Kent State Public Relations Students Develop An Online Campaign About Civil Discourse

Throughout this week (February 22-26), Kent State University public relations students participating in the 2021 PRSSA Bateman Case Study Competition will educate their peers through a variety of tactics/initiatives about civility through an Instagram campaign titled “To Unity and Beyond.”

Students who are interested in learning more about what civility means, why it matters and how they can help make a change in their future careers through public discourse are encouraged to visit the group’s Instagram page:

The goal of the initiative is to raise awareness among the Kent State community by engaging students and professors in discussions about the importance of civility and how to combat incivility in students’ future professions.

This year’s Bateman Competition focuses on the corrosion of civility, as well as improving the standards of civility and the effectiveness of public discourse. Civility is behavior that shows respect toward another, causes another to feel valued and contributes to mutual respect, effective communication and team collaboration.

Bateman Gold is a team of six public relations students who have the opportunity to encourage the university community to become more active leaders for civility.

Throughout the week, Bateman Gold will post content that allows the community to hear from Kent State students, faculty, student organizations and other leaders about their thoughts on the current state of civility and how to improve it.

Each day, people throughout Kent State will talk about their personal experiences with civility. Through pictures, graphics and videos, the community will be able to interact with content that explains why civility is important and how to effectively manage uncivil behavior.

Listed below is the line-up for each day of the week, including the content that will be discussed:

  • Monday Manners - How to listen to others with respect and purpose
  • Tuesday Tips - Make sure you are equipped with the right “tools”
  • Wednesday Wisdom - Let’s talks about uncomfortable situations
  • Thursday Thoughts - Hear from students, faculty and others about how we can progress together
  • Flash Forward Friday - Take a pledge to show your commitment towards being a civil ally

The Bateman Gold Team recently distributed painted rocks throughout campus to support their campaign, “To Unity and Beyond.” These rocks are painted with positive and unity-focused messages to support the campaign goal of fostering civility within public discourse. The campaign rocks will be used as representations of the long-honored Kent State tradition of painting messages on the large rock present on campus. The focus of this initiative is to establish Kent State students as leaders for civility in the university community.

The guidelines of rock distribution will follow the popular trend taking place within communities, in which a rock is hidden and re-distributed somewhere new by the next person to find it. The “To Unity and Beyond” rocks will introduce this trend to the Kent campus, being hidden in residence halls, classrooms and the library to be found by Kent State students and hidden again.

The official social media page and hashtag associated with the campaign, @listentolearnksu and #listentolearnksu, is written on the back of each rock to encourage students to share when they have found a rock. There are currently 30 rocks hidden throughout the campus, and students are also encouraged to paint their own rocks for distribution, which increases the number of students able to share an active role in this campaign.

For more information about the campaign, please visit:

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About the Bateman Case Study Competition
The Bateman Case Study Competition is PRSSA’s premier national case study competition for public relations students that gives them an opportunity to apply classroom education and internship experiences to create and implement a full public relations campaign. For the 2021 Bateman Competition, PRSSA Bateman teams have the opportunity to collaborate with PRSA to develop a civility campaign that will improve the standards and productivity of public discourse. Kent State has two teams participating in the annual competition. For more information about Bateman, visit

About PRSSA Kent
PRSSA Kent ( was established in 1968 as one of the 14 original Alpha Chapters of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Named the 2014 and 2019 Outstanding Chapter in the country, the student-run organization collaborates with its parent chapter, the Akron Area Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, to coordinate meetings and events offering professional development and networking opportunities to Kent State University students interested in the public relations and communications industry.

About the School of Media and Journalism Public Relations Program
The public relations sequence at Kent State University is part of the School of Media and Journalism in the College of Communication and Information, a nationally renowned program offering degrees in advertising, digital media, journalism and public relations. Kent State boasts the only public relations program in Ohio certified by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC).To learn more about the School of Media and Journalism’s public relations program, visit

Media Contact:
Gabriela Lewis, Executive Media Manager,

POSTED: Monday, February 22, 2021 11:20 AM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 02:12 PM
College of Arts and Sciences