Lee University’s Bateman team is launching its campaign this month for the nonprofit With Purpose. The team consists of senior public relations majors Julia Emerson, Emily Martin, Kiersten Powers, and Debra Robbins.
The team is implementing a campaign through March 15, titled “LeeU With Purpose,” focusing on sparking a conversation about childhood cancer in the Cleveland community with the goal to ignite change.
With Purpose is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to raise awareness for the lack of funding for childhood cancer treatment research and empowers youth and community members to be agents of change in the fight for safe and effective treatments.
The Bateman team has been working since October 2017 to create a public relations campaign for its client. According to the team members, childhood cancer affects numerous people in the Cleveland community, but many are not aware of the issues of funding and the lack of safe and effective treatment options.
“With Purpose is a great organization that is filling a huge need we have in our society right now,” said Dr. Christine Williams, a Cleveland resident and theatre professor at Lee, whose son was diagnosed with cancer at a young age. “They are helping to ensure that these kids, who are our future, have a future and have all possibilities opened to them by helping to provide a better course of treatments for more children.”
According to the National Cancer Institute, only four percent of its funding goes toward childhood cancer treatment research. Additionally, 17 new adult cancer drugs were approved in 2017, while only three drugs for childhood cancer have been approved since the ‘70s.
The Bateman team has created a banner for the community to sign to help show its support for the campaign. Team members will bring the banner to every event they attend and will hang it outside of Lee University’s Paul Conn Student Union later this month through March 15. At the campaign’s conclusion, the team will mail the banner to Congress “to show that the Cleveland community cares.” Everyone in the community is encouraged to sign the banner.
“This team is competing on a national level against approximately 70 other universities, and whether they win or not, they will be part of something bigger than themselves - being a part of winning the war to defeat childhood cancer in our nation,” said Dr. Patty Silverman, Bateman coach and professor of public relations.
The Public Relations Student Society of America holds the Bateman Team Competition every year. It is a competition in which approximately 70 schools select four or five students to create a public relations campaign for a national client. The teams are required to research, plan, implement, and evaluate their campaign during the school year and turn in their submission to national PRSSA for judging. The challenge is that teams have only from Feb. 15-March 15 to implement their campaigns. All events, social media, and media coverage must be completed by March 15.
In April, PRSSA selects top contenders who then present to a panel of judges. The winning team receives $3,500 and a trophy; second place receives $2,500 and a plaque, and third place receives $1,500 and a plaque.
“We are so excited to shed light on this situation,” said Ms. Robbins, the team’s content strategist. “With Purpose was founded on the basis that children deserve more than four percent and the idea that children can be agents of change in the fight for safe and effective treatments.”
For more information on With Purpose, visit https://www.with-purpose.org/. For more information or to support the Bateman team’s campaign, follow @LeeUWithPurpose on Facebook and Instagram or email email@example.com.