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PEAK Weber State University - Ogden Peak Communications - PRSSA

The Perks of Joining PRSSA


he Public Relations Student Society of America is the most prominent organzation for students who are interested in public relations and communications. Being in PRSSA not only gives students the opportunity to expand their knowledge of Public Relations, Marketing, and Advertising, but it gives students the chance to work with real- life clients. And it looks great on your résumé. Clients that our PRSSA organization has worked with include Weber Pathways, Daily Rise Expresso, Higher Ground Hot Yoga, Sweet Spot Bakery, Biofit Boot Camp, Youth Impact, Ogden OUTreach, and Weber State University Communications Department. These real life clients have allowed students many opportunities to practice what they have learned inside the classroom. Some of the services our students have Shaquille Heath provided includes social media counseling, event coordinating, Account Executive research including focus groups and surveys, campaign books, and much more. PRSSA also gives students the chance to have their writing published. As you can see, our newsletter “The Peak” is released monthly. Each edition includes a student spotlight and beneficial PR related articles. Our PRSSA website also includes a blog that features current PR trends and helpful tips in career building. Both the newsletter and blog are written by the PRSSA student members. This can be found on our website: PRSSA also allows students the opportunity to meet

President Tara Smith

and hear from current Public Relations professionals at the Vice President PRSA Salt Lake Chapter’s monthly luncheons. These Kirsten Stuart luncheons feature guest speakers that give attendee’s Account Executive insight into the PR field. Shaqille Heath Many topics cover crisis management, Thomas Judd communication strategies, Camille Twitchell and handling social media. These luncheons are great for students who want to make Advisor connections with PR profesYeonsoo Kim sionals in the greater Salt Lake area. PRSSA gives students the opportunity to perform leadership roles. The President and Vice-President of PRSSA manage the firm’s operations. Their duties include projects and activity planning, conducting firm meetings, overseeing recruitment, preparing annual plans and proposals, and overseeing the Account Executives and their teams. The Account Executives are the main client contact for their team. The AE must develop goals and objectives for the client, complete weekly activities and reports, and compile a file of activities while overseeing their team. All of these duties allow students to take on leadership roles that provide skills that are filled with real life PR experience. Lastly, being a part of PRSSA is widely expected of up-and-coming PR professionals. It is easy to see why. Being a part of PRSSA provides countless benefits for an individual that is set on becoming an attractive candidate for jobs after graduation.

VOLUME II February 2014

What You Should Know About

Nonprofit Public Relations


hey call nonprofit work a starting point in Fundraising and events are a huge part of a public relations career. For many, work nonprofit PR because you aren’t typically sellin the nonprofit field will end as ing a good or even a service. You’re soon as they get a job with a company asking people to give money for which or firm. But there is a lot to be said for they will get nothing in return so that those who make nonprofit PR into a they can feel good about their part in career. making the world a better place. For Working in nonprofits can be a joke. this reason, knowing your target marMost of them don’t have the money to ket is absolutely crucial. hire the people they need to get You have to find the people with the everything done that needs done, money who are willing to donate it to Kaci Welch which means that the people who are PRSSA Member your cause, whatever that may be. The there do more than what is in money you make working in a their job description. However, nonprofit will typically not be as If you’re the kind when what you’re doing helps much as the money you could of person that make the world a better place, it’s make working for a company or easy to want to help however you for a firm. However, there are wants to leave can. rewards outside of the monetary the world a There are many different types realm that make the lower pay better place than of nonprofits in the world. But worth it, for many people. you found it, whether it’s an art museum, When you know that your humanitarian project, religious nonprofit PR could work helped a child in Africa get group, or a human rights organischool supplies or gave a child be right for you. zation, PR is a little different in with cancer the wish of their nonprofit organizations. But there dreams, you don’t worry as much is one thing that stays the same: about what you’re paid. If you’re even though you may not be working directly the kind of person that wants to leave the with the people that are benefiting from the world a better place than you found it, nonprofit organization’s work, your work helps the orgapublic relations could be the right direction for nization itself succeed. your career.



