By Holly Roeder
The Chester County Independent’s own, Kendall Patterson, was recently honored during the Southern Public Relations Federation’s 2019 Lantern Awards in October, receiving an award of Excellence for his public relations campaign, “A Person Alone Could Be A Person Lost.” The campaign was completed as a part of advanced PR Techniques at the University of Mississippi. Patterson graduated in May 2019, earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism with the School of Journalism and New Media.
In addition to Patterson, three other recent Ole Miss graduates and a faculty member also received awards.
Choosing a topic for the assignment was just the first step in this award-winning campaign. “I knew I wanted to do something mental health related,” Patterson said, adding the topic is one which personally interests him. “A Person Alone” explores the detrimental effects of loneliness, and how to combat or overcome them.
Through the course of his research, Patterson studied and conducted surveys, finding that loneliness often leads to health issues, such as diabetes, heart failure, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, weight loss/gain, and even PTSD. According to Julianne Holt-Lunstad’s “Loneliness and Social Isolation as Risk Factors for Mortality,” as cited in “A Person Alone,” “subjective feelings of loneliness can increase the chance of death by 26 percent.” Patterson said he believes people are not truly aware of the depth and prevalence of the effects of being alone. In fact, loneliness is quite common, the campaign posits, or theorizes, a characteristic present among outcasts of society, homecoming veterans and a person who has not yet found his/her “special someone,” in addition to many others. Ultimately, Patterson’s research verified what he had previously expected to be the case.
While the campaign draws awareness to loneliness, it also offers hope for those within its grip. “People can do simple things to alleviate loneliness,” Patterson suggested, such as, seek counseling, acquire or spend time with a pet, or join recreational team sports or other organizations and clubs.
Patterson hopes his project will be used at some point in the future, explaining that it was created in hypothetical as an assignment, and therefore “not helping anyone as is.”
“I am proud of Kendall and his accomplishments at Ole Miss,” said Chester County Independent Publisher Scott Whaley. “He is most deserving of this award. We are fortunate to have him on our staff. In addition to covering news events and taking photographs Kendall is responsible for the Independent’s sports coverage of CCJHS, CCHS and FHU.”
“The ability of this campaign being able to win an award such as this proves many of my communication skills along with creativity,” said Patterson. “All of this together makes me feel confident in my career.” A career which, it seems, is not so lonely, as Patterson has been welcomed to the Chester County community, and congratulated on this elite achievement.