Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Public relations students hoping to secure case study title

Two years ago, they took home gold for their “Who Is In The Chair” campaign. Last year, they came in second place with their “Change Direction UA” campaign. This year, the UA Bateman team is hoping to bring home another win in the Bateman Case Study Competition.

The competition is the Public Relations Student Society of America’s premier national case study competition for public relations students nationwide. 

The client this year is With Purpose, a youth and community-led movement dedicated to making sure children with cancer have access to safe and effective treatment options. 

“Less than four percent of federal research funding is dedicated to childhood cancer and we want everyone on this campus to help change that,” said Mallory McDonald, a senior public relations major and Bateman team member. 

The Bateman team’s goal is to increase awareness of the inequalities in federal funding for cancer research by 20 percent in the UA community. They certainly have been putting in the time and work to make that happen. 

“We have spent over 100 hours and a lot of 60 hour weeks together cranking out the strategy, tactics and the entire campaign,” McDonald said.

The “UAre With Purpose” campaign faced challenges along the way. The final week of the campaign landed on spring break, so the Bateman team had all the content finished in advance. The team also had a limited budget to work with.

“When you are apart of a community like Tuscaloosa, and have a team of such strong innovators, the ideas are endless,” McDonald said. “But they have to be pulled in a lot due to the budget restrictions.”

A second Bateman team member, Emily Baker, a junior public relations major, said the challenges are worth it.

“The biggest challenge we have faced is juggling all the different moving parts of our campaign and ensuring the pieces are going as smoothly as possible,” Baker said. “It’s hard balancing a full-time campaign with schoolwork and other obligations, but it has definitely been worth it.”

Despite these obstacles, the journey of “UAre With Purpose” has had more good moments than bad, the students said. 

Whether it was meeting James Spann and Nick Saban, or spending the day with Jack, a boy in remission from leukemia, working on the Bateman team has been one of the most rewarding jobs for its members, Baker said.

“Meeting the children, who are a part of our “Legend in the Making” mini-series, has been the best part of this experience,” Baker said. “Being able to talk with them and their parents about their journeys, and seeing how optimistic and joyful these kids are in the face of adversity is by far the highlight of this experience.”

Working as an advisor for the Bateman team is Professor Teri Henley.

“This year’s team complements each other with such a diverse skill set,”  Henley said. “They are also the most self-directed team I have had the pleasure to work with.”

Henley gives guidance mostly in the research and planning stages based on previous campaigns and competitions.

“I try to give objective, professional advice, but at the end of the day, the campaign is theirs to create and implement,” Henley said. “I try to be there when they need me, but mostly I stand back and watch the magic.”

All the work and time spent on “UAre With Purpose” has tested and inspired the Bateman team.

“I can honestly say this has been the best experience of my life and it has inspired me to gear my career towards working for a childhood cancer nonprofit or national campaigns,” McDonald said. 

More to Discover