Cal Poly Student Public Relations Society Takes Second in National Challenge

Cal Poly’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter placed second in the national #BetsyDay Challenge on April 2. 

Hosted by The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations at the University of Alabama, the #BetsyDay challenge gathered PRSSA chapters from campuses across the nation for a large-scale campaign to build awareness of Betsy Plank, who was known as the “first lady of public relations.” 

Plank was the first woman to head a division of Illinois Bell and was the first female president of the Publicity Club of Chicago and Public Relations Society of America. She was a consistent advocate for advancing public relations education and the industry’s students. Plank died in May 2010. 

“Betsy Plank is such an inspiration for our chapter,” said Audrey Willis, Cal Poly’s PRSSA president. “We’re thrilled that our campaign earned second place.” 

In an effort to continue honoring Plank’s life, the #BetsyDay challenge focused on the theme of women in public relations. PRSSA members from across the nation took photographs while holding signs with empowering facts about women alongside Plank’s best-known quotes. Pictures appeared on the chapter’s Twitter page organized by the hashtags #BetsyDay, #PRoudWomen, and #PRgirls. 

“The campaign was a great hands-on and eye-opening experience for me,” said Divya Thirunagari, Cal Poly PRSSA member. “It made me realize how many powerful women there are in public relations, including Betsy Plank.” 

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