, Fla. Senior Misty Faucheux of St. Rose, La., was part of the team that conducted the research, created the strategies, and executed their campaign on campus to launch Solobiz.com.

Solobiz is an online resource and community for entrepreneurs, based in Tulsa, Okla. Universities with public relations curricula across the country which have PRSSA chapters were invited to participate in the competition to launch Solobiz to college campuses. More than 60 universities entered the competition; however, because of the commercial nature of the client, only 33 of the teams submitted entries complete with the execution of their campaign on their campus which merited judging.

Solobiz owner Louise Short and the other two judges for the competition in Chicago unanimously chose Loyola’s campaign because of the way the students turned

their challenges into opportunities. They were impressed with the way Loyola’s B.Y.O.B./Be Your Own Boss Week attracted student interest in the middle of Mardi Gras season by collaborating with student organizations across college and departmental lines to provide career information about the "serious fun" of entrepreneurship.

Presenting information about the possibilities of being one’s own boss via a Start-Your-Own-Business Fair and several panel discussions and a networking party served as the framework to promote a commercial venture at a Jesuit institution whose students primarily focus on helping non-profits.

As she announced the winner of the competition Saturday, Short said that Loyola’s campaign was the most "sustainable" and could be implemented on other college campuses.

This is the second, first place win for Loyola. In 1997, Loyola’s team ranked number one with a campaign that focused on strategies to recruit adults to be volunteer mentors for the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization.