PR students put their knowledge to work with class presentations

Emily Andrews

Dana Rader, senior public relations major, presents her team’s Key Bank campaign to a table of judges yesterday evening. Several teams of public relations students will be competing throughout the week to not only a panel of judges but also to an audience

Credit: Ron Soltys

Students in a public relations class are taking what they have been learning for the last four years and trying to persuade their client to choose their campaign.

A rehearsal was held yesterday for the Public Relations Campaign class to go through the campaigns that each of the four groups has been working on all semester. Their client, KeyBank, will be here Friday for the final presentations and to choose the winning campaign with the help of five judges from public relations agencies and corporations in Northeastern Ohio.

The students have been working to help KeyBank achieve its goal of engaging and building trust with young transactors, said Michele Ewing, the assistant professor of the class. The presentations included objectives, strategies and tactics. The presentations had to be less than 20 minutes and the budget had to be less than $250,000.

“The class is designed to apply the skills they have learned on a real problem for a real client, and when they go out to interview they will have that experience,” Ewing said. “It’s kind of like the show ‘The Apprentice.'”

The class is a capstone class, which means it is the last class needed in the public relations sequence.

“The class gave me such a leg up,” said Kristin Schulte, a public relations alumnus and adviser for the class. “I’ve been advising since Fall 2004. It’s a great opportunity to do something outside work. It’s exciting to see what students are coming up with now.”

Past clients have included Alcan Aluminum, FirstEnergy, Mr. Hero Restaurants and University Hospitals.

The final presentation is Friday in the Student Center Governance Chambers from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.

“The class is difficult but an excellent learning experience,” said Dana Rader, senior public relations major. “We are putting everything we have learned in our college career into one 20 minute speech. We get to show our professors what we have learned.”

Contact College of Communication and Information reporter Emily Andrews at [email protected].