eff Hawkes is a senior and a first time PRSSA member. He is working with the Higher Ground Hot Yoga team this semester. Jeff tossed around ideas for what he wanted to major in, but after taking a job applying graphics to trade show booths he felt that he had finally decided what he wanted to do. He was given an opportunity to go to the Outdoor Retailer Show and set up several booths for the company he was working for. While there, he met several PR professionals that work trade shows and after talking with them and asking about what they do as event PR professionals, he decided he had found his niche. “In January I was fortunate enough to go to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to do PR for a 3D printing company and I fell in love with the job. I enjoy the high pace environment of a trade show and hope to find a career that will allow me to do it much more often.” Even though this is his first semester taking PRSSA, Jeff says he has already seen the value of teamwork. As we work with clients in the community, it is vital for everyone in the team to contribute. “As we have discussed different ideas and solutions for our clients I have been impressed by the creativity and knowledge that different members are bringing to the conversation.” Jeff says that his daughter, Olive, inspires him to

Age: 29 Greatest Success: Awarded Commander’s Top Graduate in Aeromedical Evacuation Technician course

Favorite Movie: Snatch, Man on Wire

Favorite Food:

Chicken Piccata with capers, sushi

achieve his goals. She was born with a heart condition and the first few months of her life were spent at Seattle Children’s Hospital while doctors searched for her diagnosis. Jeff says that it was while she was in the NICU that he decided he would do everything he can do to help her achieve her dreams. “I guess I feel like the best way I can help her do that is by pursuing my own goals and passions. I want her to know that her dad thinks you should chase dreams and do everything you can to achieve your goals. Kind of sappy I know, but it’s true.” When Jeff isn’t busy working as a Flight Medic in the Air Force Reserve or doing schoolwork, he loves doing self-proclaimed “nerdy” activities like playing video games, watching movies, and listening to podcasts about tech and video games. He loves to read Sci-Fi and fantasy and loves to be outdoors hiking, skiing, cliff jumping and swimming. Jeff says he’s a sucker for a hot fudge sundae, a Snickers Ice Cream Bar, or popcorn while he indulges in his nerdy pastimes. After graduation, Jeff hopes to find a job doing event PR for a game or tech company. “I really like the idea of working with a lot of different people and being able to focus my work on something that I am passionate about.” We’re sure Jeff will be successful as he transitions from student to PR professional.

Top 4 Reasons the Super Bowl is Great for PR

Jared Christensen PRSSA Member

The Super Bowl is known to be one of the largest stages in live television in the United States and throughout the world. While football teams battle to see who will take the field, some public relations firms work day in and day out to make sure their client’s message is delivered during the twoweek hype leading up to and during the game day event. There couldn’t be a better place for firms to start or continue a PR campaign. Although public relations and advertising are two different monsters, here are the top four reasons the Super Bowl is great for public relations.

1. Money Even if you’re in public relations, chances are you are working closely with the advertising team within your company. You’ve helped create the message and have assisted to create buzz surrounding the ad by leaking it in various ways like social media and even local news stations. With super bowl ads running for approximately $4 million for a thirty-second spot, the average fifteen percent commission would be about $600 thousand for the agency placing the spot. That’s a hefty chunk of change to start off the agency’s year; nobody can argue that!

2. Customer Interaction Some companies provide consumers the opportunity to get involved and help create the ads. Doritos has done this for years by driving people to their website and social media platforms to get information on how to enter the competition, resulting in the content generators encouraging their friends to vote for their video on the website. By allowing their fans and consumers to be a part of the story, consumers develop a higher rate of interaction and thus increase brand loyalty. This year, Doritos promised to use two user-submitted commercials from the contest; one that was chosen by fans through website voting and one that was to be chosen by the Doritos company. This helped generate online traffic and a lot of buzz even before kickoff.

