OC’s student PR firm ranks among the nation’s best again

May 04, 2018

OC’s student PR firm placed in the top 25 nationally in the Public Relations Student Society of America Bateman Competition once again. This is the second time in three years that OC’s students achieved the honor.

Eagle PR is in its third year as an agency. The five-student team competed with its “Help Build Hope” campaign on behalf of the national nonprofit With Purpose, which advocates for better treatments for childhood cancer. 

“The Bateman Competition is one of the most difficult national challenges that any PR student can participate in,” said Assistant Professor of Communication Josh Watson, the team’s academic advisor. “These five students put in an enormous amount of work, which was built on solid research and strategic creativity. I am incredibly proud of them and the outcomes they accomplished for such a worthy nonprofit.”

Oklahoma Christian is the only university in Oklahoma to place in the top 25 and earn honorable mention status in the last 10 years.

The average enrollment for schools in the top 25 – including institutions like the University of Florida, the University of Alabama, the University of South Carolina, Syracuse University and the University of Nebraska – was 28,700 students. Oklahoma Christian’s enrollment is just under 2,500. 

Mandolin Skipworth led Eagle PR this year. Other team members include Media Relations Director Christian Franklin, Digital Media Coordinator Elizabeth Killough, Event Coordinator Molly Patterson and Research Director Shaylin Stephenson. Skipworth is from Oswego, Illinois, Franklin and Stephenson are from Edmond, Oklahoma, Patterson is from Oklahoma City and Killough is from Cypress, Texas. Erin Engelke, chief external relations officer at Sunbeam Family Services, served as a professional advisor.

“We truly enjoyed using talents developed on campus to help an organization making a difference across the nation,” Skipworth said. “We worked well as a team, and we are now even more passionate about advocating for children fighting cancer.”

The Bateman Case Study Competition challenges students to research, plan, implement and measure a comprehensive public relations campaign. It allows students to apply classroom education and internship experiences to a full-scale public relations campaign.

In one measure of Eagle PR’s success, 63 percent of students said they were now inspired by With Purpose to make a difference for children fighting cancer. The team’s social media content generated more than 30,000 impressions, with 83 percent coming from organic content. In addition, Eagle PR hosted a representative from the Toby Keith Foundation to speak at OC’s daily chapel service. She encouraged the community to support children fighting cancer, especially through the OK Kids Korral in Oklahoma City.

In the past 10 years, nearly all of OC’s public relations majors have landed jobs in their field. Graduates have worked for leading agencies, nonprofits and corporations. Some employers include Disney World, the Texas Rangers, McDonald’s North America, Wal-Mart Corporate Communications, Mitchell Communications, Jones PR, Mental Health Colorado, Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, the Alzheimer’s Association, Devon Energy and the Gooden Group.