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College of Media students win first place in competition sponsored by Target

The age gap between millennials and baby boomers can make it difficult to target both generations for a retail career, but four College of Media students easily maneuvered the hurdles and successfully dreamed up a winning answer to this real-life dilemma.

The challenge was part of the second-annual Target Case Study Competition held at WVU earlier this semester. Participants were asked to increase recruitment and retention of younger and older generations of employees at Target. The contest was open to undergraduates of all majors, and students worked in groups of two to four people.

Strategic communications senior Hannah Toney and her teammates won first place. Toney credits her classes at the College of Media for her team’s strong performance.

“In every single class that I’ve ever had, we’ve talked about case studies,” said Toney. “Those experiences were the best preparations for me and the team because we know what goes into a case study and the components of a strong report.”

All four members of the winning team are College of Media students and members of WVU Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). They are Toney, PRSSA president; Hannah Harless, strategic communications junior and chapter analysis chair; Elizabeth Frattarole strategic communications junior and social engagement director; and Gwen Wygal strategic communications senior.

The team had to research, compile and present a report to the Target panel. Some of the key points of their winning plan included changing job titles, enhancing the company’s social media use, offering competitive wages and bettering millennial appeal through strong college ambassador programs.

“I love doing traditional public relations like writing experiences, press releases and learning about different organizations. That’s what attracted me to this competition,” said Frattarole. “We tapped into our research, writing and public relations skills to craft a perfect plan.”

Toney, Harless, Frattarole and Wygal won $800 for their clever idea.