Student of the Year Contest

Overview: Public Relations Contest for Students

The PRSA Northwestern Pennsylvania Chapter is pleased to announce the following opportunity for local college students. Co-sponsored by Erie Insurance and NWPA PRSA, the objective of the contest is to provide students with an opportunity to apply public relations fundamentals to a realistic scenario. Through this contest, students will demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed to plan, organize, implement and evaluate a single public relations campaign as determined by the chapter. Students will received a real scenario for a non-profit in Erie. Students will respond to the scenario and objectives with a plan of action.

All written entries will be judged by a panel of PR professionals. If needed, finalists will be notified and invited to present their campaign to the judges in October, as well as demonstrate responding to a crisis situation and complete a timed writing exercise. All finalists are responsible for their own transportation to and from the competition.


The winning student will be awarded a $500 cash award and be named the PR Student of the Year for the PRSA NWPA Chapter at the Annual Niagara Awards.


The competition is open to undergraduate students majoring in Public Relations, Marketing or Communications and enrolled during the fall semester 2018 at any university or college in NW PA. There is no cost to enter.

The Objective

Through this contest, PRSA Northwestern PA Chapter will recognize and reward an outstanding undergraduate student in the area of Public Relations, Marketing and Communications for their efforts in developing an effective and comprehensive public relations campaign.

Through a written entry and oral presentation, this process will assist students to:

  • develop and/or identify a theme for a public relations campaign
  • utilize project management skills to plan, organize and implement a public relations campaign addressing an identified issue
  • evaluate the planning, implementation and proposed outcomes of the submitted campaign
  • develop a written report and oral presentation on the procedures of planning, implementing, coordinating and evaluating their campaigns’ effectiveness.

Deadline & Announcements

All projects must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on October 16, 2018, to

All projects submitted will be scored by PRSA members based on the campaign’s effectiveness in supporting the challenge, creativity and quality of proposal.

If needed, finalists will be called back to present the week of October 23, 2018. The Student of the Year will be announced at the 2018 Niagara Awards on November 15, 2018.


Erie Together, formed in 2009, is a countywide, collective impact movement to achieve economic stability for all citizens of Erie County. We do this by facilitating alignment and collaboration amongbusiness, education, healthcare, social service, government, workforce development, and faith-based sectors and citizens to make the Erie region a community of opportunity where everyone can learn, work and thrive.

Erie Together is not a social service agency or program. It is a movement of hundreds of individuals and organizations with varying backgrounds working together, and differently within their own personal, professional and volunteer circles, to improve our community, the local economy and people’s lives.

Ere Together could greatly benefit from a public relations strategy that would help:

  • Raise awareness across the county about Erie Together’s process, work, accomplishments and value
  • Grow individual and organizational participation in the movement
  • Support donor relations and enhance fundraising efforts


Create an awareness campaign that specifically identifies how Erie Together can differentiate themselves from other groups working in similar circles.


  • Application Form
  • An Executive Summary (a one page description of the project)
  • Public Relations Plan that contains (no more than 3 pages):
    • Campaign Theme or Focus
    • Strategies
    • Tactics
    • Timelines
  • Three examples of material that would be created
  • Evaluation (no more than one page)
  • Bibliography
  • Appendix (optional)