Written by Courtney Thomas - Social Media/PR Director
Nicole Yost of Fyn PR met with our chapter of PRSSA earlier this evening. She discussed her company, how she became the public relations guru she is today, and the importance of local influencers.
Yost, a CSU alumna, began her journey in agency work, which eventually led to her starting her own company in Loveland. Now, four full-time employees strong (with some freelancers as well), Fyn PR focuses their efforts on tourism and hospitality companies. Located right in the heart of Loveland, no pun intended, Yost and her team play a significant role in the tourism and event planning for the city.
During her discussion with us, Yost touched on influencer relations, mentioning that the local influencers, such as members of the rotary organization, American Legion members, prominent business owners, or any other local heroes. These people service as local influencers and can create traffic at an event, websites, or social media posts.
Yost emphasized the importance of gaining experiences through internships, as well as job placement and how being happy and comfortable where you work is important. According to her, sometimes it is better to start working in agency life, as it gives you the most possible experience to prepare you for many types of jobs.
Nicole Yost is a great public relations specialist and a great resource for our chapter. We loved having her come talk our chapter and help us prepare for our futures!
Lead the Way with your organization and join the Colorado State University PRSSA chapter and University of Colorado Boulder PRSSA chapter for the first ever Sunset with Students fundraiser event, to be held at the Tivoli Center in Denver on August 15 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Registration, networking and dessert bar begin at 6:00 p.m.
This year’s event will feature keynote speaker Tommy Spaulding, a leadership expert and best-selling author. Join us in learning effective tools in being a PR leader, as well as how to build lasting relationships for your career.
Originally Sunrise with Students, The “Lead the Way: Sunset with Students” program serves as a fundraising event for students who are attending the PRSSA 2018 National Conference in Austin, Texas this October. Sunset with Students is a student-run, formal event for parent chapter, PRSA Colorado. All members are encouraged to attend.
Registration for the event is now open, and includes a copy of Spaulding’s book, The Heart Led Leader. Cost to attend the event is $50/members; $65/nonmembers, $30/students. Sponsorship opportunities for the event are also available; please check the events page for more information.
Written by: Lynette Zeches, CSU PRSSA Secretary on 9/14/2017
Last Thursday, I was given the honor of representing the CSU PRSSA chapter at this year’s PRSA Colorado Chapter Summit. This Summit is designed for professional development and networking, and featured a pretty impressive keynote speaker lineup.
Renee Robinson, the president of the PRSA Colorado Chapter, lead the Summit and introduced each different segment to the 50 or so members in attendance.
In the morning, we had breakfast and time to network. I picked up my badge from the check-in desk, and proceeded to find a table with some MSU Denver students who have the goal of starting their own PRSSA chapter for their university. Shortly after sitting down, I ran into Allyson Berry, our former president, and was able to introduce the MSU students to her, as she can help them with their goal! By chance, I sat one table over from Natalie Stevens of Greeley Unexpected, whom I did my PRSA shadow day with back in April of this year. Closer to lunchtime, I ran into Amy Sperber of Charles Schwab, who I met through PRSSA at a meeting she came to back in the spring semester. It was really nice to see some familiar faces and doing so really solidified the benefit of being a part of PRSSA. I also felt very humbled to be able to connect some aspiring PRSSA members with Allyson.
After lunch, Matt West of the Golin agency gave a very insightful talk about storytelling, and how, as PR professionals, the stories we tell should have a personal twist. I had also heard this proverb during my internship at Radman Communications this summer, so hearing it again was very insightful and proved to be applicable to the field. After the lunchtime keynote, we split up into three breakout sessions, where we got to choose different keynote speakers to listen to. I decided to meet up with Nicole Yost, our student chapter’s professional advisor and a CSU alum, to sit in on these breakout session speakers with her. We went to David Avrin of Visibility International’s talk on competitive advantages in the PR field, Jane Dvorak of JKD’s talk on starting your own PR Company, and Brett Edgerly of JEMSU Digital Marketing’s talk on SEO, or search engine optimization, in PR.
The Summit closed with a presentation from Jeremy Story, of Ground Floor Media, covering some PR fails in the media as of recent. It was an insightful, yet light and comical end to the Summit, and left everyone with a chuckle.
I’m so glad that I got this opportunity and would like to thank Nicole Yost, Fyn PR, for sponsoring me at this event. I won’t soon forget the relationships I built and lessons I learned.
CSU PRSSA Secretary
Senior - Journalism & Media Communications
Foci in Public Relations and German
CSU PRSSA Collaborates with the Fort Collins Lincoln Center for "PostSecret: The Show" National Tour!
What Is Post Secret?
PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a post card.
Watch Frank Warren describe it here .
What Is the National Tour About?
