Student of the Year Competition

Hey undergrads! Do you want the opportunity to apply your education to a real-life scenario? Maybe win $1,000 in the process? Test your PR Prowess by entering the 11th annual Utah PR Student of the Year competition, sponsored by the Greater Salt Lake PRSA chapter. 

Your assignment:
Develop a PR campaign to help increase South Valley Services’ communication efforts to raise awareness and to engage the public in stopping domestic violence.

Get all the details, including the goals and objectives set by South Valley Services:

2017 PR Student of the Year Call for Entries

Entry deadline is Friday, March, 3, 2017, at 5 p.m., so don’t delay.


Testimonials from previous PR Student of the Year participants

Amber Price
2013 Winner | Weber State University
Client: Living Planet Aquarium

“Participating in the PR Student of the Year contest was a great learning experience where I was able to apply the different skills I was learning in all my classes into one concise project. It was hard work, but fun and rewarding. The opportunity to work with a real client (The Living Planet Aquarium), create and pitch a plan and now implement my plan with that client as an intern has been an experience that is invaluable. It also allowed me to gain confidence in my ability to write press releases, pitch to media and deal with crisis communication in a real world way. The judges have been great at not only giving individual feedback but also career advice. As a bonus, I got to hang out with penguins and otters for the summer. What’s more fun than that?”

Randee Jensen
2011 Winner | Weber State University
Client: Salt Lake Head Start

“The Utah PR student of the Year competition gave me the chance to apply what I learned in the classroom to a real-world scenario. It’s the perfect way to gain experience in public relations and network with influential PR professionals in the area. My participation in the event provided as much value as any of my internships, and the competition was a fun way to evaluate my skills against other students.”

Courtney Lewis
2010 & 2009 Winner | Utah State University
Client: The Leonardo

“I love that the Utah PR Student of the Year competition focuses on multiple aspects of PR–writing, pitching a story, presenting a campaign, crisis management. It’s the kind of hands-on education you won’t get in the classroom. Why should you enter? Enter so you can learn from experts in your field, so you can stretch your brain and think outside-the-box, so you can earn the easiest $1,000 you’ll ever make, and so you can represent your school. Currently, I work as the PR/Marketing Director for Windcrest Pediatric Dentistry in San Antonio, Texas.”

Britnee Johnston
2008 Winner | Utah Valley University

“Competing in the Utah PR Student of the Year was one of the best choices I ever did for my career. It bolstered my confidence and experience and helped me make connections that led to a great job after college. Months after the event, one of the judges reached out to me when a communications position became available at his local PR agency, Intrepid. I wouldn’t have had such a great opportunity come to me if it weren’t for this competition and it also made for an easier transition from college into the real PR world. In short, you will have a chance to meet professionals who could offer you a PR job in the future as well as make some great friends with other young students/professionals at the event who could later give you a Dutch oven as a wedding present. True story. Currently, I am the Communications Manager for Thanksgiving Point, one of the largest non-profits in Utah.”

Dan Sorenson
2007 Winner | University of Utah
Client: Tracy Aviary

The Student of the Year competition opened up dozens of doors for me. Through the competition, I proved that I could create ideas on a professional level, write on a professional level, and present on a professional level.  I was selected as one of four finalists and eventually won the coveted title of PR Student of the Year. Two weeks later, I received a call from The Summit Group, a local communications agency. I was told they saw me at the competition (I never actually met anyone from the company at the awards luncheon). They were interested in having me come in for an interview. That February, when a position opened up, they offered me a full-time job as a Public Relations Coordinator – three months BEFORE I graduated. Today, I work at Fusion-io creating and running PR and Social Media campaigns.”

Elizabeth Wortley
2006 Winner


Emily Allen
2011 Finalist | Brigham Young University

“The PR Student of the Year competition was the best learning experience I had in college (and I’m not just saying that). No PR student should miss this opportunity. It was a great way to put my skills to the test and prove to myself and local PR professionals that I own a spot in the PR world. The feedback and mentoring available during this competition helped me fine-tune my knowledge and skills to better launch my career. While the money is a nice perk, the experience and networking opportunity is invaluable. As a result, I ended my Senior year with a career in pocket and a plaque in hand. I am currently a Communication Coordinator at Intrepid in Salt Lake City.”

Tiffany Harston
2010 Finalist | Brigham Young University

“The student competition was one of the most helpful things I did as an undergraduate. I practiced valuable skills like writing and presenting and creating a campaign, and I got great feedback. I was also able to do a couple things I had never done before: pitch a reporter and present a campaign to PR professionals. The competition took a lot of time as far as preparation but was way worth it. In the end, I had greater confidence, new mentors, more experience, and won $500. I wished I had known about it earlier so I could have participated twice.”