Monday, February 25, 2008



The ASUSU Executive Council could be giving the annual officer election process a makeover within the month, ASUSU President Peter McChesney said.

McChesney, who authored the new student legislation, said it would make the election process "smoother" for both candidates and voters alike. In part because there would be fewer elected positions, and, if the proposed legislation is passed, elections would last only one week rather than two.

Other than these, the most notable changes would be the advent of a presidential/vice presidential ticket, where a presidential candidate would select a running mate before elections begin. The two would run and campaign together against other similarly paired opponents, and would win or lose together.

"The majority of other colleges and universities are doing it this way," McChesney said. "To be honest, Utah State's been stuck in the past and I think it's time for a change." Click here to see how other universities conduct their elections.

Another substantial change would be that the president would then weigh in to appoint other students to the Executive Council's positions. Currently each spot on the council is an elected position. Click here to see a listing of positions and a description of ASUSU's current structure.

But President McChesney's optimism for the legislation and confidence in its success is not shared by all of his ASUSU associates. While most are in favor of the proposal, including HASS Senator Nick West, Executive Vice President Ashley Johnson, and Service VP German Ellsworth, members like Kevin Abernathy, the academic senate president, are against it.

Referring to the presidential powers of appointing his entire cabinet, Abernathy said that it gives "too much power [to] one individual."

The real question, however, is what the students will think of all this. If the proposed changes were to be approved by the Executive Council and the Academic Senate, then the decision would be left up to the students: ticket, or no ticket? Change, or no change?

So far, students have remained somewhat apathetic to the issue. An article similar to this one was published in the Utah Statesman several weeks ago, but is still waiting to receive any feedback from students, positive or negative.

For now, the pending legislation has been put on the backburner as this year's election cycle is already in full swing, with primary voting starting tomorrow. McChesney said he plans to push the amendment through before his term of service expires in May.

JCOM 2300 - Press Release Analysis


2. was quick to praise Honda's 2008 Civic GX for once again taking top honors of "Greenest Car" at the ACEEE Awards. The article was well-written and complimentary of the newest Civic for doing what its predecessors had done 5 years in a row - take first place. The article went into more detail about how Honda has had a history for making fuel efficient vehicles, and how unless something radical happens in management, they'll be looking to continue their award-winning, environment-saving ways.

The article was largely positive to Honda, but didn't forget to mention the "10 meanest cars" and how they compared to the "10 greenest cars." Among the less desirables were model vehicles from Ferrari, Bentley, and other gas guzzling machines that don't cite the environment as their No. 1 concern.

3. I was motivated to find this article in part because I own a Honda Civic (although it's no hybrid), and I've been impressed for several years now with the Honda Corporation in general. Their main website had more than enough access to various press releases that had been written by the company over the last several weeks, months and years.

I felt that the story itself was very relevant to the original press release, portions of it being taken as a boiler plate and thrown directly into the article. There were no customer testimonials, but that's something that I as PR Director at Honda certainly would have done. Honda cars are verbally viral. People like them and tell their friends about them. Then their friends by them. Customer testimonials would have been a wise addition to this particular press release.

For a press release to be effective, it's got to be attention grabbing, and it's got to do it quick. Editors are busy people with other things on their minds than delving deeply into each and every press release that comes across their desk. This press release was effective because it immediately told the reader that Honda had won another major award - that sticks. Had they started out by saying that Honda fares well against the competition when it comes to emission standards, the editor's yawn would begin as the press release reached the bottom of the trash can. For this reason, I felt that this press release was not only well written, but well strategized.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

2310 - Final Press Release

For Immediate Release
The Associated Students of Utah State University
Logan, Utah

In an effort to bring student rights to the forefront of state legislators, student representatives from Utah State University traveled to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, making their presence known not only with their words, but also with famous Aggie Ice Cream.

The student lobbyists were organized under Ashley Johnson, Executive Vice President of the Associated Students of USU. The group, which consisted of a broad range of students from varying colleges, meet regularly on campus to discuss student rights and bills that have a direct effect on them. After collaboration, training and advising from numerous guest speakers during the fall semester, the group gets the opportunity every spring to put their newly-acquired knowledge to work by lobbying in Salt Lake City.

"This is a great group," Johnson said. "Everyone helps to contribute to our cause, which is simply to let our senators and representatives know that we care about what goes on up here."

Johnson went on to say that college students face an uphill battle when working with state legislators being plagued by the stereotype of low voter turnouts and political apathy. That, Johnson said, is something this group of students is trying to disprove.

Wednesday was considered an overwhelming success by the group, due mostly to the fact that the bills they were in favor for were widely discussed with various state congressman, albeit over ice cream. The group reported meeting with prominent and senior members of the senate including Senator Lyle Hillyard from Logan, Utah and Senator Dorothy Dayton from Utah Valley. In the House of Representatives, Congressman Fred Hunsaker, Jack Draxler, and Jim Webb were among those courted by the USU students.

