A team of three University of Mississippi public relations students from the Meek School of Journalism and New Media won first place in an on-site competition at the Southeastern Journalism Conference Feb. 22.
During the competition held at Union University in Jackson, Tenn., students Frances Allison of Birmingham, Ala., Jane Lloyd Brown of Baton Rouge, La., and Alyssa Randolph of Knoxville, Tenn., were supplied details of a hypothetical hostage situation. Then, in an hour and a half, they had to develop a crisis communications plan for it.
“When we walked in, we were a little intimidated and nervous, but by the time we finished we felt very confident in the plan we created,” Brown said.
Robin Street, lecturer in journalism who specializes in teaching PR, selected the students to participate in the competition.
“I told them that they were the PR student ‘dream team,’” Street said. “They have repeatedly proven in class how bright and talented they are. I was confident the judges would discover that as well.”
The PR students were the only UM team to win a first place in the on-site competition, but others also placed. Second place for copy editing went to Austin Miller. Third places in page design, news writing and editorial writing went respectively to Emily Roland, Adam Ganucheau and Phillip McCausland, all members of The Daily Mississippian staff.
The Southeast Journalism Conference has 45 member universities from eight states. About 300 students from 24 schools participated in the conference.
In addition to the on-site competitions, students could also enter previously done work for judging in The Best of the South awards. In those awards, University of Mississippi students won more than any other college, including four first places.