Have you worked on a project through your PRSSA Chapter or student-run firm that went farther than ever expected? For public relations and advertising students at the University of Alabama, this was the case with the “LessThanUThink” (LTUT) campaign originally created in the spring of 2009 for an American Advertising Federation student competition.
Following the competition, The Century Council, a national, independent, not-for-profit organization against drunk driving and underage drinking, funded the implementation of the student-generated campaign on the University of Alabama’s campus that eventually went farther than anyone expected.
LessThanUThink addresses the national problem of binge drinking among college students. Members of the PRSSA Nationally Affiliated student-run firm at the University of Alabama, Capstone Agency, continue to work on the campaign by creating humorous sayings that emphasize the negative social consequences of binge drinking. For example, this year, LessThanUThink created long-sleeve shirts, koozies and beads for Mardi Gras reading: “You thought you wouldn’t do that for beads. And you wouldn’t have, three drinks ago.”
Through LessThanUThink, students have the opportunity to pitch media, create original design work, work with celebrities and, eventually, manage a similar campaign across the country.
In fall of 2011, the LessThanUThink team promoted a Twitter initiative to convince Shaquille O’Neal to film a public service announcement for the campaign. Upon his acceptance, students from the College of Communication and Information Sciences collaborated to film and produce a PSA relevant for LTUT in April 2012.
In partnership with Bacardi USA, we were honored to have our public service announcement shown twice in the Miami Sun Life Stadium at this year’s Bowl Championship Series (BCS) National Championship game!
The nationwide venue of the Miami Sun Life Stadium was more than appropriate for our campaign – not only because it was the perfect place to feature our PSA targeted towards college students, but because LessThanUThink was now officially a nationwide campaign.
Following the success of its implementation, LTUT developed a statewide campaign focused around spring break in spring of 2012. This past fall, LessThanUThink was implemented in Orange County, Cali. on Santiago Canyon College’s campus.
Putting into practice what you learned in the classroom is essential for soon-to-be professionals. There is no better place to start than in your own Chapter or student-run firm.
What real-life work have you accomplished through your Chapter or student-run firm and how will that experience help you when searching for that key internship or job?
Christi Rich is a junior at the University of Alabama, where she is double majoring in public relations and political science with a minor in business. She is vice president of UA’s PRSSA Chapter and hopes to move to Washington, D.C. after graduation to pursue work in public affairs.