Higher Education, Human Resources, and Marketing, PR & Advertising

PR undergrad vies for national Student of the Year title

February 20, 2015
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College PR student for Student of the Year title
Daltyn Little. Courtesy GrandPR

A local college student has been selected as a top-five finalist for the 2015 PRWeek Student of the Year competition.

As part of the last phase of becoming a finalist in the national competition, Grand Valley State University advertising and public relations student Daltyn Little was asked to present a phone pitch and essay last month.

The winner will be announced on March 19 at the PRWeek Award Ceremony in New York.

The competition has “proven to be a springboard for numerous successful PR careers,” according to the PRWeek website.

Campaign challenge

Each year, PRWeek hosts its Student of the Year competition for students who excel in public relations.

The 2015 challenge asked students to develop a campaign for the Toyota Mirai, a fuel-cell vehicle.

In the challenge, Little crafted creative ways to position Toyota as a leader in fuel-cell technology and educate consumers and public officials on the importance of hydrogen as an alternative fuel.

Little’s submission consisted of a five-page campaign plan, two pages of supporting material and an educational video explaining fuel-cell technology.

The competition’s winner will receive a $1,000 prize and the opportunity to attend the award ceremony. The runner-up will also be given the opportunity to attend the award ceremony.

Industry lends hand

Chop & Hue in Grand Rapids, a creative boutique specializing in post-production and production, paired its technical skills with Little’s narration, creative direction and imaging ideas to develop the visual component.

In addition to help from Daniel Wiltshire and Dustin Foster, co-founders of Chop & Hue, Little enlisted the help of GVSU adjunct professors Adrienne Wallace, digital director and program director at 834 Design & Marketing in Grand Rapids, and Derek DeVries, senior associate at Lambert, Edwards & Associates in Grand Rapids.

A team was also assembled to provide assistance in the form of coaching: Marie Brown, 834 Design & Marketing, who provided graphic design coaching; Kristi VerHage, GVSU student, who provided graphic design coaching; Kim Bode, 834 Design & Marketing, who provided media relations coaching; Brianna Blust, ZF North America, who provided media pitching coaching.

“This just goes to show we’re doing something right in the classroom,” Wallace said. “National recognition is a great accomplishment for the School of Communications, the advertising and public relations program and Daltyn especially.

Wallace said the knowledge and experience Little has gained through participating in the competition will be “exceptionally beneficial for her future endeavors as a young professional.”

Little PR background

Little serves as CEO of GrandPR, GVSU’s student-run PR firm and interns at 834 Design & Marketing.

She previously interned at The Black Sheep at Western Michigan University, while attending Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

She then transferred to GVSU, where she launched The Black Sheep GVSU and served as an ad sales manager.

Little will graduate from GVSU in April.

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