#PrepareAtPeace | WPU Communication Students Win 2018 Sir Walter Raleigh Award

Nov 1, 2018

WPU Communication students won a 2018 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for their work promoting the grand opening of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. The students were awarded by the Raleigh Public Relations Society (RPRS) in their annual competition that honors local organizations and students for their exemplary communications work.

A group of students studying public relations at WPU hosted and marketed an on-campus screening of the film, “The Wiz”, as part of the University’s Black History Month Film Series. The event was also used in conjunction to promote the grand opening of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Students worked with Alamo’s Creative Director,  Kristy Breneman, to design the project from the ground up, where they applied what they learned in the classroom to book auditorium space on campus, design fliers and press releases. They marketed the event in local print and social media, and even on the radio. Assistant Professor Kate Maddalena, Ph.D., who taught the public relations course, applauds her students for their work and the professional experience they gained.

“Thanks to this partnership with Alamo, WPU PR students got to engage the relationship-building practice firsthand on multiple levels.”

Kate Maddalena, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at William Peace University

“Students are coming away from this experience with a stronger network of personal and professional relationships that will extend forward into their lives and careers,” Dr. Maddalena said. “Thanks to this partnership with Alamo, WPU PR students got to engage the relationship-building practice firsthand on multiple levels.”

When their event concluded, the group assessed the success of their efforts with measurements used in the classroom and the public relations profession. That’s when Mary Kubeny ’19, a student in the group and already a member of the RPRS, suggested they submit their work to the Sir Walter Raleigh Awards.

RPRS is a Raleigh organization dedicated to advancing the careers and communities of public relations professionals and those in similar fields of communications, including students. Needless to say the group was excited to learn they had not only been accepted to the student division of the competition, but they had also won.

“Our class had a great time planning and hosting the event and we were honored to receive professional recognition for our efforts.”

Mary Kubeny ’19, William Peace University Student

“Professor Maddalena provided us with an amazing real world experience and Alamo Drafthouse was extremely supportive,” Kubeny said. “Our class had a great time planning and hosting the event and we were honored to receive professional recognition for our efforts.”

Public relations students learn that the overarching philosophy of the field is about building and maintaining relationships, which can occur on multiple levels. This is something that Dr. Maddalena’s class learned firsthand throughout the many stages of their project, from inception to execution. Dr. Maddalena was excited that her students not only had a chance to acquire hands-on experience in public relations, but to also be recognized by the community for their efforts.

“We considered the relationship between students and the university,” Dr. Maddalena said, reflecting on her student’s accomplishments. “We built a relationship between the university and a local business, and we participated in the professional community of the Raleigh Public Relations Society.”

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