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Student PR team to compete in national competition

Posted May 1, 2015
Photo: (l to r) George Johnson, Katie Northcutt, Mary Cate Duffy, Nicole Hornung, Alli Finkelston, Tori Infinger and Kelly Jackson Davis.


Five seniors are heading to Chicago to compete as one of three finalist teams in a top national public relations campaigns competition. They’ll be back on campus just in time to graduate.

Judges chose the UofSC team as one of the top three out of 60 teams in the 2015 Bateman Case Study Competition, sponsored by the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).  The team will meet University of Florida and Loyola University of New Orleans teams in the finals May 7 in Chicago. Their commencement is May 8 at 3 p.m.

Team members are Mary Cate Duffy, Alli Finkelston, Tori Infinger, Nicole Hornung and Katie Northcutt. Adjunct instructor George Johnson is faculty adviser, and Kelly Jackson Davis of Riggs Partners is professional adviser.

The South Carolina team’s campaign focused on raising local awareness and creating conversation of the importance of the home and affordable access to housing. The national client was Home Matters®, and the team engaged local client Home Works of America, a nonprofit that involves youths in repairing homes of homeowners in need.

The team used primary and secondary research to develop a strategic public relations plan, and then fully implemented their “Home Matters Because Home Works” campaign in February. Primary research followed, to measure the campaign’s success among its target audience, young professional adults in the Midlands.

PRSSA calls Bateman its premier national case study competition, providing public relations students an opportunity to use classroom education and internship experiences to create, implement and measure the results of a full public relations campaign. PRSSA partnered with Home Matters®, The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations and Edelman for this year’s competition.