The first PRSSA Latin case study competition, The International Communication Challenge 2021, took place in early October. This event was the first of its kind where the three PRSSA Latin Chapters worked together to apply their PR knowledge to create and implement a full public relations campaign.
The competition was hosted by Universidad Argentina de la Empresa (UADE) from Argentina and PRSSA National in partnership with Universidad San Martin de Porres (USMP) from Perú, Universidad de Medellín (UdeM) from Colombia, and PRSA Miami. This activity invited students from each Latin American Chapter to research, plan, implement and evaluate a public relations campaign based on the tourism field. Its “challenge” was to create a campaign in which they communicated their country brand by implementing cross-cultural communication to global audiences.
Three teams, which were composed of five students in different academic years, presented their campaign to a panel of judges. The judging panel was composed of Annabel Beyra, APR, owner of Fusion Communications Inc, Suzie Sponder, Sr. director of communications at Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Heather Radi-Bermudez, APR, faculty at Florida International University and Gerard Corbett, APR, founder and CEO of Redphlag LLC.
“Three Latin [American] Chapters had the challenge of preparing a proposal and presenting it in English, which is not their mother tongue. They proved to be committed, strategic and creative in each of the ideas raised. In general, it was shown that if you work in an organized way you can achieve great results”, explained Sylvia Flores Roldán, Professional Adviser of USMP, Perú.
In order to engage global audiences and show their local country brands, each proposal strategically developed integral communications efforts such as social media campaigns, media relations activities, audiovisual content, events, among others – the Peruvian team even created an app to engage young audiences. Additionally, each team had to create a video to present each work. Both originality and creativity were key elements requested while they were developing aligned tactics with their goals.
“This competition was a great opportunity to work together with international universities. The proposal’s quality was truly incredible. I am very happy with the results and the academic level of the Latino students,” said Mariano Iovine, Faculty Adviser of UADE, Argentina. Paula Catalina Iglesias, coordinator of the Office of International Relations of UADE, also added that “this type of International projects are of paramount importance not only for students but also for the faculty members involved in its organization. Students have the possibility of interacting with foreign peers and professors, and they can acquire intercultural skills while putting into practice knowledge related to their field of studies”.
First place was awarded to PRSSA UADE from Argentina with their campaign “ALLgentina”, aimed at diversity and inclusion by showing themselves as the most diverse country to travel in Latin America. Second place was won by the Peruvian team, PRSSA USMP, whose campaign “Let’s go to Peru” was focused on its country as the most secure and culturally valued destination to travel to. Finally, PRSSA Udem from Colombia, received third place through a campaign, with an emphasis on ecotourism based on various audiences of interest for the optimal positioning of Colombia brand and ecotourism at an international level.
“What we highlight the most of all the campaigns presented is the commitment and sense of belonging of the students, for their countries. Teamwork and healthy competition were key elements in this challenge,” stated Beatriz Eugenia Quiceno Castañeda, Faculty Adviser of UdeM, Colombia.
The 2021 International Communication Challenge became a historical big step to advance the public relations profession in Latin America and the international community in PRSSA. It is planned to have more challenges like this in the future.
Check out the full event here.
Facundo Luque is chair of the communications subcommittee of the PRSA’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee. Previously, he served as one of the first PRSSA International Ambassadors. He is currently working in a regional PR agency. Connect with him on LinkedIn.