Last fall, then first-year students Clare Vilmont, public relations and political science, and Ellie Flynn-Snider, public relations and data science, began the months-long process of competing in the Washington Media Scholars Media Plan Case Competition. This summer they traveled to Washington, D.C. as finalists.The Washington Media Scholars Foundation holds an annual media planning case competition where students work individually or in teams to present their media plan. There are three rounds, and the top six teams are brought to Washington, D.C. to present their plan to a panel of judges.
In November 2021, Flynn-Snider and Vilmont teamed up to submit their entry for the qualifying round with the help of Greenlee Assistant Teaching Professor Joanna Schroeder. They worked several hours a week and had to learn new concepts quickly. Unlike their upperclassmen peers, they did not have past knowledge from previous classes.
“It was a learn-as-you-go situation. We had only taken a couple of intro to PR classes so we honestly didn’t know much about media planning and what that all entailed,” Flynn-Snider said. “It really doubled the work for us. We had to make this plan, but we also had to learn what this plan meant at the same time.”
In March, they learned that they were selected for the final round and would be heading to D.C. in June for a week of watching presentations, networking and learning. This is the first summer since the pandemic where finalists were allowed to travel to D.C. and present in person.
After arriving in D.C., they spoke with the judges who had reviewed and critiqued their media plan, networked with fellow finalists and continued their learning experience. Judges included experts from the National Association of Broadcasters, NBCUniversal, Roku, TEGNA and GMMB.
Associate director and Greenlee professor Jay Newell coordinates Greenlee’s participation in the case competition.
“Ellie and Clare were the youngest to reach the finals in the competition’s 15-year history—they had just finished their first year in the Greenlee School. Their presentation to the panel of experts was impressive, and I can’t wait to see what they accomplish in the coming years,” Newell said.
This summer, Vilmont applied her knowledge during a summer marketing internship with Mom’s Meals in Des Moines. Now, almost a year after starting the case competition, Flynn-Snider and Vilmont are looking forward to applying their experience in and out of the classroom.
Mia Innaucci from Temple University was awarded the Mia Guion scholarship. This scholarship was established in 2019 to honor the late ISU student who participated in the case competition in 2017.
Applications for the 2023 Case Competition will be accepted soon.