University of Oregon wins top prize in Page and IPR Case Study Competition for the second year in a row

by | Apr 8, 2021

Three University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication students will receive the Jack Koten Page Principles Case Study Award for their submission analyzing Delta’s strict mask mandate enforced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Carrie Wanous, Karina Peterson, and Maddie Tew, will share more about their winning case in an upcoming episode of Page’s The New CCO podcast. Donna Z. Davis, Ph.D., is their academic advisor.

The Case Study Competition in Corporate Communications, which is sponsored by Page and the Institute for Public Relations (IPR), awards students whose original case studies best contribute to the profession’s body of knowledge and provide practical suggestions improving the corporate communication function. This year’s competition drew 48 entries from 26 communications and business schools in Canada, China, Serbia, and the United States.

The winning submission, “Masks are the New Boarding Pass: Delta Air Lines Implements Strict Mask Mandate,” analyzes the decision to place customers on a no-fly list if they refused to adhere to the mask mandate implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control. The students also explored timely questions related to an airline taking a strong stance in accordance with company values despite the growing politicization of masks and the potential alienation of customers and stakeholders.

“The COVID-19 pandemic forced enterprises to take actions and implement policies to protect the health, safety, and well-being of their stakeholders,” Page President Roger Bolton said. “This case study shows how Delta’s adherence to its core values helped the company navigate this crisis and maintain trust and support among travelers, employees and shareholders. I hope that some of the lessons from this case study become an important resource for strategic communication leaders worldwide.”

In addition to the overall grand prize, the competition awards winners in the categories of Communications Schools and Business Schools. This year’s winners represent University of Oregon, University of Florida, and John Hopkins University. See all of the documents of the winning submissions, including presentations and teaching notes here.

“We are pleased to honor Carrie, Karina, and Maddie along with their academic advisor, Dr. Donna Z. Davis, with the Jack Koten Page Principles Case Study Award for their thoughtful work on this case study,” said Dr. Tina McCorkindale, President and CEO of IPR. “This is a very thoughtful and strong case study that demonstrates how values-driven leadership and multimedia and multi-channel communication strategies are essential to a company as they navigate crisis in a politically-charged arena.”

The annual competition is judged by a panel comprising Page members, Page Up members and IPR Trustees. Judges for this year’s competition included:

  • Sara Banda, L3 Harris Technologies
  • Barbara Bates, Hotwire
  • Amy Binder, RF Binder Partners, Inc.
  • Melissa Brotz, Abbott
  • Mary Lynn Carver, General Mills (former)
  • Varsha Chainani, Mahindra & Mahindra, Ltd.
  • Mark Chakravarty, Novartis AG International
  • Annie Cheng, Visa
  • Al Comeaux, Primed for Change
  • Geoff Curtis, Horizon Pharma plc.
  • Angela Davied, H&R Block
  • Marcia DiStaso, University of Florida
  • Ange Dunselman-Kunzmann, Royal Philips
  • Whitney Eichinger, Southwest Airlines
  • Mark Hass, Arizona State University
  • Lucas Held, The Wallace Foundation
  • Susan Henderson, Henderson Consulting LLC
  • Juli Huston-Rough, General Motors
  • Matt Kucharski, Padilla
  • Pattie Kushner, LabCorp (former)
  • Diana Martinelli, West Virginia University
  • Michele Mazur, W.W. Grainger, Inc. (former)
  • Tina McCorkindale, Institute for Public Relations
  • Amy Messano, Altair
  • Cayce Myers, Virginia Tech University
  • Tracey Noe, CVS Health
  • Lauren Odell, Gladstone Place Partners
  • Larry Parnell, George Washington University
  • Gordon Pennoyer, Chesapeake Energy
  • Maria Russell, Syracuse University
  • Amanda Samuels, Rackspace
  • Gary Sheffer, Boston University
  • Maria Tamburri, Dominion Energy
  • Fernando Vivanco, TE Connectivity
  • Mark Weiner, Cognito Insights
  • Rick White, Jarosa Partners
  • Bill Wohl, United Rentals (former)
  • Kylie Wright-Ford, Reputation Institute

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