Loyola New Orleans PR Students Honored by PRSSA Bateman Competition
Public relations competition team helps U.S. Census get out the vote with “Count Where Y’At Campaign”
New Orleans, La. – (April 29, 2020) Strategic communication students from Loyola University New Orleans’ award-winning School of Mass of Communication won an honorable mention this week in the nation’s premier case study competition for public relations students. Of Loyola's 22-year participation in the Bateman Case Study Competition sponsored by the Public Relations Student Society of America, Loyola students have earned national recognition nearly every year. Loyola New Orleans PR students have over the last 20 years officially won more national Bateman competitions than any other team in the country.
“What a wonderful way for our students to end the school year, especially as they had to complete their campaign and entry virtually,” said leading PR professional and Loyola professor Cathy Rogers, who advised the team. “There is no higher honor for a university public relations student than the Bateman Award, and Loyola University New Orleans was proud to receive an honorable mention.”
The Public Relations Student Society of America’s annual Bateman Case Study Competition calls on university teams to create a full-scale public relations campaign for a nonprofit organization.
This year, Loyola’s Bateman Competition team – Loyola students Anderson Leal, Anneliese Gonzalez, Fiorella Velez, and Morgan Badurak – partnered with the U.S. Census to create a campaign designed to encourage proper participation in the United States by Loyola students and New Orleanians. In particular, Loyola New Orleans’ Bateman team set out to encourage accurate representation among Black and Hispanic males and college students, officially considered “hard to count audiences” by the U.S. Census.
Their six-week campaign ran Feb. 10 through March 20, with a special push week in the first week of March. “The Count Where Y’At Week” was designed to raise awareness of the impact of Census data and help to push out self-responses, which began nationwide the following week.
Students tabled on campus and promoted their campaign on social media, on the news, and within their Loyola community. Students also visited the Mexican Embassy in New Orleans to give presentations on census participation and assure residents that they should be counted “only once and in the right place,” regardless of documentation.
The campaign to Loyola students, which included a public service announcement by University President Tania Tetlow urging students to stand up and be counted, informed on-campus residents about the importance of census data and its potential impact on scholarships, financial aid, grants and other funding – and let them know they would be counted by Loyola, so their parents should not also count them. It informed off-campus residents that they needed to report where they were living on April 1, in order to be counted.
Team member Anderson Leal ‘21 received special recognition from Loyola faculty for his contributions -- he helped lead his time to victory, despite having the COVID crisis hit his family in the midst of final preparations for the competition.
“I am so proud of this team, who persevered despite these unprecedented times and continued our winning tradition with Bateman!” said Sonya Duhe, director of the School of Communication and Design at Loyola New Orleans.
“What a testament to their efforts for excellence! Congratulations to Cathy and our students!”