What’s in a Challenge?

A challenge is always meant to test your mettle as an individual; consequently, not everyone looks for one. The PRSSA Challenge was designed to be just that – a true challenge for all of the participants involved. Essentially, the name of the game meant that we were to compete against one another, and our desire to be a part of the winning team would drive us to work harder and think more quickly than the other teams. In the end, our efforts to create the most effective PR strategy would force us to hone our skills.

As a new member of the University of Delaware’s PRSSA chapter, as well as a recent transfer student, I jumped at the chance to register for the Challenge, which was “a one-hour strategic communication campaign planning competition” to be held on March 14. Even so, I must admit that I was a bit intimidated as the evening commenced. Not only was I well aware that I’m still not technically in the major, but I also have yet to even take a Public Relations course–how was I to help my team build a solid PR proposal?

Of course, I had very little time to ponder my question any further, as we were promptly given our task. For the evening’s competition, we were asked to create a plan that would increase the membership of ONE: University of Delaware Chapter. The ONE Chapter at UD helps to build Bono’s international awareness campaign about poverty and disease in Africa. Our clients shared their mission and encouraged us to be creative. Within the hour, we brainstormed ideas, further researched our client, and wrote a plan; after submitting our plans, we presented our ideas to the panel of professional judges, as well as ONE’s President Conor Leary.

Through our efforts to construct a PR strategy, I learned a lot from my own teammates–Kayley Conti, Lauren Rutkowski, and Stephanie Wight; however, I also gained new insights through the other teams’ proposals, too. While our plans for ONE had common elements, it was interesting to hear each team’s proposals. Through the challenge, I not only learned about public relations strategy, but I also became better acquainted with other members of our chapter. Ultimately, for me it was time very well spent, and I look forward to seeing what other things PRSSA has in store for me–I know still have a lot to learn and am eager to do so!

Written by Janie Sikes.

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