An Arizona State University senior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication took home the top collegiate honor from one of the nation’s leading public relations organizations.
Caitlin Bohrer of Queen Creek, Arizona, won the Student of the Year award from PR News at the PR People Awards Luncheon in Washington, D.C. Bohrer received the honor in front of leading agencies, organizations and nonprofits at the National Press Club on Dec. 6.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Bohrer said. “The Cronkite School and the Public Relations Student Society of America have afforded me so many opportunities. It’s great to see all of my hard work pay off and to be recognized for the skills and abilities that I have developed in the Cronkite PR Lab.”
The PR People Awards recognize leading public relations professionals by practice area as well as honor the top college student in public relations. PR News is a leading public relations industry publication, which hosts conferences and other events.
Bohrer has been a standout student in the Cronkite School’s Public Relations Lab, a full-service PR agency where students produce communications campaigns and strategies for clients under the guidance of faculty.
In two semesters at the PR Lab, Bohrer has executed communications campaigns for one of the nation’s largest St. Patrick’s Day Parades and Faires, as well as a nonprofit offering in-home support services for the elderly in the East Valley.
She also has played a key role in promoting, “Hooked Rx: From Prescription to Addiction,” a Cronkite School documentary on prescription opioid abuse, which will air on every broadcast TV station and most radio stations in the state on Jan. 10.
“Caitlin is a versatile team player whose skill and creativity have benefitted three PR Lab clients,” said Fran Matera, PR Lab director and associate professor. “She crafts effective messages for use across traditional and social mediums with special emphasis on branding, and her long ‘to do’ list never seems to diminish her smile and great attitude.”
Bohrer, who will be returning to the PR Lab in the spring semester, said the Cronkite School has provided her the opportunity to receive real world experiences as a student. This past semester, she worked eight-hour days twice a week in the PR Lab, leading a team of four students for the “Hooked Rx” project. Her team collaborated with the Arizona Governor’s Office on promoting the documentary.
Bohrer said the guidance of faculty such as Matera, faculty associate Sonia Bovio and Professor of Practice Mark Hass, the former CEO of Edelman U.S., has tremendously helped with her development as a professional.
In addition to her work in the PR Lab, she currently interns at marketing agency LaneTerralever and previously held positions at Cramer-Krasselt and Banner Health. She said she wants to continue in public relations and content strategy after she graduates in May.
“You get the best of both worlds in public relations in terms of writing but also multimedia elements such as graphics and web design,” Bohrer said. “Every day is different and you have to be able to adapt to the situation. Working with a diverse group of students and clients in the PR Lab is what makes this experience so valuable.”