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Weber State University - Ogden Peak Communications - PRSSA


Where has this semester gone? It seems like only yesterday that this semester began and us here at OPC were anxiously waiting to begin planning this semester events. We have had a busy semester with our three clients Weber Pathways, Biofit Bootcamp, and The Daily Rise. Each team has accomplished a lot and has done a great service for each of thier clients. October has been a busy month for us, with our guest speaker, our very first firm tour with ThomasARTS, and preparing for Weber Pathways event there has been a lot going on. We were visited by Steve Conlin this month, who showed us how to handle a crisis situation with his Ogden company Ogden’s Own Distillery and their product Five Wives Vodka. We are looking forward to Christine Denniston, the new Marketing Director for the College of Arts and Humanities as our final guest speaker of the semester.

President Sarah Gribble

Vice-President Amber Price Account Executive Paige Alsup Sydnie Foust Tara Smith Staff Members Mandie Barnes Kirsten Stuart Worthy Vieth Advisor

Our first opportunity to do a firm tour was given to us by ThomasArts and boy Yeonsoo Kim did we learn a lot. It was a great chance for us to get the behind the scenes tour of how an experienced and well known advertising firm works each and everyday. We thank Nathan and Ellen for being such great hosts and for this great opportunity. We are very pleased to announce that with the help of our Account Executive Sydnie Foust and her team, Weber Pathways created a movie event at the Ogden Egyptian Theatre with 1 Revolution. This is our first event at OPC, and we are so proud of our team who put it together. A lot of time and effort went into this event and it turned out incredible. As we get nearer to the end, and graduation, we are so happy to have had this opportunity to lead this great group of people this semester. We are sad to leave our fantastic team, but we are very excited for the future of PRSSA and OPC. Best of luck to everyone next semester!

Best Wishes, Sarah & Amber

VOLUME II October 2013

The Value of Social Media in the Digital Age By Stephanie Gonzales, PRSSA Member The introduction of Social Media at the turn of the century has left some business owners searching for answers as they wonder how to survive in this new digital era. Out with the old and in with – Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc., and who knows what tomorrow will bring? It is more important than ever to keep on top of the latest social media, because not only is it a new form of marketing and advertising, but it is replacing the old methods. Businesses fumble with budgets for print ads that they can’t afford, and that fewer and fewer people see. The Local Pages may not even have a phonebook for Ogden city this coming year. What other antiquated means of “getting your brand out there” are fading? And why? Quite frankly, businesses are relying more and more on revenue from online content, and there is not as great of a need for the typical print ad. Consumers can now find virtually any information that they need via the click of a button on their smart phone. People are turning to Facebook and Google to answer all of life’s many questions including what to buy, where to get car insurance, what doctor to visit, etc. Companies not only need to have a website, they need to have a social media presence. Facebook users spend 40% of their time going through the newsfeed. Businesses need to be posting updates regularly to keep up in today’s digital world. Twitter is an easy way to send out a quick update about what is going on in the community or how a business is getting involved. YouTube could be one of the most entertaining ways to make advertisements entertaining and search-worthy. Social media outlets provide a way to reach people when they aren’t necessarily looking for information, but it grabs them anyway. Social media is today’s way of getting a brand recognized, talked about, and involved in the community. It also helps drive traffic to online sites & gets companies recognized as an influential part of the market. The use of social media has more value than we might realize and it is vital to use these resources to maintain validity in today’s media-driven world.

- INTERNSHIPS Need help finding an Internship? The Communication Department webpage is a great place to start. The webpage has many opportunities from several different businesses in Utah with a variety of subject matter.


Thomas Judd is a senior at Weber State University majoring in communications for public relations and advertising with an emphasis in marketing. He is currently the Marketing Director for the Weber State University Student Association, working as the Special Event Assistant with the Special Event Director for the university, and serving as a member of the university’s Student Fee Recommendation Committee.

Creative - Social - Determined

Thomas attributes his strong communication skills to his upbringing in a military family. “Moving to a new state every two to three years from birth can teach you a lot,” Thomas shares “It would be really hard at times to leave the friends I had made. But, each time it became easier and eventually it was kind of nice being able to start fresh.” Before moving to Ogden, Thomas had spent the previous ten years living in Las Cruces, New Mexico - where his parents had settled as home after retiring from a career in the Air Force. Thomas ended up at Weber on a whim. About two weeks before his high school graduation, he decided he wanted to try something new and go somewhere out of state for college. After receiving the recommendation of Weber State from one of his teachers, he decided to give it a shot. Without even making a campus visit, Thomas packed his bags and moved to the beautiful Wasatch front. “If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m a Wildcat through and through.” “I love to stay busy,” he shares “I know it sounds crazy, but ever since middle school, I’ve always had several extracurricular going at the same time. If I have down time, I don’t know what to do with myself!” Finding new and exciting opportunities thrills this busy student. “I owe so many of my successes and opportunities to my family,” he says, “Without their support, I wouldn’t be here. And, I certainly wouldn’t be looking into the bright future that’s ahead.” Thomas is very eager to enter the real world after graduation and hopes to start it all off with an internship with the Disney College program. Although a solid plan isn’t yet in place, he is very sure that everything he’s learned inside the classroom and his experiences on campus and in the community have prepared him for his future career. “Ultimately, I’m looking for an opportunity with an exciting and socially responsible company that merges my interests of PR and event management with my passions for travel and experience creation. I’m excited to pave the path for my career!”

