Texas State students are putting together a campaign against bullying through artwork, social media and other strategies to get their message out into the world.
The Public Relations Student Society of America participates in an annual competition called the Bateman Case Study, whose prompt this year is an anti-bullying campaign. Texas State’s team includes public relations seniors Seth Schoolcraft, Kerri Driver, Callie Hill, Marissa McMinn and Rachel David, Spanish senior.
The Bateman competition specifies that the campaign should target students between the ages of 10 and 19. The Texas State students decided to conduct their campaign by establishing a blog and a Twitter account, and speaking to students in San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District’s high school, alternative high school, elementary schools and middle schools.
The team spoke to the students, establishing “thought banners” in the middle and high schools.
“Basically, the thought banners were big posters that asked the question, ‘What Makes You Different?’” Hill said. “We’d gone with the campaign idea to ‘Be the Difference,’ to be proud of what makes you different, because most of the time that’s what kids are bullied about.”
In the elementary schools, art projects were assigned to children to draw “what makes them different,” in addition to having books in their libraries displayed with the display title, “Be the Difference, Be Proud.”
“Hopefully, from the books and displays, students will realize how important it is to be proud of who you are,” Hill said.
Working on this campaign is necessarily time-consuming for the participants. David said the team works on the project each day, whether doing activities with the school, writing content to distribute to media outlets or managing the social media accounts.
“The bottom line is creating awareness,” David said. “Writing something to put out there is a daily task.”
The team’s work was not limited to schools. On Feb. 24 they spoke to a group of sixth-graders at San Marcos Baptist Church.
“One thing you have to keep in mind is the idea of focusing on the solution of accepting what makes you different and what makes you unique, instead of trying to change things about yourself that just can’t be changed,” Schoolcraft said.
Team members like Hill are glad to be able to work on the campaign, despite the hard work.
“We know we’re reaching someone, and if one student thinks about their actions or their friends’ actions, it’ll be worth it,” Hill said.
The team received 181 art projects back from the schools they talked to and accumulated approximately 300 followers on Twitter.
All social media accounts will be taken down on Thursday, Feb. 28, as instructed by the competition rule that contestants have only one month to work on their campaign.