Samuel Waitathu Kariuki, a senior majoring in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations at USIU-Africa’s School of Science and Technology, was been recognized as the Young Communicator of the Year by the Public Relations Society of Kenya (PRSK) in a gala event.
This year, the awards received fifty nine entries and following adjudication by a panel of judges, thirteen winners were drawn from academia, private and public organizations.
Samuel’s entry was inspired by a class project that required him to integrate marketing and communications tactics for the success of his campaign whose goal was to encourage the youth to apply for loans from the Uwezo Fund.
His campaign dubbed YOLO (You Only Live One) encouraged the youth to follow their dreams and in so doing, view entrepreneurship as a viable option. This in turn would create the need for funding for their enterprises, encouraging the youth to approach the Uwezo fund for loans.
The approach of the campaign was to use print, electronic and digital platforms to promote the key messages. With the increased popularity of digital platforms amongst the youth, Sam integrated the use of a hashtag in his campaign #iStarted for easier adoption of his message.
Sam is excited at the possibilities that lie ahead of him. One of his career goals is to help the region understand the key role Public Relations plays in the economy as he believes that the profession is often misunderstood.
“Countries and Organizations at large must understand that the right messages communicated at the right time through the right channels can spur an economy in the right direction,” explains Samuel.
The faculty at the School of Science and Technology were given special recognition by Sam for their special support in preparing him for his submission to the 2014 PRSK Awards and for their efforts in helping bridge the gap between the Journalism program course work and the real work environment.
This is the second time a USIU-Africa student has scooped the award with Wanjiku Wainaina having been recognized in 2009.