Ebeling Pr-ize Awarded

Ebeling Pr-ize winners meet with award namesake Chuck Ebeling. (Photo by Duane Zehr)

December 18, 2017

In 2016, the Journal of Urban Design concluded that nearly 16.7 percent of all land in the United States is considered vacant. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, vacant and abandoned properties increase rates of crime within communities, drastically decline property value, and create large expenses for the cities. Research shows, the number of vacant lots in Peoria is nearly double the average of a city of the same size.

A team of Bradley University public relations students, teamed up with The Greater Peoria Economic Development Council and Moja Southern Kitchen to "Fight the Blight" in South Peoria.  “Fight the Blight” is a PR campaign to combat these spaces. The campaign was approximately two months in duration with the overarching goal to turn a vacant lot into a “pocket park.” After hours of digging, planting, and cleaning, the chosen site was transformed from an empty, blight-ridden lot, to a clean, communal green space.

For their efforts, the team was awarded the Fall 2017 Ebeling PR-ize for the top senior public relations campaign of the semester. The student team, called BLOOM PR, consists of:

  • Jenna Niedzwiedz: Senior PR major with a minor in marketing from Cary, Ill.
  • Sarah Brashear: Senior PR major from Bennington, Neb.
  • Lisa Stemmons: Senior PR major with minors in journalism and creative writing from Orland Park, Ill.
  • Adam Mueller: Senior PR major with a minor in German from Frankfort, Ill.

The Ebeling PR-ize was conceived by Bradley alumnus Chuck Ebeling and faculty member Dr. Ron Koperski in 2004, and is a competitive program among Bradley’s senior public relations students in their capstone course. Students form “agency” teams and are responsible for planning and implementing a real, coordinated public relations campaign on behalf of a local business and a compatible community service organization. Campaign submissions and judging criteria are based on the nationally recognized Silver Anvil Award competition administered by the Public Relations Society of America.