By Abby Malone
The Bateman Case Study Competition is an opportunity for college Public Relations students to gain exposure into the promotion world for nonprofits. This year, the organization picked for the competition was With Purpose, an organization dedicated to providing resources for safe and effective treatment to children with childhood cancer. As a whole, only 4% of research from the National Case Center is allotted for research to be done on childhood cancer, and With Purpose strives to change that. I sat down with Allison Pierce, a member of the Miami team who created various events all around Oxford to promote awareness of childhood cancer as well as promote With Purpose.
Me: First and foremost, can you explain the Bateman Case Study Competition to me? i.e., What is the purpose, rules, etc.?
Allison: The Bateman Case Study is through the Public Relations Student Society of America, so they do this national competition every year for 4 weeks. They pick a different nonprofit every year for students to work with and this year is With Purpose. I’m not exactly sure how long it has been going on. However, I know it has been going on for a while. Last year they did it with an organization promoting the importance of mental health. It is really great because it gives students the chance to implement what we are learning in class. After the end of the 4 weeks, after the campaign, we submit a write up of the whole thing explaining our strategies, methods, etc., submitted to judges who are PR professionals. The top 3 go to nationals at the end of the competition.
Me: How did you decide to work with With Purpose for this competition?
A: Everyone who participates in Bateman is working with With Purpose. For organizations to be selected, different nonprofits probably pitch their idea, and they try to pick organizations with not as much exposure to promote their mission.
Me: What is With Purpose’s mission?
A: Basically With Purpose strives to provide safe and effective treatment options for kids with childhood cancer. The National Case Center Institute Budget only donates 4% to cancer research, so they want kids to have more than that. A lot of treatments they do on adults are way too invasive for kids, which is why they really need the research because they don’t have treatments available to them. There was this kid Sam with cancer, and it was nontreatable because they did not have a treatment for him, and his parents felt they needed to raise awareness on this issue, and that is how With Purpose began.
There are three main pillars: youth-led activism, getting the community involved, and academic partnerships (i.e., this competition!)
Me: What kind of events are you having to promote awareness for With Purpose?
A: We did a bagel at bagel and deli called the lunchbox that was designed around Sam’s favorite foods. They contacted his mom and asked what kind of foods he liked and came up with a blueberry bagel with peanut butter, banana, and cinnamon. A dollar from each bagel purpose goes back to With Purpose. Also, they liked the bagel so much that it is still up there! On top of that, we had a fundraiser at BDUBS for one night, and now we are doing one through Skippers and SDS through Sunday (March 11). As a whole, the events have been going really well. The bagel fundraiser has been really fun, getting friends and other community members involved has also been a great experience. They have been an easy and fun way for students to get more awareness of the cause.
Me: How can a Miami student get involved?
A: Going to fundraisers is the biggest thing, we also created a petition that we are sending to Congress so they can increase the amount of funding donated to the research of childhood cancer. We have been doing tables in Armstrong every week to gain signatures and awareness. So far, we have raised 500+ signatures! So that has been super successful. At the end of the campaign, we are gathering all the signatures to submit to Congress. We have a Facebook page to tell people about our fundraisers and more info on With Purpose and facts on childhood cancer. It is cool to get real-life experience for PR. However, it is even better than we have been able to find out about such an important cause and represent it as well as spread awareness amongst college students.