Division I: Campaigns

Best of Show – Awarded to the highest scoring campaign
Undercover Boss – Larry H. Miller Group of Companies with Intrepid

1. Publicity and Media Relations

For-profit companies
From Unknown to “Undercover” to Ubiquitous: How PR Helped a 2nd Generation CEO Make a Bold Introduction: Intrepid, Larry H. Miller Group of Companies

Not-for-profit companies
SLC International Terminal Outreach Campaign: Willkinson Ferrari & Co, Salt Lake International Airport

2. Community Relations

For-profit companies
USANA Community Relations: USANA Health Sciences

Not-for-profit companies
The Road Home Apple Tree: Intrepid, The Road Home

3. Public Service/Advocacy

Not-for-profit companies
Utah Lake Legislative Funding Communication Strategy: Wilkinson Ferrari & Co., Utah Lake Commission

4. Special Events

For-profit companies
Rio Tinto Kennecott Mine Access Road Opening Event: Penna Powers Brian Haynes, Rio Tinto Kennecott

Not-for-profit companies
Eccles Theater Groundbreaking: Wilkinson Ferrari & Co. Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency

5. Marketing Products or Services

For-profit companies
We Specialize in You: Penna Powers Brian Haynes, Ogden Clinic

Not-for-profit companies
IOUtah – Communication Department and Utah Valley University

6. Social Media

For-profit companies
SOCHI 2014 Campaign – USANA Health Sciences SOCHI 2014

Not-for-profit companies
A New Way To Pay – Communication Department Utah Valley University

Division II: Tactics

7. Publicity and Media Relations

For-profit companies
Undercover Boss: Intrepid, Larry H. Miller Group of Companies with Intrepid

Government, Nonprofit organizations and associations:
UDOT I-80 Parley’s Canyon Construction: Intrepid, UDOT

8. Print Communications

For-profit companies
Harmons Food for Thought Summer Edition: Penna Powers Brian Haynes, Harmons

Government, Nonprofit organizations and associations:
Algorithms for Innovation: Amy Albo & Seth Bracken, University of Utah Health Sciences

9. Press Kits/Media Kits

Operation Climb On: Marketing & Communications, University of Utah

10. Advertising and Other Marketing Communications

Direct mail/direct response. Includes invitations, holiday cards, announcements, etc.
Intrepid Anchorman Holiday Card: Intrepid

Print display advertising. Includes newspaper and magazine ads.
One in Four UUHC: University of Utah Health Care

Television commercials – paid advertising
You Choose UUHC: University of Utah Health Care

Radio commercials – paid advertising
Mountain Heights Academy Emoticon Radio Ads: Intrepid, Mountain Heights Academy

Outdoor advertising (e.g., billboards – submit photo)
Merwy Cwismas and Happy Hollidays – Penna Powers Holiday Card

11. Videos

Internal audiences primarily
Making the Case to Shake: University of Utah Healthcare

External audiences primarily
Mountain Accord Infographic Video: Interpid, Mountain Accord

12. Writing

News writing
New telescope implant surgery: University of Utah Moran Eye Center

Editorials/op-ed columns/letters to the editor (opinion pieces, Advertorials (paid advertising written as editorial matter):
Healthy Utah plan good for Utahns and Utah business: University of Utah Health Sciences Office of Public Affairs

13. Interactive Communications

External audiences primarily
What’s Up, USANA? Blog: USANA Health Sciences

14. Creative Tactics

Summit Land Conservancy’s Boot Guy Mascot
Summit Land Conservancy

UDOT Zero Fatalities “Godzilla” and “Toothless” Theatre Door Wraps
Penna Powers – Utah Department of Transportation

15. Research

Popmoney Research – Utah Valley University Communication Department

16. Social Media

For-profit companies
2014 Nu Skin Social Media – Nu Skin Enterprises

Not-for-profit companies
Safety Saturday Lifestyle Blogger Event – Penna Powers and Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital

17. Photography and Illustrations

Fish Utah Photography – Penna Powers & Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

2012 Teen Memoriam – Penna Powers/Utah Department of Transportation

Liz AbelLiz Abel, University of Utah’s senior associate athletics director for communications, directs the athletic department’s public relations and publicity efforts and manages the new media and broadcast/video divisions.

Liz oversees communication for the department and partnerships with media for Football and Gymnastics. She helped transition the University of Utah into the Pac 12 by coordinating with the press and overseeing the social media programs for the department as the University entered the conference.

