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

PR undergrad wins national Student of the Year title

March 23, 2015
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PR undergrad wins national Student of the Year title
Daltyn Little. Courtesy GVSU

A college public relations student beat out more than 100 of her peers to win PRWeek’s 2015 Student of the Year title.

Daltyn Little, a senior at Grand Valley State University and CEO of the school’s student-run PR firm, GrandPR, was awarded the first-place honor at the annual PRWeek Award Ceremony in New York last week.

In addition to being named Student of the Year, she received a $1,000 prize.

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

The competition

For the past 14 years, PRWeek has produced the Student of the Year competition for undergraduate students who excel in PR.

This year’s PRWeek challenge called for students to develop an advertising campaign for the Toyota Mirai, a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle.

According to the PRWeek competition website, students were tasked with creating “a campaign that helps launch the Toyota FCV ahead of its availability in the U.S. next year. A vital element will be an emphasis on educating the public not only about the value of the vehicle itself, but also about hydrogen fuel-cell technology and why it's a good choice for them. It's also important to position Toyota as a leader in the cutting edge of fuel-cell development and execution as compared to its competitors.”

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

Once in the top five, Little had to pitch her campaign to PRWeek News Editor Frank Washkuch and submit an additional 100-word essay.

“Nervous is an understatement of what I’ve been feeling over the past three months as I progressed through each round of the competition,” Little said.

Little called the experience of attending the PRWeek Award Ceremony in New York “phenomenal” and said “the people I met were some of the most talented and respected professionals in the public relations, advertising and communications world.”

PR community lends hand

To help Little achieve the award, a team of current students and alumni of GVSU’s School of Communications was assembled. Among them was Adrienne Wallace, GVSU visiting professor of advertising and public relations, who aided Little in planning and strategy.

“It goes to show you that even in a world packed with talent, the GVSU liberal arts emphasis helps create balanced thinkers in logic, passion and creativity,” Wallace said.

Little’s PR experience

Little is also fulfilling an internship at 834 Design & Marketing in Grand Rapids.

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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