College students notoriously love cheap food, especially when that food is pizza. Ferris’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is meticulously preparing for its first ever ‘Za Best of ‘Za Best pizza contest.
The PRSSA came up with the idea for a pizza contest when the group’s president, Kaitlyn Baase, attended a leadership conference last school year and learned that Northern Michigan University’s PRSSA chapter had hosted a similar event. Baase was inspired by the contest since the group was trying to brainstorm new ideas for fundraising. Shelby Austin, a senior studying Public Relations, is the PRSSA’s Vice President of Internal Relations and is responsible for the fundraising and coordination of events. .
Austin and her team have been working to give their event a unique Ferris Twist. This is the first event she has organized and she has done everything from distributing flyers to advertising the event to booking the pizza vendors. Austin said this process has been fun, but also a bit overwhelming.
The contest will feature pizza slices provided by the local restaurants, Mancino’s, Jet’s Pizza, Pizza King, Pizza Hut and the Ferris State Dining Services. Austin had hoped to include even more area pizza joints, but Pizzeria Vivo’s was unable to participate, The Gate declined the invitation and Austin was unsuccessful in contacting Little Caesar’s.
“How it’ll work is you’ll pay $5 and you’ll get a punch card,” Austin said. “You’ll get a punch and a slice at each pizza place and then you’ll text in your vote. We’re also going to be giving away Ferris State apparel. There’s going to be social media contests, activities, music… It’s going to be a fun event and you’ll get to eat a lot of pizza!”
Most of the proceeds will go towards sending members to the PRSSA National Conference in Washington, D.C. next month.
“We currently have five members attending,” Austin said. “We’ve sent members in the past, but never this many. Also, 15 percent of the proceeds will go toward Our Brother’s Keeper, which is a local homeless shelter, and that will be our charity for the year. For every event, we’re going to donate proceeds to them and we’re also going to volunteer throughout the year.”
One of the most interesting things that the PRSSA does for the Big Rapids community is taking on real-world clients and doing free PR work for them. PRSSA will be performing this service for the winning restaurant of the ‘Za Best of ‘Za Best contest.
“In the past, we have had local businesses work with us, such as Artworks and the Comstock House,” Baase, the local chapter’s president, said. “We are constantly looking for ways to help out local businesses and give them some services, while allowing our members to gain experience that can be put into a portfolio.”
Most of the PRSSA’s members are Public Relations majors, but is open to students studying in all different fields. The group helps its members to hone all kinds of professional skills, such as writing, giving speeches and networking.
“You get the opportunity to gain real-world experience, network with professionals and find your niche,” Baase said.
Austin also observed that participating in this group brings out the personalities of more timid members and more extraverted members find that it’s a natural environment for them to thrive in. Anyone who is interested in joining can attend the PRSSA’s meetings every Thursday at 11 a.m. in IRC 107.
‘Za Best of ‘Za Best pizza contest will take place on Thursday, Sept. 25 from 5 until 8 p.m. in the IRC. The cost is $5 to attend. Details can also be found on the FSU Events Calender.