Liz and her team helped provide innovative ways to reach fans with the development of the New Media department, an organization that focuses on reaching fans in real-time during sporting events. Her teams help bring streaming video of athletic events to audiences all over the world, and coordinates game production, photography, press conferences, and overall communication between the athletic department and several key audiences.

Liz came to the U. in 1983 as the assistant sports information director and was promoted to associate SID in 1988; She was elevated to associate AD in 2004 and has been a senior associate athletics director since 2011.

Karen CromptonKaren Crompton is an experienced executive who has developed, led and managed local, state and national level efforts to benefit children and families. She has hands-on experience in growing and sustaining an organization, forging partnerships, designing awareness campaigns, influencing public policy, and mobilizing advocates. She helped to pass Utah’s first preschool legislation for at-risk children, successfully worked to strengthen and expand access to children’s health care coverage through CHIP and Medicaid, helped secure funding for all-day kindergarten, helped pass legislation to address intergenerational poverty, and successfully opposed legislation to repeal in-state tuition at Utah colleges and universities for undocumented students.

Pete Codella, APRPete Codella is Accredited in public relations, holds an MBA from the University of Utah and a BA from Brigham Young University. He is the director of marketing and communications for the David Eccles School of Business. He has taught public relations and social media courses at UNLV, UCI Extension and the University of Utah. He’s a former chapter president for PRSA and IABC in Las Vegas, and the Social Media Club in Salt Lake City. In Las Vegas he received PRSA and IABC’s highest awards, as well as IABC’s Communicator of the Year. He co-chaired the 2013 Golden Spike Awards.

Mary RiceMary Rice is a proud member of the public relations team at Penna Powers. Prior to switching careers and joining the agency three years ago, Mary worked at several of the top news outlets in the Utah market. At Penna Powers she provides media relations and strategic planning services for a variety of clients including Harmons Grocery Stores, UDOT, Ogden Clinic, UCAIR and more. In 2013 Mary was recognized by AAF Utah with the “Rocky Award” for public relations and is proud to work with a diverse group of outstanding clients who give her the chance to do what she loves every day.

Golden Spike Awards nominations for 2014 individual awards are now being accepted until Sept. 30.

If you didn’t receive an invitation to participate in the PRSA members-only survey to nominate a public relations professional for an individual award, please contact Steven Tew at steven.tew@imail.org.

Now that we’re past the entry deadline for the 27th annual Golden Spike Awards, it’s time to reserve your spot at the dinner and awards ceremony.

We received about 140 entries this year, so the awards presentation will be even bigger and better than last year.

We’re required to provide catering our final count by Nov. 7, so that’s your deadline to guarantee your space at this year’s Golden Spike Awards.

Plan now to join us. You won’t want to miss it.

buy 2014 Golden Spike Awards dinner tickets

It’s that time of year again to let your hard work shine in the limelight!

This is the official call for entries for the 2014 Golden Spike Awards – recognizing the best and brightest public relations and communications professionals in Utah.

The early bird entry deadline is August 31, 2014.

For those procrastinators, you have until September 9 at 5 p.m. to get your entries in.

All the entry details are on the Entries page.

Watch for the call for entries announcement in your mailbox.



TweetBeamBy most accounts, the 2013 Golden Spike Awards were a huge success. The room was filled to capacity with more than 170 of Utah’s best and most influential communicators. Beyond those physically present, the Golden Spike Awards were able to reach an extended audience of more than 140,000 thanks to social media.

The Golden Spike Awards Organizing Committee made arrangements with a live Twitter feed service, TweetBeam, to showcase Twitter content shared with the #GoldenSpikeAwards hashtag.

And thanks to TweetBeam, we can share the following statistics about the Twitter conversation surrounding the 26th annual Golden Spike Awards on Nov. 14, 2013:

  • A total of 266 tweets with #GoldenSpikeAwards were sent
  • The TweetBeam show generated 359,674 impacts (the potential number of times somebody could have seen the hashtag) to 142,898 unique Twitter users
  • The #GoldenSpikeAwards show had 100 contributors with an average of 1,428 followers per contributor
  • The average contributor sent out 2.66 tweets
  • A total of 82 links and/or pictures were sent

TweetBeam is an ideal communication tool for any event, like a conference, party or concert. The service collects all Twitter posts and responses associated with an event’s hashtag and displays them on a cleverly designed background created from participant’s profile photos. As tweets come in they are highlighted and enlarged so you and your audience can read what everyone’s saying about your event in real time.