PostSecret: The Show is an immersive, poignant journey through the humor and humanity of the personal stories we keep to ourselves, and on rare occasions, share with others. Projected images, videos, three actors and a guitarist guide the audience through crowd-sourced narratives revealing the true stories behind the secrets. See the hopeful, shocking, painful and sexual secrets that brought hundreds of millions to the PostSecret blog, became six best-selling books and are currently in a Smithsonian art exhibition. Frank Warren, Internet phenomenon and recipient of the Mental Health Advocacy Lifetime Achievement Award, collaborated with an award-winning team of theatre professionals to bring PostSecret to life, theatrically, for the first time. With the bravery of Rent and the surprising honesty of The Vagina Monologues, PostSecret: The Show is a breakthrough in audience sourced storytelling that reaches beyond the confines of the stage, reminding audiences that secrets can be both walls and bridges.
Watch a video about it here .
How Will CSU PRSSA Be Involved?
Colorado State PRSSA will be working alongside the marketing team from the Fort Collins Lincoln Center to promote and produce this wonderful show.
Members will help with all aspects, including marketing, communications, public relations, community outreach/ involvement, general planning, budgeting, social media, etc.
This will allow for members to gain real-world, hands-on experience working with a high-profile client to put in their portfolios.
CSU PRSSA is thrilled to have this opportunity!
What's the Impact?
PostSecret is certainly entertaining, but that's not all it's known for.
This project and its ongoing efforts focus on mental health stigmas and finding relief for people who are struggling.
CSU PRSSA is excited to be working with such a passionate project, with hopes to bring this message back to our own campus. This message will be a major driving factor for our members and the work that they do on behalf of this organization.
When & Where Is It?
The showing of PostSecret: The Show is on February 9th, 2018.
The show will begin at 7:30 p.m., but there will be activities before and after the show so plan accordingly.
It will be held at the Lincoln Center Performance Hall (417 W. Magnolia Street, Fort Collins, CO 80521)
Where Can I Buy Tickets?
Tickets can be found at the link above.
Still Have Questions?
For any other questions or further inquiries about CSU PRSSA's involvement in the show, contact:
For general questions and ticketing information, contact:
For more information about PostSecret: The Show, visit:
To see all the funny, truthful posts from PostSecret, visit:
To all my PR friends:
Colorado State University PRSSA is thrilled to be starting its Fall '17 semester this Wednesday August 30th! We have so many awesome, interactive events (agency tours, seminars, mixers, etc.) planned and we can't wait for it all to begin.
With such an exciting line up to come, we still have our sights set on one event in particular: 2017 Nationals in Boston. Our goal is to send as many of our members as possible to this event as it is such a wonderful networking and professional development opportunity. That being said, Nationals this year is more expensive than ever before and it's always a struggle for college students to attend due to the high costs.
Colorado State University PRSSA is asking for your help! Being in the PR industry, we know you understand how valuable this experience is. We are always accepting donations, sponsorships, fundraising opportunities, etc. If there is any way you, your company or any of your connections can help, PLEASE DO! :) Any little contribution is greatly appreciated. Please reach out to Lauren Hancock at firstname.lastname@example.org
Along with that, CSU PRSSA is looking for speakers, educational/professional event hosts, AND RamPR clients for the Fall & Spring semesters. If you're interested in working with us as a host OR a client, please contact Lauren Hancock at email@example.com.
Thank you all so much!
-Lauren M. Hancock, President, ColoState PRSSA
Bright and early on Wednesday, July 27th, our chapter held our annual breakfast fundraiser. Sunrise fro Students is not only a fundraiser, but a professional development opportunity.
This year, we heard from a panel of Denver sports Public Relations specialists. With more than 50 years of combined experience Richard Bowness, Josh Gross and Marty Schechter and shared insightful tips on how to incorporate this multi-billion-dollar industry into your next play. With Colorado home to eight professional sports teams, including the Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos, it was an important learning opportunity.
We'd like to give a special thank you to Jane Dvorak for all of her unwavering support throughout the preparation for this event.
Thank you to all PRSA and PRSSA members who attended. We are definitely making some big steps into getting our chapter to Nationals this year in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Being in my second year of graduate school, I’ve been around the block a few times when it comes to communication classes and internships. My failures have taught me as much as my achievements, and I’m hoping to use this piece to share with you some of the pointers I’ve picked up along the way. So let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of how to write a successful news release:
#1 Know your audience. This sentence may be passed around to the point of becoming cliché, but it retains its value nonetheless. Just like with friendship, you have to have an understanding of who you’re talking to in order to develop a good relationship. What are their demographics? Likes? Dislikes? What writing strategies would appeal most to them? These are some questions to consider before whipping out your MacBook and typing away.
#2 Know your media. The spray and pray method is rarely effective for garnering media coverage. It’s generally a best practice to have specific outlets in mind or beat reporters to turn to for the specific subject of your release. Do your research on these people before you begin writing. How would you describe their writing style? Have they picked up your work before? If so, analyze the changes they made before publishing. You’re much more likely to get your work in print (or web or whatever medium you’re shooting for) if you make it easy on the journalist you pitch your story to. The fewer edits they have to make to your release, the more they’ll want to work with you.
#3 Be up to date on current events. Reading the New York Times and watching CNN will do you more good than just scoring you some points during an interview; in fact, keeping up to date on world news is crucial to the success of public relations professionals. Timing is everything, and it can hurt or benefit your release. Writing on current trends or tying in to other stories can definitely lend to readability. On the other hand, being insensitive to current issues can launch a full blown crisis. Be sure to utilize the student rates offered by many newspaper outlets and take advantage of free papers on campus.
