Students Organize Conference to Examine Crisis Communications

OGDEN, Utah – Chris Thomas who served as spokesman for the Smart family during the Elizabeth Smart abduction case will speak on crisis communications Feb.28 during a two-day event at Weber State University. 

The recently organized WSU chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is hosting a regional conference entitled "Rebuilding from the Fall: Crisis Communications." The event is designed to provide area college students an opportunity to interact with and learn from professionals working in the field of public relations.

In addition to Thomas, the event will also feature Josh Ewing, who served as spokesman for Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson before starting his own public relations firm. Ewing will be the keynote speaker at the banquet, which will be held Saturday evening.

Throughout the day, public relations professionals will conduct workshops addressing a variety of topics, including writing for public relations, interviewing techniques and resume enhancement.

More than 50 students representing Brigham Young University, Brigham Young University-Idaho, the University of Utah, Utah State University and WSU will take part in workshops, seminars and a crisis-communication competition. 

The competition consists of five teams who will present their campaigns to three judges on Saturday. The top three finishers will be announced at the awards banquet that night.

Jason Carlton, one of the event planners, is delighted to see the regional event take place at WSU.

"Weber State University is not really known or recognized in the realm of public relations," Carlton said. "This regional activity will draw attention to the work we are doing at WSU."

Although the sign-up date has passed for participants to attend the event, Carlton said he hopes the event will draw recognition and attention to the university in the field of public relations.  

The event is not open to the public.
Jason Carlton, activity coordinator, WSU chapter of PRSSA
 801-668-6690 •

Ryan Rigby, office of media relations
801-626-7212 •