AD/PR students to participate in national case study competition

TCU students are again participating in the most prestigious public relations competition in the country to win up to $2,500, an advertising/public relations professor said.

Cowtown Communications , a student public relations group that is competing in the Bateman public relations competition, is promoting car safety to children this year, said Amiso George, associate professor of journalism and academic adviser to the Bateman team.

Bateman is a national case study competition of about 100 universities established by the Public Relations Society of America in 1973, the only such contest recognized by the group, George said. Students have been preparing for the competition since last fall after the client information was mailed to them, she said.

The competition gives participants an opportunity to exercise the analytical skills and mature judgment required for public relations problem solving, George said.

The 2008 Bateman case study involves Chevrolet’s Safe Kids Buckle Up program. Cowtown Communications set up a free safety belt fair for students and parents of Stripling Middle School in Fort Worth, said Meghan Orga, a senior advertising/public relations major.

The students received $300 to plan the event from the TCU Public Relations Student Society of America, Orga said. The group also contacted people in Fort Worth for food donations and speakers for the event, she said.

Car safety experts from General Motors, State Farm Insurance and Safe Kids Tarrant County led by Cook Children’s Hospital will be at Stripling Middle School on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. to educate parents about the importance of car safety. Parents and students will also have the opportunity to view safety features on Chevrolet’s new SUV, the hybrid Tahoe , Orga said.

Students will be able to meet TCU athletes, see a local comedy troupe called “Curtis Needs a Ride” and talk with Monika Diaz, a reporter at WFAA Channel 8, Orga said.

“We’re expecting a great turnout,” Taylor Pashley, a junior advertising/-public relations major, said. “We are excited to have the opportunity to impact the lives of these kids and hopefully improve car safety standards and statistics among children in our area.”

George said: “I am very impressed with our Bateman team members. They are performing professional quality work. Any agency or PR department would be lucky to have them join their team by the time they are through with this competition.”

The team competed in 1993, took a 14-year hiatus, and rejoined Bateman in 2007, George said.

“We re-entered because we want to continue to position the Schieffer School as a program whose graduates can compete professionally at the highest level,” George said.

About 100 universities officially declared their intent to compete this year, George said.

The results of the top three teams will be announced in April, and the winning teams are invited to present their campaign at the Public Relations Student Society of America’s annual international conference in Detroit, George said.