April 28, 2015

Contact: Sophia Vu   

Cal Poly Student Public Relations Society Takes Second in National Challenge 

SAN LUIS OBISPO — 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.” 
- Cal Poly PRSSA:  
- Cal Poly Journalism Department:
- Cal Poly College of Liberal Arts:

About the Cal Poly Journalism Department
Cal Poly’s Journalism Department offers a professional program that prepares students for real-world careers. Beginning with core courses that establish a strong foundation in the field, journalism majors then focus on media specializations of their choice. Students have the opportunity to acquire practical experience by working for the department’s converged media center, newspaper, campus radio and TV station, or the student public relations agency. 
About the Public Relations Student Society of America
The Public Relations Student Society of America is the world’s pre-eminent, pre-professional public relations organization. Founded in 1968 by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the organization has grown to more than 10,000 members at more than 300 chapters across the U.S. and one chapter in Argentina. PRSSA membership benefits include scholarships and awards; and internship, job and professional development opportunities.

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