student second in Utah Public Relations Student of the
November 20, 2008 | SALT LAKE CITY -- Breea Heiner
of USU took runner up in the Public Relations Society
of America (PRSA) Greater Salt Lake Chapter's Utah PR
Student of the Year award.
PRSA announced the winners of the third annual student
competition at the Golden Spike Awards for communications
Britnee Nguyen, a communications major from Utah Valley
University in Orem took first, with Heiner and Emily
Crane (Brigham Young University-Idaho) placing second
and third respectively. Honorable mention top five finalists
represented Weber State University (Graham Allen) and
the University of Utah (Nathan Jackson).
More than 40 communications students representing
six universities across Utah and into Idaho competed
for $1,000 cash prize and an opportunity to intern with
the 2008 nonprofit client, Utah Cancer Foundation. In
October, students submitted a written strategy including
research, objectives, tactics and a timeline for the
Utah Cancer Foundation. A panel of PR professionals
judged the entries and selected five finalists from
five different universities to present their campaign
plan to PR agency directors and the executive director
of the Utah Cancer Foundation at a daylong competition
in Salt Lake City, Nov. 1.
"One day of this competition is comparable to what
students might learn in a semester PR internship," said
Jason Mathis, PRSA Greater Salt Lake Chapter president.
"This is a learning experience unlike any other for
those preparing for a communications career."
The five finalists formally presented their strategy,
pitched a story to seasoned KSL-TV health reporter,
Ed Yeates, wrote a timed press release and managed a
crisis situation. The judges asked finalists direct
questions about their campaigns and gave one-on-one
to the soon-to-be professionals.
The competitionís client, Utah Cancer Foundation,
is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving
the lives of cancer patients today. The foundation offers
support groups, housekeeping and lawn care services
to those undergoing cancer treatment in Utah. Ideas
gathered from the competition will be used in Utah Cancer
Foundationís ongoing PR efforts.
Corporate sponsors of the competition were Intrepid,
Vanguard Media Group and Alphagraphics. Past winners
of the competition were from the University of Utah
(2007) and Utah State University (2006).
The Public Relations Society of America is the world's
largest organization for public relations professionals.
The Society has nearly 32,000 professional and student
members. PRSA is organized into more than 100 Chapters
nationwide, including the Greater Salt Lake Chapter.
The Greater Salt Lake Chapter includes public relations
and communications professionals from the Salt Lake
Valley as well as southern Idaho.