Is the Press Release Dead By Jason S. Taylor, PRSSA Member I have seen many articles written by PR professionals and journalists alike all tacking the relevancy of the press release in today’s content-saturated instant media environment. Are press releases relevant in a time where anyone can write a blog post, send a tweet, create a Facebook ad or create a YouTube video any of which have the potential to go vial before a journalist even finishes reading said press release? As you would expect the answers vary from person to person and across professions. Some say the press release is going the way of the dinosaur (see Dan Lyons blog post “Is It Finally Time to Bid Adieu to the Press Release?) Others, often PR professionals, say they are as relevant today as they ever were, albeit in a different form (“The Top 10 Reasons to Send a Press Release” by PRN Bloggers). I would have to agree with the latter for all of the reasons they indicate, but to keep the press release relevant and to have a chance of getting your press release seen there are a few things you will need to do.

1. Words are not enough A well-crafted press release (see The basics of a Well Written Press Release), integrated with the latest media technology is a powerful tool for a PR professional to have it their tool chest. Press releases that contain photos, video or other downloadable content get nine times more views than a written press release.

3. Know your audience As technology changes and new forms of communication arise, journalists will have new ways to gather information for their stories. Ask your contacts what interests them. Ask them what makes them read and take interest in some press releases while dismissing others. Find out how your con tacts prefer to receive press releases and where you should send them. To that last point, just like you probably have more than one email address, one for important personal items and one for everything else, journalists often do as well. Ask your contacts where you should send your press releases. Here is a free tip; if they give you a generic company email address, work on your personal relationship with that journalist because regardless of how chummy the two of you are, if the email address you get is your relationship is well, “friendly”. If you get a personalized email address that goes directly to the journalist it shows they have faith in your information and you have their ear. You have a much better chance of getting your press release seen and used in this scenario. The personal relationships develop with other professionals are the most important tool you have.

2. Hit’em hard, hit’em fast! A majority of press releases are now sent by email. Journalists receive dozens of press releases a day, well known large market journalists receive hundreds. If you want to have any chance of keeping your press release out of the recycle bin, make sure your subject line is to the point and has less characters than a twitter post. The subject line: “Cancer Survivor to receive much needed donation” is much more likely to capture a journalists attention than “fundraiser to help so-and-so who is a cancer survi vor, etc. etc. etc.. Think of your subject line as the headline of your email. It should grab the reader’s attention and make them want to review your press release-at which point you will maintain their at tention with great multimedia!

Using these techniques will not only help increase the chances of getting your press releases seen, but they will help to keep the press release relevant far into the future, making sure that press releases don’t go the way of press kit. -Information from PRNEWS.COM

Our Firm Tour with ThomasARTS By Andrea Prigmore, PRSSA Member

Earlier this month we were fortunate enough to be able to meet with Nathan, the Public Relations Director at Thomas Arts and his assistant, Ellen. Thomas Arts is a full service advertising agency located in Kaysville Utah. It has five locations in the United States and has clients all over the country. As a full service advertising agency, the services that Thomas Arts provides runs the gamut from creative services to public relations. Working in public relations in an advertising agency gives PR professionals the opportunity to learn a lot about their own industry as well as many others. Thomas Arts has clients in the health care industry, the automotive industry, and many more. It was really exciting to have the opportunity to meet with a couple of professionals working in the industry. It really gave us the opportunity to understand a little bit about what would be expected from us as public relations specialists. It was also interesting to learn about some of the pros of working in a full service agency as opposed to a PR firm. Working in a full service agency gives professionals the opportunity to develop professional skills in many industries. Like its services, Thomas Arts clients also run the gamut. They have clients in the health care industry, in the automotive industry, and many things in between. This gives PR professionals, like Nathan and Ellen, the opportunity to practice PR in many different industries at the same time. Our trip to Thomas Arts was insightful. Nathan and Ellen made it very clear that public relations, in an advertising agency or a PR firm, is fast pace and very intense, but you have to work hard in order to play hard.

