Student PR firm ranked among nation’s best

OC president John deSteiguer, Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt, and OC students Aubree Hughes and Kaitlin Franklin.
OC president John deSteiguer, Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt, and OC students Aubree Hughes and Kaitlin Franklin.

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The student PR firm from Oklahoma Christian University (OC) placed in the top 20 nationally in the Public Relations Student Society of America Bateman Competition.

Eagle PR is in its first year as an active agency. The five-student team competed with its “Embracing and Encouraging Student Veterans” campaign on behalf of the Student Veterans of America organization.

“It’s impressive for a first-year firm to place in the top 20 in the national competition,” said Assistant Professor of Communication Josh Watson, the team’s academic advisor. “They definitely deserve recognition, and it is my hope they have established a solid foundation for an even brighter future for OC.”

Oklahoma Christian is just the second university in Oklahoma to place in the top 20 and earn honorable mention status since 2000.

The average enrollment for all other schools receiving honorable mention this year – including institutions like the University of Florida, the University of North Carolina, Texas Christian University, and Washington State University – was 26,600 students. Oklahoma Christian had a record 2,002 undergraduates enrolled this year.

Kaitlin Franklin led Eagle PR in its first year. Other team members include Media Relations Director Aubree Hughes, Event Coordinator Kelsie Wright, Digital Media Coordinator Hannah Goldapp and Research Director Dylan Schouppe. Sam Sims, director of public relations and marketing at US Fleet Tracking, served as a professional advisor.

“This project was very meaningful to us. It was a great opportunity to use our talents to show respect for those who served,” Franklin said. “We learned so much from this campaign and look forward to offering our services to the new SVA chapter in the future.”

The Bateman Case Study Competition challenges students to research, plan, implement and measure a comprehensive public relations campaign. It gives students an opportunity to apply classroom education and internship experiences to a full-scale public relations campaign. Students were challenged to raise awareness and spark dialogue about the Student Veterans of America organization.

Eagle PR increased awareness of student veterans by reaching 90 percent of OC’s undergraduate students and thousands of members of the local community through five significant events over the course of 30 days.

The kickoff meeting welcomed 50 percent of OC’s student veterans and GI Bill recipients. A career day featured a presentation from a career services representative. Eagle PR and OC’s new SVA chapter hosted a service day where students helped a retired World War II veteran in honor of Kyle Seitsinger, an OC journalism student who was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan in 2004.

In addition, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt spoke at OC’s daily Chapel service to help spread the word about the new SVA chapter and share the importance of honoring veterans on campus.

In the past eight years, 95 percent of OC’s public relations majors have had jobs at graduation. Recent graduates have worked for leading agencies, nonprofits and corporations, such as McDonald’s North America, Wal-Mart Corporate Affairs, the Alzheimer’s Association, Devon Energy, Feed the Children, the Gooden Group, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, Ideal Homes, Jones PR, the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, the Oklahoma Dental Foundation, and Sunbeam Family Services.

Oklahoma Christian is ranked as one of the best universities in the western United States by The Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report. A recent study rated Oklahoma Christian as one of the best higher education values in Oklahoma, citing the university’s low net price combined with OC graduates’ high starting salaries.

OC offers undergraduate programs in more than 80 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program, and graduate programs in accountancy, business administration, computer science, engineering, Christian ministry, divinity, and theological studies.