SkillsUSA Public Relations Challenge

The deadline for news coverage for the PR Challenge is March 30, 2018.
All PR Challenge applications and materials must be received in the national office by close of business on April 6, 2018. Applications should be emailed with PDFs and/or links. While email is preferred, hardcopy publications or applications may be mailed to: Karen Kitzel, SkillsUSA, 14001 SkillsUSA Way, Leesburg, VA 20176.

Join the SkillsUSA Public Relations Challenge for 2017-18

Start planning now for the 2017-18 SkillsUSA Public Relations Challenge. This new online challenge encourages local chapters to demonstrate how they showcase SkillsUSA to the news media in ways that highlight career and technical education (CTE) opportunities and student success. The purpose of the challenge is to help students grow in their communication and teamwork skills and promote SkillsUSA to a wider audience. Teams will promote SkillsUSA to a minimum of three identified audiences in your community, and then to document your media coverage. For example, promote SkillsUSA and your local or state programs to potential students, parents and business leaders. The goal is to gain positive local media attention for your schools, programs and events. Participation in the SkillsUSA Public Relations Challenge supports a balanced Program of Work and a Quality Chapter by helping document outreach efforts.

Challenge Dates

The PR challenge is open Sept. 1, 2017, to March 30, 2018. The media coverage period must be three months to six months, starting Sept. 1. You must complete an application and document all news coverage. This coverage can include print, broadcast, social media, local blogs or school newspapers and may be local, state or national in scope. All coverage must specifically mention your school/state officer team and SkillsUSA. The best coverage will be from a variety of outlets, over a longer period and about multiple events. Social media is not only welcomed, but encouraged. Original posts should be to official accounts belonging to your school, state association or community pages, and the number of likes and shares will be noted. The best PR challenge entries are clearly student-led efforts.


Student officers and advisors as well as state staff and state officers can join the new SkillsUSA Public Relations and Advocacy Facebook group, Must Love Red. This group provides tools, resources and assistance for your public relations and advocacy efforts. If you need the latest report, statistics or fliers, please check the Files at the top of the Facebook group.

Sample Media-Worthy Activities

Almost any event can be of interest to the media if you pitch the story effectively. Here are examples of activities that can gain positive news coverage:

  • Open house for parents
  • Local industry tour
  • Job shadowing
  • Mentoring at an elementary school
  • Community service project
  • Career and college fair
  • Hosting local competitions
  • Fall Leadership Conference
  • State house legislative visits
  • SkillsUSA Week activities
  • State SkillsUSA Championships
  • Salute to your local or state business partners
  • Outstanding graduates working in their job field

Assign student members of your team to write, take photos or video, create social media posts and contact the media about upcoming events. Invite a local reporter to come visit with your officers to help them understand the role of the media, what is considered news and the best way to share potential stories. Include SkillsUSA as part of the story, and invite the media to cover events. 


The judges for the online challenge will include the SkillsUSA Office of Communications team and our public relations partners.


The deadline to enter is March 30, 2018. Winners will be announced April 16, 2018.

Who Can Participate?

Any SkillsUSA chapter with a registered advisor and seven or more registered members may apply. Any state officer team may apply.


Three schools will be selected as winners in the SkillsUSA Public Relations Challenge. One state officer team will also be recognized. Winners will receive a check payable to their school or state association.

SkillsUSA Media Champion (first-place school or section):  $900
SkillsUSA Media Boss (second-place school or section):  $300
SkillsUSA Media Whiz (third-place school or section):  $200
State Advocacy Award (first-place State Officer Team):  $900


Download the detailed rules and SkillsUSA Public Relations Challenge Application.


For more information or questions, contact Karen Kitzel, or 703-737-0607.