"The issues are real. They are important," said Casey Anderson, a junior majoring in Political Science. "The ice cream is just a way for us to grab people's attention."

This was the group's fifth trip to the Capitol in the last two months, but their efforts for this congressional cycle are coming to a close. They plan to make one last trip to Salt Lake City next week before the winter session of Congress ends in early March.

Media Contact:

Jackson Olsen

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Thinking the Unthinkable

I live in Utah, which, as everybody knows, is the Mecca of conservative politics in America. As a Democrat, I'm grossly outnumbered, and I've come to terms with that. But something is happening here in Utah. No, we haven't elected a Democratic Governor or Senator, and we certainly haven't given the state Congress over to the Democratic Party. But here, even in the heart of the Republican body, REPUBLICANS are voting Democratic. And they're not just voting for any Democrat - they're voting for Barack Obama.

My mother-in-law is as red as they come. She has been and will continue to be one of the most conservative individuals I will ever know. She votes for her party, regardless of the candidates. But on February 5th, when Utah held its primaries, she voted for Barack Obama, making it the very first time in her 52 years that she has voted for a Democrat. Amazing, isn't it.

Now, the question is: why? The answer is simple. Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney had already sealed up Utah - he had it on the day he announced his candidacy. She was a Romney supporter, but knowing that for the Republican Party it was a winner-take-all contest, and knowing that Romney would win, she looked elsewhere.

She voted for Obama because she believes that he's the best man for the job (with Romney as the exception). She was so violently opposed to McCain or Clinton winning - especially Clinton.

My mother-in-law is like so many others, who see Barack Obama as someone who can unite a galvanized country and work on both sides of the political divide. Clinton, on the other hand, is one of the post polarizing political figures in recent history. I'm not a Clinton-hater, but I know that if she's nominated the GOP will have a better shot at the White House as a result of her polarity, and the nation will continue to be as divided as Bush is leaving it.

Clinton has more experience, as does McCain, but experience doesn't mean everything. Experience pales in comparison to the importance of judgment and character. Just ask Abraham Lincoln or John F. Kennedy.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

2310 - Press Release #3

For Immediate Release
The Cache Valley Area Investors Association
Logan, Utah

A new financial organization has been established in Cache Valley; not a bank or investment firm, but a grassroots club designed to make financial education affordable and easy to understand.

The Organization, the Cache Valley Area Investment Association, was founded by Preston Parker of Logan in the August of 2007, and meets every other Thursday evening at the Cache Chamber of Commerce to discuss financial matters such as debt, investments, and real estate.

"We graduate from high school knowing what amoebas are, but we still can't balance a checkbook or make an smart investment," Parker said. "People need to know when a good financial opportunity comes along."

Financial problems can be a thing of the past, Parker said, because CVAIA provides solutions for the future. The topics discussed in their regular meetings vary, and are molded to the needs and concerns of the members of the club.

There are currently 40 members in the Cache Valley area. Members not only enjoy free membership and advising, but they network with other financial enthusiasts who, Parker said, may end up being a business parter one day.

Although Parker doesn't have a formal education in finances, economics or accounting, he "took risks and seized opportunities" that have provided him with knowledge and experience that have led him to several successful business ventures. Parker also acknowledged the role of popular financial books that inspired him to form the CVAIA, including "The Millionaire Next Door" by Thomas J. Stanley and "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki.

"Wealth is living on a passive income rather than an earned income," Parker said. "When you can do that, you free yourself to make your passions your career."

Media Contact:

Preston Parker
Cache Valley Area Investors Association
four three five - seven five seven - four five six zero

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Positioning Framework

It is my objective to attend Harvard Law School in the fall of 2009. Harvard boasts one of the finest educational institutions in the country, and its law school is certainly no exception. I have a resolute desire to study and practice law, and perhaps pursue it into academia. The Harvard Law School will help me as I make that leap from academic to professional life, but it will also benefit from having me as a student and alumnus by my hard work, my commitment to excellence, and my determination to succeed.

According to every current ranking available, including the one sponsored by U.S. News, the Harvard Law School unanimously holds a top-tier title, battling Yale University and Stanford University for the No. 1 spot. Harvard is unfaltering in its tradition of accepting the finest college graduates from around the world and molding them into the top crop of legal professionals. The admission standards are high, and place emphasis on academics, LSAT scores and personal character. The average GPA of accepted students is 3.84, while the average LSAT score is 172, both of which are extremely impressive. But the admissions board is also very interested in the quality and caliber of character of each individual that applies. They look for extra-curricular activities, student involvement, leadership experience, and other features that would continue to emphasize the high-caliber standard that has been set by multiple generations of outstanding students.


