PR students capture honorable mention in international PR awards contest Lulu’s Hot Dogs “Great Weiner War” Campaign A Winner in PR News Platinum Awards

Public Relations students at the University of South Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications captured an honorable mention award alongside recognized industry professionals in the International PRNews Platinum awards held on Sept. 14 in New York City.

Recognized for their brand awareness campaign on behalf of Lulu’s Hot Dogs in Five Points was the team of Corinne Burdette, Katie Davis, Dezmon Gilmore, Jennica Justice and Amanda Wenk.

The team of PR Campaigns students planned and implemented a hugely successful event held during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Columbia, March 2011. The award recognized superior planning and implementation of a marketing communications campaign that included an integration of marketing, public relations and media relations along with some exceptional hustle by the students.

A centerpiece of their campaign was a hot dog eating contest the morning of the St. Patrick’s Day parade, called the Great Weiner War of 2011. Coverage of the contest featured targeted publicity from all local broadcast affiliates and included live shots all day long on NBC-affiliate and ratings leader WIS television.

“Here we are, a little campaign for a local hot dog chain being run by students getting recognized among the giants of the PR industry, it is really very rewarding,” said Jeff Ranta, an instructor at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications and an advisor to the winning team. “I was excited to see how well that effort went off. We had a lot of media attention, sales were up and the attendance was higher than expected. All hallmarks of a great PR campaign,” he added.

The 2012 Marketing Communications award is one of only seven awarded in the category, an honor shared by other industry professionals, not students. Other 2012 winners in their category included: Adobe Systems, Baptist Health South Florida, Downy Fabric Softener, Novartis pharmaceuticals, InterContinental Hotels Group and The Reading Hospital and Medical Center.