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    The Ad Team

It was an award-winning week

It was a very good week for journalism and mass communications students competing in regional competitions. Teams and individual students racked up a variety of awards from advertising, public relations and journalism organizations.

National Student Advertising Competition - Second Place in District 3

Each year, the student Ad Team faces a real client challenge and tough competitors from across the country.  This year's competition was close, with just 2.86 points separating the top two spots.  The J-school team won the most awards — including  the Best Plans Book and Best Research — as part of their challenge to develop an integrated marketing campaign in response to a real-world marketing challenge facing Tinder. 

"I am incredibly proud of the progress the students made," says Jeff Williams, advertising sequence head. "This campaign required a deep dive in research, great strategy and beautiful executions in order to place in the top three. These students will launch their career with an amazing portfolio piece that will get them hired."

Williams is in his fifth year as Ad Team advisor. It's his third time ranking in the top three at the district level. Tayor Wen, assistant professor in the advertising sequence, is in her second year assisting with the Ad Team.

Student members of the ad team are: advertising majors - Julia Broadeur, Gabby Joyce, Katie Marin, Sydney Onoyan, Caroline Stringfellow and Sarah Turner, ; public relations major - Cierra Martin Stringfellow; and visual communications majors - Alec Catanzarite and Hil Howle.

PRSSA Bateman Case Study Competition - Honorable Mention

The UofSC Bateman Team received an honorable mention (one of only eight given this year) out of a nationwide competition of 54 teams. They were responsible for implementing a PR campaign promoting civility in public discourse —specifically digital civility.

The "On the Line" campaign focused on what's at stake when you act uncivil both in person and online and how to hold yourself and your peers accountable. The team partnered with university President Bob Caslen to implement a campus-wide civility day; secured a citywide civility proclamation from Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin; collaborated with the South Carolina Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America for a civility week for communications professionals; worked with faculty to propose a civil discourse module to be implemented as part of the University 101 curriculum; and obtained more than 500 signatures on a digital civility pledge from individuals in 17 states.

“The members of this year’s Bateman team fully embraced not only the creative brief of the national competition but also the responsibility to enact real change in online discourse,” said Kelly Davis, public relations sequence head and Bateman Team faculty advisor. “Through extensive primary and secondary research, a detailed strategic plan, a short 30-day implementation time frame, and in-depth evaluation of their results, they created a nationally-competitive campaign that can serve as a pilot program to be adopted and duplicated by universities, PRSA chapters and communities around the country.”

Student members of the Bateman team are: Contessa Davis, Olivia Dodds, Stephanie Justice, Hannah O’Toole and Ali Pardue. The team was assisted by professional advisor Amy Coward, APR, Fellow PRSA (MA ’96) of Prisma Health Midlands Foundation.

Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award

William Volk

Region 3 Awards

Senior Will Volk racked up multiple awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for work he produced in the capstone senior semester Carolina News & Reporting class.  

Volk, a broadcast journalism major,  won first place in the TV Breaking News Reporting category for Election Day Turnout. This story will compete at the national level with the other regional winners. He was a finalist in several other categories:

In addition to Volk's award, the Spring Class of 2020 was named a finalist in the Best All-Around TV Newscast category for its Feb. 24 newscast.

"This was a very talented class," says senior instructor Rick Peterson. "That daily show on Feb. 24 happened not long before spring break when the pandemic shut down our normal operations."

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.