Public Relations Student Society of America announces national competition to promote civility in public discourse 

by | Sep 17, 2020

The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), the foremost organization for students interested in the public relations and communications fields, announced that its 2021 Bateman Case Study Competition will focus on reversing the corrosion of civility in American life and fostering more constructive and inclusive public discourse in all corners of society.

“The pervasiveness of incivility and the incalculable toll it takes on the economic, social, physical and emotional well-being of all Americans beg for the intervention of communications professionals,” said PRSA Civility Task Force Co-chair Jon Goldberg. “Our goal is to harness the creativity, social consciousness and cultural and intellectual diversity of our next generation of PR leaders via the historic Bateman Competition to advance the discussion of civility and mount a national strategic campaign to restore quality, integrity and inclusiveness to public discourse in all its forms, wherever it takes place.”

The Competition is open to the more than 370 PRSSA-affiliated Chapters and challenges student teams to research, plan, implement and evaluate a public relations campaign centered on enhancing civility. Participants will work with leaders from across PRSA to engage the public relations industry as the key catalyst in improving public discourse. In 2020, PRSA defined civility as one of its leading priorities in its three-year strategic plan, developing tools and resources that are responsive to the current operating environment.

“At its core, PRSA and PRSSA aim to foster a culture of civility,” said Jeneen Garcia, Executive Director, PRSSA. “We have always encouraged our students to use their voices to fuel and inspire change. As communicators, our students know they have the power to positively cultivate healthy social discourse and I am thankful we can help further enhance this understanding through next year’s Bateman Case Study Competition.”

The Bateman Case Study Competition originated in 1973 as a national case study allowing PRSSA members to exercise the analytical skills required for public relations problem solving. In 1983, the name of the competition was changed to honor the memory of the late J. Carroll Bateman, APR. Bateman was a past president of PRSA and was instrumental in the founding of PRSSA.

Entrants in the Competition will execute their campaigns in early 2021. Three finalists will present their work to an esteemed panel of judges in May, and the winning team will be recognized at PRSSA’s 2021 International Conference.

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