A creative, six-person  student communications campaign to stimulate patronage of local businesses was the winner last night of the 7th annual Ebeling PR-ize for excellence at Loyola University Chicago. Titled, “Unwrap Chicago: Eat, Drink, Buy Local,” the campaign supported small neighborhood businesses. The online program informed the public across Chicago about values at local shops by encouraging people to make a pledge to spend at least $100 with local businesses over the holiday shopping period. 500 people took the pledge, and ABCTV news covered the event, which included a street rally handing out fliers that looked like $100 bills. The award was made at a gala reception students, faculty and guests in the Advertising and Public Relations curriculum at Loyola’s Water Tower downtown campus.

The next Ebeling PR-ize competition will recognize an outstanding team of student communicators from Bradley University at an awards luncheon in Peoria, IL on May 12th.

I established this prize program to recognize the high level, pro bono professional communications work that is being done by student teams for the benefit of local businesses and not-for-profit organizations  through the outstanding capstone courses in public relations at Loyola and Bradley.