The “Butler White” team of Will Alexander, Kayla Wininger, Jacqui Giannini and Muriel Cross received honorable mention in the National Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) 2012 Bateman Case Study Competition.

In the competition, PRSSA chapters were challenged to work with a United Way Agency in their area to create and implement a full public relations campaign that addresses childhood obesity.

Only 15 of the 70 entries submitted nationwide received honorable mention; Ball State University was the only other Indiana team honored. Three additional teams will compete as finalists for the national title.

The “Butler White” team’s winning entry was “BU — Be More at Christamore,” a February program that promoted fitness activities and healthy habits to children at the Christamore House community center.

PRSSA’s “Butler Team Blue,” consisting of Ryan Simpson, Shelby Walton, Emily Elliott, Kathleen Blotsky and Brooke Lewis, partnered with the local Jordan YMCA for its “2012 Healthy Superhero” campaign, also entered in the Bateman competition. Team members interacted with approximately 60 children and their parents by coordinating a Healthy Superhero Info and Activity Day featuring Healthy Superhero mascots “Healthy Hannah” and “Willy Wellness.” Armed with a Kinect for Xbox 360 donated by the NFL Play 60 program, the team had many children and their parents stop by their display to play and ask questions.

“I am so incredibly proud of both our PRSSA Bateman Competition teams from Butler,” said Bob Schultz, PRSSA chapter professional advisor. Schultz is a vice president of the Indianapolis public relations firm Borshoff and an adjunct professor in the Strategic Communication: PR and Advertising program of the College of Communication.

“The Butler White team’s collaborative spirit and strategic campaign not only benefited them academically, but perhaps changed lives for the children at the Christamore House, Schultz said. “Their campaign most definitely raised the awareness of childhood obesity with the children, parents and staff of the Christamore House well beyond expectations.”

“Butler University has done a remarkable job in preparing these seniors for the workplace, and I am honored to have played a small role in their academic preparation for their futures.”

Butler’s PRSSA chapter began its participation in the national Bateman Case Study Competition two years ago at the suggestion of Ed Kanis, PRSSA faculty adviser.

“As part of our strategic planning process, the chapter’s student leaders and I identified a number of initiatives — Bateman being one of them — we could undertake that would help grow membership, provide opportunities for students and raise the profile of our chapter and our program nationally,” he said.

What distinguishes Bateman from other competitions, said Kanis, is its focus on implementation.

“Teams must not only craft a solid plan, but they must put it into action and evaluate its results against plan objectives,” he said. “And they do so with very modest resources. Teams are limited to $300 in expenses, which they can supplement with up to $1,000 of gifts in kind.

“With the knowledge our students gain in the classroom and the experience they acquire in their internships, I was always confident we could compete with universities nationwide where Bateman, frankly, is an obsession,” Kanis said. “To have our students’ work rated so highly by a national panel of judges who are leaders in this field is something everyone should be extremely proud of. Our students have put Butler on the national PR stage, right where it belongs.”

Media contact: Mary Ellen Stephenson
(317) 940-6944
mestephe@butler.edu

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