Students Adriana Talavera and Abigail Barbeau hosted an information table with DePaul President Esteban to raise awareness of the 2020 Census for their Bateman Competition campaign, “Make Your Community Count.”

For the first time in DePaul’s history, a team of College of Communication students won the Bateman Competition, PRSSA’s premier national case study competition for public relations students.

The student team from University of Florida finished second, and third place honors went to High Point University in the highly competitive challenge undertaken by 57 student teams from throughout the country. A second team from DePaul was among 14 teams to receive an honorable mention.

“We’re bursting with pride over this latest achievement by our PRAD students,” said DePaul’s acting dean Alexandra Murphy. “The coveted Bateman Competition award  complements other significant recognition of our program over the past three years, including PRWeek’s Outstanding Education Program and the Page Society’s Jack Koten Case Study grand prize. Congratulations to the students and their devoted faculty.”

Educating the community, inspiring action for the 2020 Census

The Bateman Case Study Competition challenged students to execute a comprehensive public relations campaign, with this year’s focus on the 2020 Census. Through tactics such as social media, on-campus tabling, media outreach, and partnerships with university and government leaders, students’ campaigns aimed to educate members of their community about the importance of the census and motivate them to participate in the count.

For their campaigns, both DePaul teams targeted students as well as other populations that are considered hard to count by the U.S. Census Bureau, including Black and Hispanic males and people who are renters.

The winning campaign “Make Your Community Count,” created by Abby Barbeau, Annie Evans, Aleeza Mehtab, Audrey Nelson and Adriana Talavera, focused efforts on pitching op-eds, securing census endorsements from DePaul University President A. Gabriel Esteban, tabling at community events and churches, and canvassing at Chicago sports games.

Bateman Competition Honorable Mentions:
  • Ashland University
  • Belmont University
  • DePaul University — A Sense of Us
  • Eastern Illinois University — Eastern Elite
  • Kent State — Bateman Gold
  • Loyola University New Orleans
  • Miami University
  • Ohio University
  • Syracuse University
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • University of Nevada Reno — Battle Born Bateman
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

The honorable mention team from DePaul was comprised of Callie Boboc, Natalie Rohman, Lauren Russett, Stephanie Robertson and Maddie Torti,

Both DePaul teams partnered with several DePaul resources to help them succeed in their campaigns, including University Marketing and Communications, the Office of Community & Government Relations, the Division of Student Affairs, Residential Education, Facility Operations, and the Steans Center, which was instrumental in connecting the students with key community partners. The chapter’s professional adviser is Sarah Whitcher, marketing & media director at the Poetry Foundation.

Chapter faculty advisor Jim Motzer praised how the entire university community embraced the two DePaul campaigns. He said all three finalist teams made impressive professional-level presentations.“I’m beyond proud of how our student team spoke so passionately about the importance of the 2020 Census, while also having fun with this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Congratulating the finalists, Gary McCormick, former PRSA president and a frequent Bateman Competition judge, said: “Since its inception in 1973, the Bateman Competition has provided a national platform for students to apply their knowledge and creativity for a real client. From classroom to community, it showcases the talent that public relations students will bring to the profession.”

Photo: DePaul University/Jeff Carrion