The Bateman Competition offers PRSSA chapters across the country the chance to research, plan, implement and evaluate a PR campaign for a real client chosen by PRSSA National while earning 3 credit hours towards your degree here at IU.

This year, students are challenged to develop, launch and promote the Campaign to Change Direction, in partnership with Give an Hour™ (GAH), The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations (The Plank Center) and Edelman.

“The stigmas surrounding mental health create a serious issue for the advancement of the cause,” said PRSSA 2016–2017 National President Emma Finkbeiner. “By partnering Give an Hour with the Bateman Competition, I know our creative PRSSA members can help raise awareness about the importance of mental health through the Campaign to Change Direction.”

The Campaign to Change Direction is a coalition of concerned citizens, nonprofit leaders and leaders from the private sector who have come together to change the culture in America about mental health, mental illness and wellness. The goal of the Campaign is to change the way we think and talk about mental health. Participating teams will achieve this goal, in part, through education on the Five Signs of mental suffering.

This year’s client, Give an Hour, leads the Campaign to Change Direction effort. GAH’s mission is to harness the expertise and generosity of volunteer mental health professionals capable of responding to both acute and chronic conditions that arise within our society. The Competition is sponsored by The Plank Center and Edelman.

“We are so grateful and proud that the Campaign to Change Direction has been chosen by PRSSA as the focus for the 2017 Bateman Case Study Competition,” said founder and president of Give an Hour, Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen. “We know that the key to changing the culture of mental health in America is to reach students in colleges, universities and communities across the country with our message. The Bateman Competition gives us an amazing opportunity to do just that.”  Dr. Van Dahlen adds, “The message of Change Direction is simple and powerful — and perfectly suited for this inspiring Competition. By encouraging everyone to pay attention to their emotional well-being and by educating everyone about the Five Signs of emotional suffering, we will ensure that those in need receive the care and support they deserve.”

The Bateman Case Study Competition originated in 1973 as a National Case Study allowing PRSSA members to exercise the analytical skills required for public relations problem solving. In 1983, the name of the Competition was changed to honor the late J. Carroll Bateman, APR. Bateman was a past president of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and was instrumental in the founding of PRSSA.

This is a year-long commitment, with work on the project beginning this fall and credit given in the spring. Following the first round of judging, the three selected finalist teams will present their campaigns to be judged. All members of the finalist teams must be available for the final phase in May 2017. The logistics/administration of the Competition’s final phase will be determined in the spring of 2017. First, second and third place teams receive a monetary prize. 

PRSSA encourages all to enter this competition. As one of the most challenging programs PRSSA offers, past teams have testified that the program provides an unmatched experience.

If you are interested in applying and representing our chapter of PRSSA in the competition, please email Professor Kang ( 

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