PRSSA Bateman Gold Team educates students on U.S. census amid COVID-19 concerns

Zaria Johnson Assigning Editor

Although concerns surrounding COVID-19 resulted in a cancellation of many in-person events, Kent State’s Bateman Gold team was able to complete their campaign Friday as a part of the 2020 Bateman Competition.

The Bateman Competition is a national case study competition that gives public relations students the opportunity to create a communication campaign for a particular client. 

This year, teams were tasked with creating a campaign for the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Bateman Gold team implemented their “You Represent Kent” campaign with the overall goal of informing students on the purpose of the census and how it affects federal funding, according to a press release.

“The team had a goal to ensure that students were aware that the census determines how $675 billion in funding is being distributed across the 50 states,” the press release stated, “as well as how many seats each state has in the House of Representatives.”

The Bateman Gold team focused their outreach on “hard-to-count” populations, which junior public relations major Katie Null  described as communities that suffer from undercounting and face a lack of government funding and representation as a result.

“We had a list of hard-to-count communities that we were able to pick from [that] included renters, international students [and] people living in complex housing situations,” Null said. “We thought focusing on the young African American [and] Hispanic male population was a good choice for us.”

The team was able to complete several in-person events prior to making their campaign completely digital, and held several events partnered with several student organizations including Black United Students, the Kent African Student Association and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. 

“During these partnerships, Bateman Gold shared a presentation about how the 2020 census affects minority students and how collaboration between Bateman Gold and their organization would provide benefits to all involved,” the press release stated.

In order to reach on-campus students, the team coordinated events with resident services that involved interactive activities and challenges that answer questions about the census.

“Through these co-sponsored residence hall events, Bateman Gold was able to better understand the on-campus student population.

The 2020 Census is still taking place despite rising concerns surrounding COVID-19, and students are able to complete the census online

Contact Zaria Johnson at [email protected].