The Bateman Competition: Worth the Hard Work

By Sarah Hartwell (@SarahAHartwell)

I have always wanted to be a part of the Bateman Case Study Competition team for the PR Campaigns class. So over winter break I read through the research that was completed during the fall for the campaign. Our client, Ally Bank, had also given us several requirements that we must follow, including:

  • Hold a minimum of five sessions on financial literacy
  • Have at least 150 total attendees to the sessions
  • No incentives may be given to attendees

This created a big challenge for us, because most events have some kind of incentive, from food to door prizes. Ally Bank provided a PowerPoint and workbooks on credit and budget for us. We decided to use our research to add to the credit and budget sessions with extra topics including financial aid, loan repayment, savings, and taxes. We originally planned on five sessions.

We also contacted UW Oshkosh faculty and staff to speak at some of the sessions and share their experiences, since we were not experts on the topics. For the sessions we taught on loan repayment and taxes, we created handouts for attendees to use as a resource.

We had to create a logo, slogan (Make Cents of Your Finances) and tagline (Pennies Add Up). We used a variety of promotional tactics including emails, CampusVision, tables in the Reeve Concourse, posters, social media (Twitter, Facebook and blogs), display cases, and bulletin boards.

We contacted various organizations and individuals in an attempt to spread the word about the sessions and their importance. After our first few sessions, we realized we would need to add more sessions to reach our minimum of 150 people. In the end, we had 165 attendees.

(From left to right) Sarah Hartwell, Courtney Rinka and Kristen Manders presenting about student loans during a financial literacy session for the Bateman competition.

We also collected money to donate to the Boys & Girls Club, which has a financial education program for their participants. Our goal was to raise 5,000 pennies (which reflected our campaign slogan and tagline), and we raised 5,132.

From the competition, I learned how to create and implement a full campaign for a real-life client. We didn’t just come up with great ideas, we actually had to make them work, which not many classes offer. The experience was challenging, but in the end we overcame the challenges and won an honorable mention. This is the second year in a row that UW Oshkosh has received honorable mention for the Bateman Competition, which is awesome. I hope you consider joining PRSSA and taking the PR Campaigns class to participate in Bateman next year.


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