Drake’s public relations program is showing growth not only in enrollment, but also in the addition of a new faculty member and increased participation in one of the discipline’s premier national student competitions.
Five members of the Drake Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) recently completed the initial phase of the National Bateman Case Study Competition. Student teams across the country worked with a national client to create and execute comprehensive public relations campaigns.
This year’s client, Ally Financial, asked teams to promote financial literacy to high school students, college students, young professionals, parents, females who are new heads of their household and minority populations.
Drake’s team, consisting of juniors Elsa Becker, Jessica Reisig, Jessica Scott and Jessie Hill, and sophomore Sean Walsh, constructed a financial literacy program titled, “F.L.O.W. – Financial Literacy Opportunity Workshops.” They presented F.L.O.W at 11 community-wide events and exceeded their initial goal of 150 total participants. They instead educated 217 members of the Des Moines community.
The presentations, complete with Ally-provided financial workbooks, took place at Drake University, First Christian Church, Lincoln High School and Gateway Market.
After implementing FLOW, the students compiled an executive report of the their campaign goals and findings. The report was professionally printed and sent off to PRSSA headquarters in New York City for judging. Team members will be notified on April 11 if they place in the top three and will have the opportunity to travel to New York City to present to a panel of judges.
Throughout the process, the students not only learned the fundamentals of group work — open and constant communication, patience and collaboration — but also the importance of financial planning.
“It surprised me how much I learned from our presentation,” Hill said. “When budgeting my own finances as a college student who buys Starbucks all the time, I learned the toll it takes on my bank account. By cutting back on these small expenses and making my own coffee, I’ve started to see how these saving habits will benefit me in the future.”
Drake alumnus David Remund hired as new faculty
Also preparing for the future is Drake’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. With expanding interest in the public relations program and the Master in Communication Leadership (MCL) graduate program, the journalism school hired new faculty member, David Remund.
“With the needs of our growing undergraduate enrollment and the demand for our unique MCL degree that focuses on the combination of communication leadership and business skills, we needed someone who could contribute substantially to both curricula,” said Ronda Menke, professor of journalism and public relations. “David had all the qualifications with his 20 years of professional experience, extensive research endeavors and recent doctorate in mass communication.”
Remund, a Drake graduate from both programs, will teach undergraduate public relations classes starting in the fall and will eventually teach graduate classes in MCL program.
“We know he will help Drake expand as one of the top journalism schools in the country” Menke said, “and as a product of Drake, he is excited to give back.”
— Kelsey Jones