Bateman Team Launches Campaign for Home Matters


By Katelyn Tresh

Lee University’s “423 PR” Bateman Team launched its statewide Home Matters campaign from the capitol in Nashville on Monday, Feb. 2. The team consists of senior public relations majors Megan Ash, Allie Cable, Megan Jafari and Katelyn Tresh. They have been working since August to create a public relations campaign for their client, Home Matters. Their statewide campaign will continue this Saturday with a Fun Run and Chili Cook-off in Cleveland.

The Bateman team’s campaign is titled “Be a Neighbor. Be a Volunteer. Be Tennessee.” They have decided to partner with the five Home Matters affiliates in Tennessee to hold a statewide campaign including four events in Nashville, Cleveland, Knoxville and Memphis. The affiliates located in Tennessee are Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise (CNE) in Chattanooga, Knox Housing Partnership in Knoxville, Affordable Housing Resources in Nashville, United Housing, Inc. in Memphis, and Eastern Eight Community Development Corporation in Johnson City.

The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) holds the Bateman Team Competition every year. It is a competition in which approximately 70 schools select four or five students to participate to create a complete public relations campaign for a national client. The teams are required to research, plan, implement and evaluate their campaign during the school year, and turn in their submission to national PRSSA for judging. The challenge is that every team has only the month of February to implement their campaign. All events, social media and media coverage must be completed by March 1. In April, PRSSA selects top contenders who then present to a panel of judges. The winning team receives $2,500 and a trophy; second place receives $1,500 and a plaque; and third place receives $1,000 and a plaque.

Dr. Patty Silverman, the Lee University public relations program coordinator and the PRSSA co-advisor & internship coordinator said, “Since 2003, I have had the pleasure of coaching five PRSSA Bateman Teams from Lee and serving as their academic advisor throughout their year-long campaigns. Watching this year’s team strive for a higher level of implementation by conducting a statewide public relations campaign for a great cause has been exciting to watch. I’m really proud of them.”

Home Matters™ ( is a national movement that aims to build public support for the essential role that Home plays as the bedrock for thriving lives, families, and a stronger nation. Participating in Home Matters is a coast-to-coast coalition composed of members of the general public, leaders of housing and community development organizations, as well as other organizations concerned about increasing the positive impact of Home in their communities. The coalition includes regional and local organizations from across the nation, as well as national entities like the National NeighborWorks® Association, Citi Community Development, and Wells Fargo.

The non-profits and organizations involved believe in the following as the foundations of a stable home: Heath, Education, Individual Success, Public Safety, and a Stable Economy.

On Monday, Feb. 2, the Lee team partnered with State Representative Kevin Brooks and CEO & President of CNE, Martina Guilfoil, to hold a press conference and Home Matters reception from the capitol building in Nashville. At the House Meeting, the team, along with Silverman, was announced and recognized by Representative Brooks.

To open the press conference, Representative Brooks stated, “At some point today we were at our house, we had our four walls, we were safe, we were warm, and our family was with us. Thousands of Tennesseans don’t have that.”

Later that evening, a reception was held in the Legislative Library where the team met various other state representatives and had the opportunity to present the details of their “Be a Neighbor. Be a Volunteer. Be Tennessee.” Home Matters campaign.

“We have made a lot of connections about the importance housing has in people’s lives and how it really impacts education,” said Guilfoil at the reception. “We know now that people that have secure homes now have much better educational attainment. We know that people that have secure housing have much better health outcomes. We know that people that live in secure housing have much better public safety and secured neighborhoods. We know that people that live in secure housing and neighborhoods have a much better economy because they have more money to spend on necessities.”

The Bateman Team is holding a Fun Run and Chili Cook-off this Saturday, Feb. 7, at 11 a.m. in Cleveland. Chili, made by local organizations and nonprofits will be judged by Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland. Any organization is welcome to participate. Chili will be free and available to participants and the community. The run/walk will take place on the Greenway in Cleveland, starting at Greenway Park (755 Raider Drive). Go to to register to run. If your organization is interested in providing a pot of chili, contact Katelyn Tresh at

“We believe that it’s our duty as civilians to care for the community in which we live, and Home Matters believes that this movement is the perfect way to do so. Let’s make Home Matters matter in Tennessee,” said Jafari.

For more information about the Bateman team’s Home Matters campaign, contact Megan Jafari at (615) 598-5615 or

Pictured here (left to right) are Katelyn Tresh, Allie Cable, Representative Kevin Brooks, Megan Ash, Megan Jafari and Dr. Patty Silverman in the Legislative Library before their press conference at the Tennessee State Capitol Monday.

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