USU students win 'Golden Spike' award in Utah media professionals competition
By the USU Communication Department
A USU student public relations agency came away from the 1999 annual Golden Spike Awards in Salt Lake City on Wednesday with a second-place award for a media relations campaign the students designed for the Logan city government.
The USU group was the only student agency entered in the professional competition, sponsored jointly by the Public Relations Society of America and the International Association of Business Communicators to recognize the best media relations campaigns in Utah during 1998-99.
The student group, which calls itself NextCom Public Relations, won the award in the public affairs and government relations category for a comprehensive media campaign the students designed and executed last spring for Logan's economic development office.
Logan Mayor Doug Thompson and economic development director Nevin Limburg were on hand for the awards luncheon in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake as seven of the students involved in the campaign received their plaque from PRSA President Brian Wilkinson.
The awards were presented after Gordon B. Hinckley, president of the LDS Church, received his award as the PRSA/IABC Communicator of the Year.
"We are fantastically proud of these students," said Robyn Kratzer, the students' USU professor. "To come and compete with the big boys -- the only students in a competition of the best of Utah's communication professionals -- and come away with this award really puts them and our program on the map."
A total of 75 awards in 31 categories were presented to advertising and PR agencies from across Utah.
Communication Department head Ted Pease, who led a contingent of 15 students and faculty from USU to attend the event, praised the students for their professionalism, and predicted more successes.
"Next year, first place," he said. "I have to hand it to Robyn Kratzer and her students -- they really have taken media relations to a new level at USU."
Accepting the award for the student group were Scott Teichert, Carrie
Saunders, Cameron White, Nicole Rasmussen, Ted Wright and Leslie Jensen.