#4 Tell a story. Again, you may have heard this a million times, but it can be difficult to figure out how to go about, especially for inexperienced writers. The line between colloquialism and maintaining professionality in writing may seem thin. Study previous releases published by your company or look at what’s trending in the media outlet you plan on pitching to. Turn to social media—what stories do you enjoy reading? How does the author relay the message? Your audience is more likely to remember your message if it’s interesting to read. Yes, give them the facts, but don’t bore them with the points you make.
# 5 Write well, edit better. In addition to writing a story worth reading, it’s important to put forth a polished piece. Keep your AP Stylebook nearby and read your work over before passing it along to anyone else. Many would suggest printing your draft out and reading it aloud to help catch mistakes and make sure it flows well. Of course, you want to be sure your article is stunning before sending it to the media, but shoot for doing this with your own in-house reviewers, too. Your professional reputation can seriously benefit from being seen as a meticulous editor.
Alissa Hooper, CSU PRSSA Director of Social Media
By: Nathalie Martinez, Colorado State University PRSSA Member
Congressman and Civil Rights Activist John Lewis reminded everyone at PRSSA National Conference in Atlanta, Ga. the importance of telling the story as simplicity and vivid details can go a long way.
Lewis has dedicated his life to protecting human rights and securing civil liberties in America. As a child, Lewis was inspired by the activism surrounding the Montgomery Boycott and the powerful words of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Ever since, he has become a pivotal figure in progressive social movements and human rights across the United States.
Through his determined efforts, Lewis has become known as “one of the most courageous persons the Civil Rights Movement ever produced.” Because of his persistence and fortitude, he discovered powerful ways to get involved.
During his keynote address, Lewis recollected on his account of hearing Martin Luther King Jr. on the radio as his leadership “inspired me to find a way to get in the way. I got in the way. I got in trouble.”
Lewis continued to stress the importance of getting in the way in order to tell a story. “You have an obligation. You have a mission and a mandate to find a way to get in the way. Find a way to get into good trouble, necessary trouble to education, to inform and to inspire another generation to stand up for what is right and what is necessary,” said Lewis. “That is your calling. That is your mission.”
Find a way a way to tell the story. Lewis urged his audience to use available resources and to tell the story in its simplest form. We have an obligation to tell the story. As aspiring public relations professionals, we can get in the way and cause necessary trouble to share the story that needs to be told.
“Each and every one of you – use your skills, use your know-how to help create a beloved community, to help redeem the soul of America. We can do it. We must do it,” said Lewis.
We must remember the importance of telling the story. Not only are we capable of making a difference through storytelling, it is our mission.
Is P.C. the new P.R. strategy for Starbucks? Examining the Starbucks cup design fiasco that became too hot to handle
By: Eleonora Yurkevich, Colorado State University PRSSA Chapter Member
Opponents to a new, simpler cup design are blaming Starbucks for taking “Christmas” out of the cups, as well as being overly politically correct. In the end, Starbucks – the stock price of which has risen four-fold over the last decade – issued a rather effective press release, while enjoying loads of free P.R. through the public debate, which has managed to attract commentary from such celebrities as: Stephen Colbert, Rob Lowe, Demi Lovato and presidential hopeful Donald Trump, to name a few.
In response to the debate, Starbucks issued a press release in which Jeffrey Fields, the company’s vice president of design and content, emphasized that this was purely a design decision and nothing more – a “two-toned ombré design,” as he described.
Fields emphasized that the cup’s design has been in constant transition throughout the years, metamorphosing from “a jazz-themed design” to “modern vector-illustrated characters.”
The release concluded with a statement about diversity and inclusion: “Starbucks will continue to embrace and welcome customers from all backgrounds and religions in our stores around the world.”
The very next day, Starbucks issued another release, introducing their “exclusive Christmas Blend.”
In the end, effective marketers and publicists were probably able to take advantage of the buzzing social media and celebrity commentary to #RidetheWave of the Starbucks #redcup debate.
Is all P.R. good P.R.? Has this debate been a success for the company’s publicity? Let us know what you think.
DENVER, (Aug. 06, 2015) — Colorado State University Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) held their Sunrise for Students breakfast on Wednesday, July 22, 2015. The annual fundraiser raises money to send CSU Chapter members to the PRSSA National Conference each year. This year, the conference, titled Rethink, Rebuild, Renew, will be held in Atlanta, Georgia.
Held at the CSU Denver Center, Sunrise for Students was open to public relations professionals and organizations to hear guest speakers from Fortune 500 company DaVita Kidney Care. Speakers David Gilles and Steve Hammack of DaVita presented “Communicating Your Culture Inside and Out,” discussing the importance of culture within their company and how the establishment of a strong foundation and positive influence can help a company grow.
Sunrise for Students provides additional funds for the Chapter to host other events throughout the year, making it the biggest CSU PRSSA fundraiser. Networking among professionals and students began with a southern-style breakfast at 7 a.m., with more networking following the presentation.
Click Here to see the National Post!