Two University of Mississippi public relations students won first place in a competition with students from universities throughout the Southeast recently.
Tori Olker and Victoria Lanza, both students in the Meek School of Journalims and New Media, won the Southeastern Journalism Conference on-site public relations competition hosted by Austin Peay University in Clarksville, Tennessee, on Feb. 19.
They were among the 27 total award winners from the Meek School in multiple competition categories. In addition, the entire team brought home the Grand Championship award.
Olker and Lanza, were selected to compete by their public relations instructor Robin Street.
“When I was asked to choose two students to compete, I immediately knew it would be Tori and Victoria,” said Street, senior lecturer in integrated marketing communications. “To succeed in public relations, one must be able to conduct research, plan creative strategies, and most of all, write effectively. These two students excel in those skills and have done superb work in class projects and internships.”
Olker, from Chicago, is studying print journalism with an emphasis in public relations, and Lanza, from Richardson, Texas, is studying broadcast journalism with an emphasis in public relations. Both are graduating seniors.
“Ms. Street expects the highest quality of work from her students, and because of this, Victoria and I felt completely prepared and confident going into the competition,” Olker said.
In the competition, the students had one hour on-site to develop an eight-step communications plan to address a public relations situation given by the judges.
“It was not an easy task having to put together an entire campaign in an hour, but it definitely gave me a taste of a potential real world experience,” Lanza said. “It means so much to see that our hard work was recognized.”
A list of all the student winners from the Meek School is available at dmonline.com.