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Utah's Foremost Platform for Undergraduate Research Presentation
2014 Abstracts

Pick On This, Make A Change: Helping Prevent Youth Bullying through Grassroots Public Relations

Sydney Tycksen, Utah Valley University


An award winning research project, this summary highlights research conducted by Communication students at Utah Valley University of a grassroots public relations campaign created to increase awareness among middle school students, parents, educators, and community leaders of the serious short and long term consequences of youth bullying. The study also demonstrates how the campaign informed audiences of the steps they should take to help prevent bullying. The goal of the research was to understand the short-and-long term effects of bullying, types of bullying, and the prominence of bullying in the surrounding community where the research was conducted. A public relations strategic communication plan was developed based on the research to change bullying behavior in the community. The campaign aimed to spread awareness of the short and long term effects of bullying and outline the steps to report and prevent bullying through the development of strategies and tactics. These steps help students, parents, educators, and community members understand bullying, recognize the signs and types, and know the appropriate authority to whom to report the behavior. This presentation will show how the research provided the students with the information needed to establish measureable objectives for the campaign, reach their key publics and provide an evaluation of the strategies and tactics used to meet campaign objectives. The document reviews the outcome and evaluation of each strategy and tactic implemented during the campaign, including media relations and social media tactics, The summary concludes with an overview of how campaign objectives of teaching key publics how to take steps to prevent bullying were achieved due to thorough research and understanding of how to effectively use messaging to generate behavior changes within the key public.