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May 9, 2012

UW-Eau Claire marketing team places first in Halliburton social media competition

Halliburton winning teamLeft to right: Valentina Rangel, Stephanie Moran, Dr. Chuck Tomkovick, Abby Eddy, and Kristen Mitrenga

A University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire student team placed first in a social media competition sponsored by Halliburton, one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the energy industry.

Members of the winning UW-Eau Claire team were Abigail Eddy, a senior marketing student from La Crosse, WI; Kristen Mitrenga, a senior marketing major from Apple Valley, MN; Stephanie Moran, a senior marketing analytics major from Westby, WI; and Valentina Rangel, a senior professional sales marketing major from Caracas, Venezuela. Each team member will receive an iPad and a certificate. Halliburton also will be working with students on ways to implement their ideas.

Over 70 undergraduate and graduate students representing 20 teams from Rice University, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, University of Houston, and UW-Eau Claire participated in the competition, according to Dr. Chuck Tomkovick, UW-Eau Claire professor of marketing. Tomkovick worked with managers from Halliburton to develop the competition. He also recruited UW-Eau Claire students to participate in the event and assisted them with their submissions.

Student competitors were asked to develop a social media strategy for Halliburton that delivered a competitive advantage to the corporation. They submitted a 3-page executive summary of their ideas to company representatives for review. The top five submissions were invited to make a 30-minute presentation to the company outlining their business case. The winning social media strategy was selected from the semi-finalist group.

The UW-Eau Claire team used social media to promote Halliburton’s sustainability practices to 18 to 40-year-old consumers who are already social media savvy.

"Although Halliburton is the world’s leader in energy production, many people are unaware of all the positive things the company is doing environmentally around the world,” said Abby Eddy. “By using Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Vimeo, and other select blog sites, Halliburton can help transform its image by spreading upbeat messages to the general public about its sustainability programs and practices."

A second UW-Eau Claire team also was named a semi-finalist in the Halliburton social media competition. Members of this team were Andrew Gerver, a senior marketing major from White Bear Lake, MN; Megan Hetrick, a senior kinesiology major from Green Bay, WI; Houa Trisha Moua, a senior marketing major from Junction City, WI; Shanon Palmbach, a senior marketing major from Appleton, WI; Mark Wickstrom, a senior marketing major from Elm Grove, WI; and Brady Zwiefelhofer, a senior entrepreneur management and professional sales marketing double major from Bloomer, WI.

Bill Febry, business development manager for Cardinal Marketing, Inc. in Chippewa Falls, WI, helped the UW-Eau Claire students prepare for the competition. Febry also is a member of the UW-Eau Claire Marketing Advisory Council.

For more information about the Halliburton social media competition, contact Dr. Chuck Tomkovick, Department of Management and Marketing.

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