3. The Ad Bowl It’s known that some watch the Super Bowl strictly for the advertisements. It’s no secret how this buzz starts. PR professionals work closely with the advertising department to get the buzz going about their ad. In previous years, the buzz was created early by leaking the ads a week or two ahead of time to news stations. Now, social media is the key to leaking the ads prior to the Super Bowl. PR firms will release their advertisement, or some variation of it, to create buzz about the ads themselves. The Super Bowl has become the Ad Bowl. Who won the ad competition? Who had the most YouTube views before super bowl Sunday?

4. Social Movement In recent years, we have started seeing more and more ads from companies that are attempting to make a strong social message. Sometimes these can get criticized and picked apart from viewers, yet seem to create lasting impressions and after time, the controversy seems to dissipate while the message becomes more widely accepted. It’s a great opportunity for a company to help push social movement and social growth. This can provide the company you are representing the opportunity to make a statement, a lasting impression and help to make the world a better place. Consumers notice and appreciate this.

Although being center stage on the largest stage of the year provides lots of opportunities for PR to make its impression, if the message is perceived negatively, it can become a nightmare for the PR department.After weighing out the pros and the cons, the Super Bowl is highly beneficial for public relations as the audience is large and messages can be heard in the masses. What more could you want?

How to Make the Most of Your Internship When the time comes when you register for your internship do not treat it like just another class. Embrace it for the opportunity that it is, to get real life experience in a field of work that you are considering. Internships offer many benefits; they give the intern the ability offer valuable work experience, help them develop marketable skills and that experience can add to a more prestigious resume. Best-case scenario an internship can lead to employment after college. There are other benefits of an internship while you are still attending college: Get the opportunity to network and make contacts. Getting the chance to show your abilities to a company you may want to work for after graduation is invaluable to say the least. By showing your abilities, you immerse yourself within a network that can offer references and possible job opportunities.


Receive experience you cannot receive in a classroom. Studying is one thing; being able to apply that knowledge professionally is differ-


ent. In the classroom you learn why you need to do what needs to be done. While working in an internship, you learn how to apply that knowledge. Develop new skills. It is good to have a focus in your major, but at the same time it does not hurt to achieve a more diverse set of skills. This is what makes one more marketable. When choosing your internship, choose one that will maximize your potential and make your skill set more marketable than other graduates. Do not choose an internship that is “easy” or irrelevant. If you do, you are not only wasting the employer’s time you are wasting your own. Finding out that the career path you have chosen is much simpler to adapt to while in college is more beneficial than finding out your career path is not what you wanted post graduation.


Kirsten Stuart Vice President

In the classroom you learn why you need to do what needs to be done. While working in an internship, you learn how to apply that knowledge.

Most importantly, be professional and positive about the experience. In the beginning you may be assigned tasks that may not interest you, but the harder you work the more you will be trusted. Once the company you are interning for sees your potential that is when they will allow you to show what you have to offer

- INTERNSHIPS Need help finding an internship? The Communication department’s webpage is a great place to start. It features many opportunities from several different businesses in Utah with a variety of subject matter.

Ogden Peak’s Favorite Hangout: The Movie Grille


oing to the movies these days is just not what it most popular movies and dinner under one roof. It is a used to be. Movie theaters are now called Megatheater where you can relax in their VIP leather recliners plexes and the while being served gourmet food, soda and adult bevercost to see a movie is very high. The seats are ages along with the movie essential of popcorn still uncomfortable with no leg room and the if you choose. price of popcorn, candy and a drink is equivaMovieGrille is located at 2263 Grant Avenue lent to the cost of a meal. in the old Carmike Cinema building. The new Don’t get us wrong many people love the theater has three themed viewing rooms. Each Megaplex experience, but some people preroom will have the ability to show different fer, what we call, the Netflix experience. The movies and the theaters are named after differNetflix experience is where one can sit in their ent iconic actors and actresses of past generarecliner and watch their favorite movie with tions that are changed every few months. dinner and a drink. But what if you can get a Can a movie theatre get any better? The combination of that Megaplex and Netflix exanswer is yes. Not only can you see a great Kirsten Stuart perience? That is MovieGrille, a place where movie, have dinner, and do so in the comfort Vice President you can watch a great movie in a recliner and of a recliner like at home, the cost of their have a nice dinner and a drink. movies are only $6.00. Adam Jackman, owner of MovieGrille in Ogden, They also pride themselves in having the best specials in thought the same way in 2004 when he entered the Utah town. Currently MovieGrille has the following specials: Entrepreneur Challenge while attending the University of • Free movie Monday- different cult classic movie every Utah. This is when the business model of going to a movie Monday night around 7 with the feeling and comfort of being at home was born. • Two for Tuesday (2 for 1 ticket, 2 for 1 popcorn and For the next five to seven years research and funding was drink) coupon code twofortues (if you book online) done and in October 2013, MovieGrille opened. • Wednesday is date night. Two tickets and two entrees for MovieGrille is Ogden’s newest theater that brings the $20. Coupon code datenight Continued on next page

