UIndy PRSSA Participates in The Bateman Case Study Competition

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Public relations students on campus will be gearing up to compete this year as the University of Indianapolis Public Relations Student Society of America Chapter participates in this year’s Bateman Case Study Competition. According to The Public Relations Society of America’s website, the Bateman Case Study enables public relations students to utilize the knowledge they learn from classes and internships to create a full public relations campaign. The Cultrs Magazine website—which is the company being highlighted for this year’s Bateman competition—says they have a focus on creating a deeper community and connection for many people including refugees, immigrants and Third Culture Kids.

UIndy Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Programs in Communication Ray Begovich is the faculty advisor for the PRSSA at UIndy, and he said that the Bateman competition is a great experience for the students participating in the program. According to Begovich, the competition gives students clients who are not those they may typically work with. This allows the students to use the time they have to be creative, while the company gets to benefit as well from ideas that the PRSSA chapters in the U.S. pitch, Begovich said.

“What happens is the national … PRSSA office finds a client for students to work with, and it’s always on a national level,” Begovich said. “It’s not like an Indianapolis client, which is another benefit of this. …The client agrees to provide information in various ways to all the campus chapters and the campus chapters then do a public relations campaign. It benefits the companies out there because they get a lot of good creative ideas from smart young people. And it also lets a lot of smart young people know about their product and their service…. The most important thing is students get a chance to work on something that’s not a classroom assignment, it’s not a campus assignment project or it’s not even local.”

According to UIndy’s website, the PRSSA chapter is a registered student organization on campus. Due to this, the participation of the members and the board is entirely voluntary, Begovich said.

“It’s so impressive to me because it’s nothing they have to do,” Begovich said. “They’re plenty busy with school and with their personal lives, and they take this on. I’m kind of in awe of our students for doing this.”

According to Begovich, UIndy’s PRSSA chapter is open to anyone—not just communication students specializing in public relations. Additionally, Vice President of PRSSA, Firm Director of Top Dog and senior communication major Marissa Maxey said that she hopes more students will join PRSSA in the future because there are so many benefits.

“There’s also internship opportunities, job opportunities and stuff like that and also [working in] the PR concentration in general,” Maxey said. “It’s very hands-on. You meet with clients, you have client meetings, you have deadlines, things like that, that’s really important in the PR profession.”

On top of real-world experience for PR, travel is also an opportunity available to students. For example, Begovich and PRSSA members were able to attend a national conference in Nashville this past October. According to Begovich, they met with people who specialize in the PR field and other communication students, which was a useful experience.

UIndy PRSSA chapter currently has around 10 members, Maxey said, so the creation of the content relies on individual strengths. For example, PRSSA member and sophomore communication major Evan Porterfield utilized his experience and understanding of digital media to aid in their project.

“…We’re talking to each other trying to figure out how we can meet these objectives,” Porterfield said. “What would make us stand out is that we decided to do a documentary and we’re also doing a couple of other things. But that’s kind of when I’m really in charge of the documentary part of it because I’m kind of the only one doing electronic media. I’m taking care of the video editing, that whole process.”

Additionally, Porterfield said having a small team can be difficult when you are also a student. However, it is possible since UIndy’s student-run PR firm Top Dog Communication and PRSSA has helped him set a foundation of learning for this competition, according to Porterfield.

“I don’t know, it’s a lot and since I’m kind of the only one that knows that area,” Porterfield said. “It’s difficult because I’ve got a lot on my plate, and it’s hard to manage multiple things. The fact that we’re a small team can be difficult, but we’re gonna get through it and make a good quality video and piece of work.” Those interested in PRSSA or PR can learn more by contacting Begovich or by going to the Communication Department’s Public Relations track’s page at UIndy.edu

Photo by Allison Cook Junior data science major Varney Blamah sits for an interview with PRSSA members sophomore communication major Evan Porterfield, senior communication major Marissa Maxey and junior communication major Emma Foutz for the Bateman Case Study Competition.

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