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Bateman team wins ninth national title with affordable housing campaign

Loyola press release - May 7, 2015

Students from Loyola University New Orleans have earned yet another first-place in the national Bateman Case Study Competition. For 14 of the past 15 years, Loyola has placed in the top three in the country. This is Loyola’s ninth national title. Loyola has won first place more than any school in the country. The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which organizes the competition, asks teams to tackle a full-scale public relations campaign. This year, students worked with Home Matters, a nonprofit aimed at building awareness for affordable housing and better communities nationwide.

Katie Collier, Chelsea Cunningham, Kenny Motley, Martin Quintero and NiRey Reynolds, students in the School of Mass Communication, created the “Geaux Home” campaign. The team convinced New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to proclaim Feb. 24 as "Home Matters Day" to highlight how important home is to public education, safety, health and other issues critical to strong communities. The event included a one-hour public educational panel, followed by "Geaux Sleepover," an outdoor sleepover for students in the Loyola Peace Quad—complete with pillow fights and campfire treats.

"The purpose of 'Geaux Sleepover' was to simulate an experience where students realize that home is not just the four walls that surround them, but their community, their friends, their education and their health," Bateman team member Katie Collier said. "It is a test of if I'm strong enough to do this when I can walk a few blocks to a warm bed," said team member Martin Quintero, as temperatures dipped into the low 50s overnight. "They experienced what many New Orleanians have to deal with every day."

Teams from Loyola, the University of Florida and the University of South Carolina, were chosen from 60 entries to present their campaigns May 8 before judges in Chicago. Home Matters’ CEO and representatives from Edelman Worldwide, The Plank Center for Leadership and Public Relations and PRSA selected Loyola’s campaign for first place and the University of Florida and the University of South Carolina, second and third respectively.

Public Relations professor J. Cathy Rogers, Ph.D., who supervises the strategic communications sequence and advises the Bateman competition said, “I'm so proud of this team's first place win, particularly because of the impact that they made in New Orleans with their local campaign for the national Home Matters movement.

“They initiated policy change, attracted local print and television news coverage, leveraged community partnerships and showed the importance of home as the common denominator to community and personal success. The team's national championship demonstrates the complete package of Loyola's distinctiveness—academic excellence, our Jesuit commitment to the whole person and service learning in the rich laboratory that our city provides."

PRSSA’s mission is to “serve our members by enhancing their knowledge of public relations and providing access to professional development opportunities; to serve the public relations profession by helping to develop highly qualified, well-prepared professionals.”

For more information on Loyola’s Bateman Team, contact Rogers at crogers@loyno.edu.