Continued from previous page

After dinner and a movie, MovieGrille has a lounge next door. They offer live music every Friday and Saturday featuring local acoustic artists that play from 6:00 to 9:00. They also act as a full restaurant serving lunch and dinner where you can catch your favorite sporting events on TV while you eat.

MovieGrille should be your new favorite hangout. Where else in Ogden can you go and see a movie, have dinner, and drinks with the feeling of being at home? Then to top off the night, you can head to their lounge afterwards and listen to some of Ogden’s best acoustic live music. One visit to MovieGrille and you will consider them as your new favorite place to see a movie.

Find the Movie Grille online:,, and on Twitter: @moviegrille

Weber State PRSSA


SEO for Beginners


EO, otherwise known as search engine optimiaudience. Basically, if you’re not on the front page, zation, is a big topic. In fact, there are entire your site might as well not exist. There are many ways websites, magazines, and books dedicated solely you can improve your sites SEO, the use of keywords, to helping people understand exactly what relevant backlinks, meta tags, title tags and SEO is and how they can use it to improve many other forms of SEO that can help you their websites and increase their traffic. improve your site. Google provides usBut the truth is, understanding the basics of ers with a useful set of information in their SEO is not as complicated as you may have Webmaster Guidelines and many of their thought. All it takes is an understanding of SEO suggestions focus on keywords, tags, how search engines manage web sites and and appropriate use of images. how they determine which sites are relevant Their suggestions include: to a particular search. • Create a useful, information-rich site, and Jeff Hawkes It’s fair to say that the internet is a pretty write pages that clearly and accurately dePRSSA Member big place. With over 630,000,000 (Netcraft, scribe your content. 2012) registered websites, it can be easy for • Think about the words users would type to your site to get lost in the crowd. In fact, statistically find your pages, and make sure that your site actually speaking, if your site is not on the first page of a search includes those words within it. engine’s results list, you probably won’t be seen. A • Try to use text instead of images to display important study by Chitika Insights (Jensen, 2011) found that names, content, or links. The Google crawler doesn’t over 94 percent of people using google clicked on a recognize text contained in images. If you must use link found on the first page, while less than 6% even images for textual content, consider using the “ALT” went to the second page of results. Additionally, the attribute to include a few words of descriptive text top site listed on the results page is clicked an average • Make sure that your <title> elements and ALT attriof 36.4 percent of the time. These numbers show how butes are descriptive and accurate. (Google, 2014) critical it can be to optimize your website for search Finally, don’t forget who your audience is and make engines. Not only does having your site show up on sure you are creating your site with them in mind. Rethe first page of results raise your chances of increasing member to build your site for users, not search engines. your traffic, it ensures that the people visiting your site Good keywords can’t replace a poorly designed site or are those motivated buyers that fall within your target make up for a poor user experience.

Guest Speakers 2/26/14 Chris Dallin and Craig Bielik will visit our class and speak to us about crisis communication. Bring your friends and don’t miss this great opportunity to learn from PR professionals! EH 406 2:00 pm

3/5/14 Nick Dragon, part of McKay-Dee Hospital’s PR team, will be speaking to us and giving us some valuable job search tips! EH 406 2:30 pm


5/15/2014 PRSA Spring Conference Sign up as a student to get a discount on this awesome learning and networking opportunity

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