June 1, 2011
NEWARK, DE – The Public Relations Society of America University of Delaware Chapter hosted its first annual PRSSA Challenge consisting of a one-hour strategic communication competition, in which four teams competed to construct a real life campaign for a new organization on campus, ONE: University of Delaware Chapter.
The PRSSA Challenge began with a presentation from the ONE: University of Delaware Chapter President Conor Leary, in which he explained the organization’s objectives to increase membership and promote awareness about global HIV/AIDS to the campus. Then, the four teams competed under a one-hour time restraint to create a proposal for a campus-wide public relations push for the ONE Campus Challenge campaign. Soon, the room was full of high energy, activity, and great ideas.
“This really is such an innovative way of helping out a campus organization,” panel judge Karen Galanaugh, owner of Galanaugh & Company, a public relations and marketing communications firm, said.
At the end of the hour, each group gave a five-minute presentation about their campaign to a panel of judges consisting of respected professionals, including Galanaugh, PRSSA-UD's Professional Adviser Jeffrey Jackson and the assistant director of public relations for the Delaware Center for Horticulture, Wendy Scott. Then the judges, along with Leary and Kelly Wetzel, public relations director for ONE, chose which team had pitched the most creative and realistic strategic communication campaign.
In a unanimous vote, the four-person team of Alex Albanese, Lauren Bonheim, Jessica Bryant, and Lindsey Starr were chosen as the winners of the first annual PRSSA Challenge. Their campaign proposed several tactics ranging from the creation of a commercial featuring University of Delaware student leaders by using Reel Productions, an on-campus student organization specializing in film production, to hosting of a variety show that featured a Bono/U2 lip-syncing competition and a local cover band, New Life Crisis.
The PRSSA Challenge provided the opportunity for communication and marketing studentsto share their public relations skills with fellow peers, as well as acquire new skills as they competed to create the best presentation for a real organization.