Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman signed a proclamation declaring the month of February Child’s Seat Belt Awareness Month in Nebraska. The proclamation was written by a team of four public relations students at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
This kicks off a campaign to promote seat belt safety among children ages 11 to 14. The students are participating in a national public relations case study competition sponsored by the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and the UNO School of Communication.
Heather Garrett, Bre Gehrken, Katie Glover, Cassy Loseke and Gov. Heineman
The students have formed the Seat Belt Enforcement Action Team as part of their campaign. Members Heather Garrett, Bre Gehrken, Katie Glover and Cassy Loseke met with the governor at the Capitol Tuesday morning. Loseke, the team’s project manager, spoke about the importance of seat belt safety.
“This campaign is about providing kids with the knowledge about the importance of why they should wear seat belts – we already know how important it is and Gov. Heineman knows it,” Loseke said, referring to the monthly awards given to Nebraska businesses promoting seat belt safety. “Now it’s just about letting our kids know it.”
The annual competition, known as the Bateman National Case Study Competition, gives college students across the country the opportunity to research, plan, implement and evaluate a major campaign. For its 2008 project, PRSSA has partnered with Safe Kids World Wide and General Motors to promote its Safe Kids Buckle Up (SKBU) program among older children between the ages of 11 and 14. Since SKBU has not tailed its safety messages to the “tweens,” this year’s project offers public relations students the opportunity to design a program to reach this age group.
Each year, the PRSSA Bateman Case Study Competition is designed to challenge public relations students to develop a comprehensive communications program for a selected client. The competition originated in 1973 as a National Case Study that allowed PRSSA members an opportunity 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, who was instrumental in founding PRSSA. Bateman was a past president of the Public Relations Society of America and the International Public Relations Society.
The Public Relations Student Society of America (www.prssa.org) is the world’s preeminent pre-professional organization for students interested in public relations. Founded in 1968 by its parent society, the Public Relations Society of America, the organization has grown to include more than 9,000 members at 271 colleges and universities.