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Dixie State University

Dixie State University’s Insight Communications wins Yes Utah campaign award

May 23, 2017

Dixie State University’s Insight Communications, a student-operated public relations, marketing and advertising firm, recently won first place in a contest sponsored by Intermountain Donor Services to promote the Yes Utah campaign.

The student agency was awarded $1,000 for the work they did to bring the campaign, which encourages Utahns to register or re-register for organ donation by adding their names to the Utah Donor Registry, to the Dixie State campus.

“Being able to see the individual creativity and skills of each student as we created our campaign was the most rewarding part of the experience,” Conner Murdock, director of Insight Communications, said. “Each student had different connections and backgrounds, and to mesh them all into a winning idea was an awesome thing to see.”

The agency set up booths and handed out materials to promote the cause at popular student events such as the final round of the singing competition Dixie Idol and ping pong and Bingo game nights in addition to spreading the word on social media. Additionally, Insight Communications sponsored a free student activity that featured karaoke, refreshments and giveaways to promote organ donation and ask students to register as donors.

“The Insight students solicited great prizes from the St. George community for drawings, heavily promoted the activities where they registered students as donors and, from all appearances, made it fun to talk about organ, eye and tissue donation,” Alex McDonald, director of public education and public relations for Intermountain Donor Services, said. “I was extremely impressed with the activities and outcomes they worked on and achieved. What really impressed me was the professionalism and enthusiasm of the students.”

The agency’s efforts resulted in 300 Dixie State students registering or re-registering as organ donors.

“My students put in long hours and late nights, coordinated with different organizations, negotiated a division of labor within the class and planned multiple events on campus,” Dr. Erin Ortiz, the agency’s advisor and assistant professor of Media Studies at Dixie State, said. “The effort they put in and the quality of the campaign was done extremely well, and it means so much to my students — and myself — to be recognized for the work that they accomplished this semester.”    

The Utah Donor Registry provides educational materials on the benefits of organ, eye, tissue, and living donation while ensuring that all those who want to donate can document their wishes.

“The Insight students really raised a lot of awareness on campus and also within the St. George community about donation,” McDonald said. “While they did register a lot of people for donation, their activities could not help but encourage many discussions about donation and how people felt about it. Many times, people will remember those conversations they had with others and follow those wishes if something should happen to them.”

Established this fall, Insight Communications is a practicum course in the Strategic Communication emphasis within Dixie State’s Media Studies Department and guides students through the strategic communication process of idea formation, planning, design and execution.

“Insight Communications works with on- and off-campus clients in order to help them reach their communication goals,” Ortiz said. “By working directly with members and organizations in the community, my students are actively engaging in the theories and practices that they learn in the classroom and they are applying it to organizations. Insight allows them to establish and maintain relationships, and they are using their creative problem-solving skills to seek solutions.”

Dedicated to offering students experiential learning opportunities as part of its “active learning. active life.” educational philosophy and motto, Dixie State teaches students through hands-on learning experiences to prepare them for rewarding careers after they graduate.

“A lot of hands-on learning originates from trial and error. Not everything we did as an agency was a complete success throughout the campaign, but the adjustments made is what helped us to succeed,” Murdock said. “Analyzing theories and learning the nuances of PR and strategic communication is important, but seeing them in action and what works is a whole new insight to the practical skills needed to be successful.”

Dixie State’s Media Studies Department offers a Bachelor of Science in Media Studies and emphases in Multimedia Journalism, Strategic Communication, Social Media and Media Studies. Students study the history and evolution of media, communication technologies, and techniques used in media production and develop an understanding of the economic and social effects of media. The program prepares students for a wide range of careers, including those in journalism, public relations, marketing, advertising, media production, TV, radio, online media, social media and media research.

To learn more about Insight Communications, visit www.dsuinsight.com or for more information about the Media Studies Department at Dixie State University, visit mediastudies.dixie.edu.