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.

2019 Contest Prompt

In August 2019, The Erie Regional Chamber & Growth Partnership hosted Erie Homecoming, an investor conference. The event was attended by nearly 300 individuals, including a mix of Erie locals, Erie expats, and community development/real estate investors from all over the country. The purpose of the event was to showcase a variety of investment-ready projects that are primarily housed within designated Opportunity Zones and garner investment from the attendees into the projects that were presented.

The event was incredibly successful, but now the Chamber needs to capitalize on the positive press and create a plan for following up with the attendees to keep their interest in the investment projects and provide information on the progress of the projects.

Resource Sites:  and

Videos from the event:


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 student will also be invited to join the PRSA NWPA Board of Directors as a Junior Board Member.


The competition is open to undergraduate students majoring in Public Relations, Marketing or Communications and enrolled during the fall semester 2019 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 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 their project. The Student of the Year will be announced at the annual Niagara Awards event.


  • 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)