LSUA Students Win Award at SPRF Conference

by Sarah Black | Sep 27, 2018
Three LSUA students won a competition at the recent SPRF Conference in New Orleans.

Three LSUA students not only got a chance to participate in the recent Southern Public Relations Federation conference in New Orleans, but they also walked away with the Best of All Student Teams (BOAST) Award.

Claudia van den Brink, Ana Hackett, and Brianna Allen are all part of a Communication Studies Seminar class at LSUA. At the conference, the three students teamed up with two additional students from the University of North Alabama to form a five-man team for the competition.

In the two-fold competition, the teams were first given an envelope with questions that had to be asked to certain public relations practitioners at the conference.  This activity encouraged the students to network with the professional attendees. The second part consisted of applying the public relations process to develop a campaign announcing a fictional partnership between Tabasco and the Salvation Army.

After a brainstorming session, the students decided to focus on the upcoming giving season and build a campaign around the holidays. In their campaign, Tabasco teams up with the Salvation Army to donate seasoning for meals thereby saving the Salvation Army hundreds of dollars when preparing meals for the homeless. The idea included a video filmed over Thanksgiving and then launched at Christmas as a series of teasers leading to the partnership beginning in the New Year.  As a secondary goal, the students wanted the campaign to encourage holiday and year-end donations for the Salvation Army through the video series.

PR professionals attending the conference scored the entries.  After the judging, the combination of students from LSUA and UNA, calling themselves the A-Team, came out on top of all students present at the conference. While they were confident in their work on the project, they were also very excited when the A-Team was called.

Missy LaBorde, APR, who handpicked these students for her seminar class, was not surprised at how well Claudia, Ana, and Brianna did. “I am so excited about their win,” she said.  “I would put our students up against those from any other university and know they would do a great job.  I think what they have accomplished speaks well for LSUA and for our Communication Studies program,” says LaBorde.

Both Ana and Brianna are Communication Studies majors, while Claudia is a Business major.  Ana is a sophomore in the CMST program while Brianna and Claudia will be earning their degrees from LSUA this fall.  Their trip to the conference was funded by the LSUA Student Government and the Cenla Chapter of the Public Relations Association of Louisiana.