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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

UF club to help with Gator Growl

This year, UF’s oldest public relations organization will help put on what is regarded as the largest student-run pep rally in the world.

Although Gator Growl has its own public relations team, the UF chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America recently proposed to lead the effort to reach out to the local community. This project will bring the two organizations together for the first time.

“PRSSA will not only be working on stuff that we are not doing already, but the stuff that we wouldn’t be able to do and stuff that would definitely help us sell tickets to the community, which is such a huge point,” said Hannah Swerdloff, the 2012 UF Homecoming general chair.

The 89th annual Gator Growl starts at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

PRSSA hopes to get the message to the local community and high schools, a move Swerdloff said organizers hope increases ticket sales by between 800 to 1,000.

Though the specific promotion plan is not yet established, the relationship between the two organizations is one that can grow, she said.

Jacqueline Bond, president of UF’s PRSSA chapter, said her group wants more high school students to attend Gator Growl and Homecoming so they can experience what it means to be in the Gator Nation.

“We will be reaching out to different administrators of each high school in the local area,” Bond said.

PRSSA will also use social media to get people involved, said Sarah Sullivan, vice president of member services.

“We try to integrate multiple organizations to work together,” Bond said.

The two groups said their partnership is a mutually beneficial opportunity.

“They do stuff for clients in Gainesville, but they don’t really do stuff for any student organizations,” Swerdloff said.

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She said Gator Growl does not have enough time or manpower to cover high schools and the local community. PRSSA’s assistance will allow them to use powerful and effective public relations tools that Gator Growl would not otherwise have.

By bringing Gator Growl to the community’s attention, PRSSA hopes to enhance its own recognition and attract more members and potential clients.

“A lot of PRSSA members don’t really have a specific job, so by working with us, there is a whole other section of people that can work on this. Almost probably a whole chapter could be working on this,” Swerdloff said.

PRSSA’s Fall open house brought in about 200 students to participate.

Providing members with professional experiences is one of PRSSA’s main goals this year.

“Gator Growl is a good way for us to give back to the university,” said Rainer de Sousa, the vice president of PRSSA chapter development. “We have so many members. We want to make sure that we have opportunities for all of them.”

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