Laker named PRWeek’s Student of the Year

By Drew Howard | 3/29/15 8:42pm

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GVL / Courtesy - GVSU.edu Daltyn Little


The annual PRWeek Awards chose Grand Valley State University senior Daltyn Little as Student of the Year from of a field of over 100 competitors for her work on the Toyota Mirai campaign.

The PRWeek Awards is an annual event that honors the best campaigns from nonprofits, education teams, agencies and more. The competition has been host to large corporations – such as Taco Bell, GoPro and AllState, among others.

This year, all students who chose to compete were tasked with promoting the Toyota Mirai, a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle that has been proven to have a better impact on the environment.

Little said she created her campaign with an educational approach by explaining to the average buyer how the vehicle runs.

“As a consumer buying a vehicle that’s supposed to get around safely and inexpensively, creating trust is especially important,” Little said. “I tried to divide info into small, bite-sized pieces so the average consumer could understand.”

Students were required to create a five-page campaign plan, along with two pages of supporting materials, for the first round of the competition. Additionally, competitors had the option to also produce an educational video with the purpose of explaining fuel cell technology.

“For my video, I worked with a firm, Chop & Hue, with some guys who were graduates from GVSU,” Little said. “The whole point of the video is to show that the Toyota Mirai is reliable and works like a regular car.”

After making it into the top five, Little was required to submit a 100-word essay and make a phone pitch to PRWeek News Editor Frank Washkuch.

Following her phone pitch, Little was announced as PRWeek Awards Student of the Year and was flown out to New York on March 19 to attend the ceremony.

“My award was just a part of other awards for huge firms, so it was an amazing networking opportunity,” she said. “Some of the people I met were amazing, and anyone I needed to know to create my career was in that room.”

Despite her success in advertising and public relations, Little actually first intended to be an architecture major.

“I went to Ball State University, stayed there for two weeks and I decided architecture wasn’t what I wanted to do,” she said. “I transferred to GVSU when I was a junior and started working right away for GrandPR, and now I’m the CEO. It’s crazy to see where you start and where you end.”

Adrienne Wallace, GVSU School of Communications professor, was among a group of graduates and faculty that helped Little work on the campaign. Wallace noted that Little’s campaign stuck out among the crowd because of its professionalism and comprehensiveness.

“I think having a student be awarded this honor speaks to the value of the type of education students receive at the School of Communications, the faculty involvement and the state of alumni relations – all which helped her achieve the goal,” Wallace said. “The value of the APR degree at GVSU became higher when Daltyn won this award.”

To learn more about PRWeek Awards, visit awards.prweekus.com.

Daltyn’s Toyota Mirai educational video can be also be found at youtube.com/watch?v=FUVZKKycJSs.

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