Miami's Bateman Competition team takes Honorable Mention

Written by Madeline Malloy, CAS communications intern

Every year, the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) hosts the Bateman Competition. In this national competition, PRSSA selects a client that 84 colleges and universities work with to come up with a strategic plan to solve a particular objective for the client.

This year's client was With Purpose, a nonprofit organization that supports the funding for childhood cancer research. Starting last September, Miami's own Bateman team came up with over 10 different tactics to achieve their main goal of raising overall awareness on campus and in the Oxford area.

Students from across the nation started developing ideas and plans on how to raise awareness of With Purpose on their campus and within their communities. They had to be ready to implement their plan in the allotted time from February 15 to March 15.

Miami University Bateman Team members (L to R) Allison Pierce, Madeline Malloy, Maddie O’Toole, Vivian Drury

Miami's team was made up of the following PRSSA members:

  • Vivian Drury
    Strategic Communication; English:Creative Writing; Italian Studies; Journalism
  • Alec Hoelker
    Strategic Communications; Political Science
  • Madeline Malloy
    Strategic Communications; Psychology
  • Maddie O'Toole
    Strategic Communications; Political Science
  • Allison Pierce
    Strategic Communication; English:Professional Writing

They asked fellow students to sign a petition to send to the House of Representatives to require the National Cancer Institute to increase its budget for childhood cancer. They got 773 signatures and also put together a video to feature on Miami's PRSSA Facebook page of Miami students explaining why they "cherish their childhood."

But the team's favorite tactic during the implementation phase of the competition was establishing their partnership with the local business, Bagel & Deli. The Miami Bateman team created their own bagel to be sold in Bagel & Deli and named it the Lunchbox Bagel.

Alec Hoelker explained why it was a favorite. "The bagel was delicious in all aspects to start, but to walk into one of the busiest restaurants Uptown and see our own team's bagel gave me joy," he said.

The bagel was a blueberry bagel with banana, peanut butter, and cinnamon. The Bateman team, working with Sam's mom, the founder of With Purpose, created a bagel using Sam's favorite foods. They thought carefully to make the bagel into a fun, kid-friendly snack for everyone.

The students submitted their final strategic plan on April 6, but it was much more than the competition for this team.

"I really enjoyed Bateman because it gave me a chance to apply everything that we are learning in the classroom," said Allison Pierce. "I learned a lot about PR, got to work with some awesome group members, and was able to support such an amazing cause in the process."

Out of the 84 entries this year, 20 received Honorable Mention, one of which went to Miami's Bateman team.

"This is very commendable," said Shara Clark, instructor in the Department of Media, Journalism and Film and faculty advisor for the Bateman Competition. "It's been years since Miami's team has received this recognition. I'm so proud of the work these students put into the plan. They have spent a considerable amount of time and energy to spread awareness for an important cause."

Congratulations to the Miami Bateman team, and look out for the 2019 Bateman Competition announcement in the fall!

Results of the PRSSA 2018 Bateman Case Study Competition


  • California State University, Long Beach
  • Kent State University — KSU Gold
  • Louisiana State University

Honorable Mentions

  • Chapman University – Team 2
  • DePaul University – Fighting Five
  • Indiana University
  • Miami University of Ohio
  • Minnesota State University Moorhead – Dragons Fight Cancer
  • Minnesota State University Moorhead – The Fierce Five
  • Ohio University
  • Oklahoma Christian University
  • Olivet Nazarene University
  • San Jose State University
  • St. John Fisher College
  • Syracuse University
  • Texas State University
  • University of Alabama
  • University of Florida
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • University of South Carolina — McKissick Communications
  • University of South Florida
  • University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
  • Washington State University – Team 1