-I will continue to improve my GPA as I finish my last 3 semesters of my undergraduate degree.
-I will run for student office in an effort to gain more experience in the political process, as well as harvest leadership qualities and traits.
-If I am not elected, I will volunteer my time and efforts to aiding the school and its student body through other mediums.
-I will intern in a political or governmental atmosphere during the summer before my senior year to further expose myself to the political and legal worlds.
-I will study for and take the LSAT as many times as necessary until I receive a score of 165 or higher.

-As a result of the aforementioned efforts, I expect to be accepted to at least one of my top three school choices.
-I expect to receive at least one scholarship offer from a school that I apply to.
-I expect to be employed with a private law firm of my choice upon completion of the Bar Exam based upon my successful academic career and performance.



-I am an active, participatory student. I’m involved in class discussions, and help to harbor an atmosphere of learning and understanding.
-I currently hold a 3.7 GPA.
-I am on the Dean’s List for the College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences.
-I rank in the top 15% of my class academically.

Passion & Dedication:

-I am the kind of person that hates a task left undone. I am committed to finish what I start, including projects, courses, and events.
-Since a very young age, I’ve been passionate about law and politics. I became involved in both early in my life. I started working at my father’s law firm when I was 14 years old, and was exposed to the inner workings of a professional law firm. Besides having great interest in politics, I ran for and participated in student government for six out of seven years in junior high and high school.
-I am anxious to help others, especially those who don’t have a leg to stand on. I’m compassionate, but equally determined to act. My overall professional goal in life is to make a difference in the lives of others and to be a positive influence to those with whom I interact.


-I have had the opportunity on several occasions to visit the state and national Capitols. There I have not only been able to learn about executive and legislative responsibilities, but have been able to raise my voice and lobby for various causes.
-I am a member of the Utah State University Mock Trial Club
-I am also a member of the Utah State University College Democrats.

Obama's Super Tuesday

After nearly being brought to tears by the new "Yes We Can" video produced by of the Black Eyed Peas and Director Jesse Dylan, my hopes for Barack Obama heading into Super Tuesday had never been higher. And, just like in my mind-authored fairytale, Obama came out on top...barely.

Of course, in my mind-authored fairytale, Obama swept the nation in votes and delegates, made mind-blowing victory speeches every half hour, and saved an old woman by carrying her out of the flames of her burning home in the meantime. Although it didn't happen the way I wanted it to, it still happened. Barack Obama has not only erased the lead that Sen. Hillary Clinton once held on him, he's assumed it. According to MSNBC, Fox News and several other new mediums, Obama holds a narrow but symbolic lead over Clinton in delegates, 838-834.

Narrow is explained easily enough. It's a dead heat to say the least. But symbolic? Why symbolic? Because, just as Obama has stated with power and clarity in his numerous victory speeches (that, I might add, give me goosebumps every single time):

"We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics who will only grow louder and more dissonant. We've been asked to pause for a reality check. We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope."

Since launching her exploratory committee early last year, and for several speculative months beforehand, Sen. Clinton has been the inevitable frontrunner. Her name alone stood as a beacon of the Democratic party, and has shaken contender after contender from the race. But in recent months, Sen. Obama not only remains unshaken, he's elevated his campaign to a new tier of political activation and inspiration. The Clinton empire is losing its grip on the Democratic party and on America as a whole.

The page has turned on traditional Washington politics. A new sense of duty and civic responsibility is in the air. A grassroots revolution of hope, change and activism has begun, and Barack Obama is its spokesman.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

2310 - Press Release #2

For Immediate Release
Burger Planet
Los Angeles, California

In an effort to drain the grease from their image, Burger Planet has introduced new menu items that offer consumers a healthy alternative to the status quo in the fast food industry, said Hans Ketchup, the company's Vice President of Communications.

The marketing move comes at a crucial time, as obesity rates in the country continue to climb and Burger Planet's competition face costly lawsuits because of the poor health quality of food. The menu's makeover is being endorsed by celebrity fitness trainer Jayne Peterson.

"Burger Planet has been a leader in the Quick Service Restaurant industry in offering healthy menu choices," Peterson said. "The company believes in encouraging customers to live healthier, active lifestyles."

The new and improved menu features fruits and salads that can stand alone in a meal, or be a companion to a more traditional Burger Planet entree. The change will help consumers make healthier choices, but Peterson urged that regardless of the new options, fast food is meant to be consumed in moderation.

James E. Muellenbach III, president and CEO of Burger Planet, is excited about his company's new direction and optimistic about the public's response.

"Burger Planet cares about its customers," Muellenbach said. "For more than seven decades, the company has succeeded because it put customers first."

Media Contact:

Jackson Olsen
Public Relations Account Executive
(435) 555-1129