UA Senior Named Nation’s PR Student of the Year

  • March 26th, 2019
C&IS senior Alana Doyle is the PRWeek Public Relations Student of the Year.
C&IS senior Alana Doyle is the PRWeek Public Relations Student of the Year.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — PRWeek has named Alana Doyle, a senior in The  University of Alabama’s department of advertising and public relations, its Public Relations Student of the Year.

Doyle was one of two students from UA’s College of Communication and Information Sciences, along with Gabby DiCarlo, on a national short list of five students up for the award. The winner was recently announced in New York City at the annual PRWeek Awards.

Doyle, of Scottsdale, Arizona, is the University’s second PRWeek Student of the Year winner. Maret Montanari received the Public Relations Student of the Year in 2018, and Katie Gatti was runner-up in 2017.

“Over the last few days, I have been blown away by the love and support I have received from The University of Alabama,” Doyle said. “I am so grateful to this school and the APR department for preparing me for success. The faculty and staff in the department are some of the most talented, inspirational and dedicated individuals I have ever met.”

This year’s campaign prompt challenged applicants to create a campaign for Levi Strauss wide-leg jeans that targeted Gen Z consumers. Doyle’s campaign, #ComfortIsBack, suggested that comfort was the way to the Gen Z consumer’s heart and that social media influencers on platforms such as TikTok could serve as brand ambassadors showcasing the new fit of Levi jeans.

PRWeek judges highlighted Doyle’s “smart research” and “easy to remember messaging.” They also issued the following feedback about her campaign, #ComfortIsBack:

“The campaign showed terrific understanding of how to marry a solid strategy to actual results – the primary reasons clients turn to PR experts.”

Doyle serves as a senior copywriter for Capstone Agency, UA’s nationally affiliated, student-run, integrated communications firm and was awarded the agency’s Star Client Team Member Award, Star Department Member Award and the Copywriting Challenge Award last year. She was also selected as Viacom’s only intern to interview celebrities on the 2018 VMA’s red carpet. As graduation approaches this spring, she is determining her career aspirations, but she is interested in working in media relations or brand strategy for a global agency.

“Alana’s path to being the 2019 PR Student of the Year was paved by her never-stop work ethic,” said Dr. Joseph Phelps, chair of the department of advertising and public relations. “Her drive, and the skills she developed in our program, are going to be incredible assets for the organization fortunate enough to hire her.”

“Alana’s win is also special as she helped The University of Alabama to continue its streak with both the 2018 and now 2019 Outstanding PR Students coming from our program,”  Phelps said. “I am extraordinarily proud of the great work our students are doing and of my colleagues that are teaching and mentoring these outstanding students.”

“I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the caliber of applicants from across the country in this competition as to be ranked among them is an honor in itself,”  Doyle posted to her Instagram account. “I’m so grateful for the friendships this experience has brought me. Beyond these acknowledgements, I’d like to thank my family, my friends, the Alabama APR department, former mentors and employers, @bamadeltagamma@capstoneagency and @ua_prca for your love and continuous support. I wouldn’t be who I am today without you. Thank you, again, to everyone at PRWeek!”

The department of advertising and public relations is a part of the College of Communication and Information Sciences at The University of Alabama. For more information about the College, visit


Dr. Joe Phelps,


Cole Lanier, communication specialist, UA College of Communication and Information Sciences, 205-348-4471 or

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.