OC's student PR firm recognized among Oklahoma City’s top professionals

OC Eagle PR students Christian Franklin (middle left) and Aubree Hughes (middle right) stand with Associate Professor of Communication Josh Watson (left) and President of PRSA-OKC Jill Harrison (right) after being awarded honorable mention for their social media project.
OC Eagle PR students Christian Franklin (middle left) and Aubree Hughes (middle right) stand with Associate Professor of Communication Josh Watson (left) and President of PRSA-OKC Jill Harrison (right) after being awarded honorable mention for their social media project.

OC's student public relations firm simply wanted to encourage others to talk about mental health. As an unexpected surprise, their work was honored alongside Oklahoma City’s top PR professionals.

Oklahoma City’s Public Relations Society of America chapter honored OC’s Eagle PR for exemplary work. The student agency was recognized for its 30-day mental health social media project at the 2017 Upper Case Awards on Nov. 2. The Upper Case Awards recognize the top Oklahoma City professionals in public relations, communications and marketing.

Eagle PR competed in the Bateman Case Study Competition this past spring, PRSA’s national competition for public relations students. Students were asked to partner with the national nonprofit Campaign to Change Direction to raise awareness for the five signs of mental suffering and the need to regularly address mental health. The students also encouraged others to take the pledge to learn the five signs.

Larry Jurney, chair of the department of communication at OC, praised the students for their recognition.

“This is another impressive recognition for Eagle PR,” Jurney said. “Our teaching philosophy is to take what we learn in the classroom and put it into practical application. We are proud of these students.”

Eagle PR increased both awareness of the five signs on campus by 35 percent and the impression that mental health is discussed on campus by 19 percent. With the theme, “Not OK is OK,” students partnered with Mayor Mick Cornett, Sunbeam Family Services CEO Jim Priest and various mental health organizations to share the five signs.

Student Agency Director Aubree Hughes, Digital Media Director Christian Franklin and Associate Professor of Communication Josh Watson represented Eagle PR at the awards ceremony. They were awarded honorable mention, which was third place.

“The students deserve all the credit for this honor,” Watson said. “I am proud to be a part of a communication department that challenges students to work hard and perform at a high level.”

Eagle PR gives students the opportunity to gain professional experience prior to entering the workforce. Hughes said this type of recognition is reassurance that the work the students are producing is impressive and their education is valuable. As students compete with professional PR firms, they gain real-world experience, learn how to successfully implement a campaign and earn a chance to connect with industry leaders.

“I graduate in December and feel equipped for my career because of the real-world experience Eagle PR has given me,” Hughes said. “OC's PR majors are very lucky to have this opportunity to create high-level work.”

About Eagle PR:

Eagle PR provides services to several clients in the Oklahoma City area, including research, media relations, event planning, graphic design, videography, social media and strategy consultation. Eagle PR plans to expand its services within the next year. While Eagle PR has only been functioning for three years, they have been successful in building their skill sets through campaigns and client relationships. For more information visit www.eaglepr.org.