Photo: The 2008 Bateman Team at their February 29 Strikes for Safety event. Left to right–Kirby Pratt, Justin Dotterweich, Alana Morgan, Jessica Fitts and Jana Lindsey.
 
PULLMAN – The Public Relations Society of America awarded Honorable Mention to five WSU students who competed in a four-month long national public relations competition.
 
Senior public relations students Justin Dotterweich, Jessica Fitts, Jana Lindsey, Alana Morgan and Kirby Pratt participated in the 2008 Bateman Case Study competition. Stacey Hust, assistant professor in communication, advised the team.  The team competed against more than 70 teams that represented some of the best public relations programs in the country. 
 
The WSU students had to conduct research, and then create, implement, and evaluate a communication campaign for the competition client, Safe Kids Buckle Up. The goal of the campaign was to bring awareness of Safe Kids Buckle Up and vehicle safety to the target audiences, tweens (11-14 year-olds) and their parents.
 
As part of their campaign, the public relations students hosted a safety slogan contest for local tweens.  The winning slogan “Don’t be a knucklehead, buckle up instead” was then printed on 375 window clings that were distributed throughout the community.
 
The campaign culminated in an event called Strikes for Safety. Zeppoz provided free bowling and tweens and their parents came to bowl and learn about vehicle safety. At the event, students completed activity packets with safety-related messages and games.
 
Results from the students’ research indicated that after the campaign Pullman residents had greater awareness of Safe Kids Buckle Up, its partnership with Chevrolet and key safety messages that were emphasized, such as children younger than 13 should always sit in the backseat.
 
The WSU Edward R. Murrow School of Communication has competed in the National Bateman Competition three out of the previous four years.  Each year, WSU students have earned honorable mention.
 
For more information on the Bateman competition, visit http://www.prssa.org/resources/bateman.asp.