Client-Agency Relationships By Shaquille Heath, PRSSA Memeber

The relationship between your client and agency is the most important job you have as a Public Relations Practitioner. If the relationship you have becomes rocky, there could be many miscommunications that could lead to a failed campaign or even worse, an ended relationship. Here are 3 problems to be aware of when starting a new relationship with a client.

1. How do they define success? How do we define success? Are expectations from one party different than another? 2. Unexpected hits to the budget. Clients may not expect additional costs when crises arise. They also may expect more services than what they are paying for. 3. Bullying. Agencies may be taken advantage of when clients start asking for more work to be done. Agencies don’t want to speak up in fear of damaging the relationship.

The best way to avoid these issues is to have conversations at the very beginning of the relationship addressing these problems. Here are the key topics to address when establishing a relationship with a new client. • Respect. It is important for both client and agency to treat each other with the utmost respect. Everyone’s ideas are useful and everyone’s concerns are important. Remember, this is a partnership and will not work without both teams. • Transparency. Both agency and client need to have continual and open conversations about what expectations are. The agency should take it upon themselves to continually ask the client these three questions: -What are we doing that you like? -What are we doing that you don’t like? -What are we not doing that you would like to see? • Timetable. It is integral to write up an estimated calendar so that both parties can plan accordingly. The agency also needs to keep the client aware of progress and how it will impact end results. • Budget. Never surprise the client with budget expenses. Be open about additional charges or unexpected crisis costs. • Knowing when to say “when”. It is important to have a plan if these issues arise. Another sit-down meeting may be helpful to bring up concerns. -Information from PRNEWS.COM

Congratulations! Ogden Peak Communications client Weber Pathways held a wonderful event Wednesday, November 6 with 1 Revolution featuring Chris Waddell. Sydnie’s team put in a lot of work and many hours this semester to pull this off. Special thanks to Cameron Banner, Andrea Prigmore, Jaque Poll, Worthy Vieth, and Account Executive Sydnie Foust. We are all very proud of you!

Christine Denniston

Guest Speaker - Nov. 19, 2013 Elizabeth Hall RM #406 @ 2:30 P.M. Topic: Influencer PR Christine Denniston is the new Director of Marketing for the College of Arts and Humanities here at Weber State University. This Colorado native is also a book author and owns her own public relations firm in Boulder, Colorado. She will be meeting with us to discuss her favorite type of PR, influencer PR. All are welcome to attend!

Golden Spike Awards The Golden Spike Awards competition is an annual program sponsored by the Utah chapters of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Utah chapter, and the Utah Society for Healthcare Communication and Marketing (USHCAM).

November 14, 2013 Rio Tinto Stadium Budweiser Club Real Room 6:30-8:30pm

The competition recognizes excellence and best practices in public relations and business communications in Utah. Judges select winning entries and award Golden Spikes or Awards of Merit based on scores in the categories of research, planning, execution and evaluation. The cost is $55 per person or $550 per table of 10. For more information please visit

Weber State PRSSA



Davies is one of the nations leading PR firms, who has worked in countless contentious arenas over the last 30 years. Although they have had much experience in numerous areas, they have chosen four specific focus area on which to focus their depth of expertise: Real Estate, Energy & Environment, Mining and Crisis. Led by CEO and Chairman John Davies, Davies has grown to become one the nation’s top 25 public relations firms by applying precise implementation of innovative strategies, compelling messages and flawless execution to change public perception. This year alone, Davies has won more than 20 awards from multiple organizations across the US. They were recently awarded for their work with Rosemont and Napa Pipe for Public Affairs and Community Relations at the PRSA PRism Awards, and were awarded the 3rd Largest Environmental Firm in the US. Some of their recent clients have been Huntington Beach, the Biltmore, Clover Valley and the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens.


11/14/2013 Golden Spike Awards Rio Tinto Stadium @ 6:30-8:30pm

The competition recognizes excellence and best practices in public relations and business communications in Utah. Judges select winning entries and award Golden Spikes or Awards of Merit based on scores in the categories of research, planning, execution and evaluation.

11/19/2013 Guest Speaker - Christine Denniston Elizabeth Hall RM #406 @ 2:30pm

Christine Denniston is the new Director of Marketing for the College of Arts and Humanities here at Weber State University. This Colorado native is also a book author and owns her own public relations firm in Boulder, Colorado. She will be meeting with us to discuss her favorite type of PR, influencer PR.


11/28/2013-11/29/2013 Thanksgiving Break 12/2013 PRSSA/OPC Closing Social Information to be announced

12/9/2013 - 12/12/2013 WSU FINALS WEEK 12/13/2013 Graaduation