Campus News

Grady PR team wins national championship

Five public relations students from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication won first place in the national Bateman Case Study Competition in Washington, D.C., on May 14.

The team included account executive Kristin Ballard from Atlanta; Courtney Garmhaus, Litchfield, Mich.; Debbie Ebalobo, Masinloc, Zambales, Philippines; Magan Cowart, Milledgeville; and Bridgett Johnson, Brunswick. The UGA team was advised by Kaye D. Sweetser, assistant professor of public relations. It was Sweetser’s first time working on a Bateman project.

The competition, sponsored by the Public Relations Student Society of America, uses a single national client. The 2010 client was the U.S. Census Bureau. Student teams from college campuses across the nation competed to create the ultimate public relations campaign. The UGA Bateman team competed against 67 other schools this year and was selected for the finals as one of three teams to present to the client and PRSSA.

Working since fall 2009, the hand-picked public relations students created a hyper-local, grassroots campaign to promote the 2010 U.S. census in the local Athens community. The UGA team obtained more than 3,500 signatures of local citizens pledging to participate in the census, which represents a potential return of more than $5 million in federal funding.

The team presented its $2,500 first place prize money to the college’s chapter of PRSSA to reinvest into future chapter programs.