Winners of PR Week’s Student of the Year 2011 Contest

The Student of the Year competition was launched over 10 years ago to encourage bright students to enter the PR profession, and to celebrate creativity and strategic thinking around real-world communications topics. The competition invites undergraduates from any academic area to create a full-fledged communications campaign around a brand or company, which is determined in partnership with the sponsor.

Winner: Alyssa Vande Leest, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison

PRWeek Student of the Year winner 2011


Faced with the challenge of promoting SanDisk, a leading manufacturer of flash memory cards, to the college crowd, Vande Leest devised the “SanDisk #1 Memory School Campaign.” Her idea was to play off the company’s memory-card prowess while devising a contest that tapped into a predominant belief among many students that they attend

the best school in the country.”

From focus groups to surveys to scouring various sources, Vande Leest left no stone unturned in her research. From her obvious grasp of what would inspire college students to act to her ability to back up sales projections, every element of the program was supported by impressive numbers and instinct. She understood that an emotional connection would be far more effective with this demographic than tech talk.

Vande Leest also presented a solid, well-thought-out media strategy to target the best social media and traditional outlets to ensure maximum exposure. Again, thorough research informed her course of action… Read the full article.

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