Live streaming and curating content like this is growing in popularity because of how effectively it gages the amount of attention your event is receiving, and how it lets you engage an audience in real time. It’s a great way to get people talking about your organization or event.

The Golden Spike Awards Organizing Committee is grateful for the in-kind contribution of TweetBeam. If you haven’t used the service, we encourage you to give it a try.

Pick on This, Make a ChangeThe Golden Spike Awards Organizing Committee congratulates the Utah Valley University Communication Department on their entry, “Pick On This, Make A Change,” in the category of community relations campaigns, not-for-profit, which took Best of Show with a perfect score at the 26th annual Golden Spike Awards on November 14, 2013.

“We received so many good entries this year,” said Bryan Packer, president of the Greater Salt Lake Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. “We had a record number of entries and participants in our annual Golden Spike Awards. Congratulations to all the winners.”

In all, 41 Awards of Merit, 26 Golden Spike Awards, four individual awards and one Best of Show Award were presented at the annual event recognizing excellence in public relations and business communications in Utah.

“For 26 years now, public relations practitioners in Utah have come together to recognize professional excellence in the annual Golden Spike Awards. We’re thrilled that so many of this year’s winners, including Best of Show, came from Utah Valley,” said Brittney Maxfield, president of the Utah Valley Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. “The awards demonstrate the level of professionalism and accomplishment by business communicators throughout the state.”

2013 Golden Spike Awards winners, in alphabetical order, were:
Golden Spike Awards trophy

“Algorithms for Innovation” by University of Utah Health Sciences
“Antisocial Networks? Applying Crucial Conversations to the Digital Age” by VitalSmarts
“Be Cool Not Cruel” by Utah Valley University Communication Department
“Be Cool, Not Cruel Awareness Month Against Bullying” by Utah Valley University Communication Department
“Ben McAdams Outdoor Campaign” by Love Communications
“Bingham Canyon Mine Slide Crisis Management” by Rio Tinto Kennecott and Penna Powers Brian Haynes
“Business Improvement Kaizen Events Video” by Rio Tinto Kennecott and Penna Powers Brian Haynes
“Clear the Air Challenge Lifestyle Blogger Event” by Clear the Air Challenge and Penna Powers Brian Haynes
“Dash Changes His Ways” by Intermountain Medical Center
“First Tiffany & Co. Christmas” by Tiffany & Co. and Intrepid
“Great Utah ShakeOut 2013” by Utah Division of Emergency Management and Be Ready Utah
“Harmons Grocery Stores Media Relations” by Harmons Grocery Stores and Penna Powers Brian Haynes
“I-15 CORE End Is Near Movie Trailer” by Utah Department of Transportation and Penna Powers Brian Haynes
“Intrepid Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Holiday Card” by Intrepid
“Pick On This, Make A Change” by Utah Valley University Communication Department
“Providing Parity for Cancer Patients” by Love Communications
“Quiet at Night” by Intermountain Healthcare
“School of Medicine Class Size” by University of Utah Health Sciences
“Stop Whooping Cough Pertussis Poster” by the Salt Lake County Health Department and Penna Powers Brian Haynes
“Stop Whooping Cough Pertussis Vaccination Campaign” by Salt Lake County Health Department and Penna Powers Brian Haynes
“UDOT At the CORE” by Utah Department of Transportation, Intrepid and Penna Powers Brian Haynes
“UDOT Employee Morale Research” by Utah Department of Transportation with Intrepid
“UDOT I-15 CORE Social Media Campaign” by Utah Department of Transportation with Intrepid
“UDOT SNAP ’Walk More in Four’” by Intrepid
“Utah Jazz 2012-2013 Season Campaign” by Larry H. Miller Group with Intrepid
“Zions Bank Community Magazine” by Zions Bank and Lumin Publishing

The 2013 Golden Spike Awards were sponsored by Westminster College, BrandHive, Business Wire and Zions Bank.

“We greatly appreciate the support of our sponsors as well as members of the Golden Spike Awards Organizing Committee and their employers,” said Pete Codella, APR, co-chair of the 2013 Golden Spike Awards. “Without their support, the Golden Spike Awards would not be possible.”

“We also received in-kind support from Alexander’s and Atomic Creative Services,” added Susan Bellomy, Golden Spike Awards co-chair. “This year’s event was very successful. I’m looking forward to chairing the 2014 Golden Spike Awards as we continue to produce and recognize excellent public relations work in Utah.”