SETTING THE PACE
The Utah Valley University PRSSA Chapter hosting the first donkey basketball fundraiser. Photos courtesy of UVU PRSSA.
Utah Valley University Chapter Puts
the FUN in FUNdraising
BY BRITNEE BROMLEY NUEHRING UTAH VALLEY UNIVERSITY
Over the past seven years, the
Utah Valley University (UVU)
PRSSA Chapter has hosted a variety of fundraising campaigns,
such as selling graduation chords,
LinkedIn headshots and holding
etiquette dinners. This year, however, the executive board decided
to go in a very different direction
by hosting a donkey basketball
THAT’S RIGHT, A
GAME. REAL PEOPLE,
RIDING REAL DONKEYS, PLAYING REAL
The executive board wanted to do something unique that
would create buzz and get people talking, which is exactly what
We had two main goals we
strived to complete during this
event. First, we needed to raise
funds for our PRSSA Chapter.
Second, we wanted to involve
the community in and around
our university. UVU professors,
students, department heads, local
business owners, city mayors and
high school students were all involved in the donkey basketball
fundraiser. It wasn’t easy, but with
the help of an eight-man fundraising committee along with as-
sistance from volunteers, PRSSA
advisers and UVU faculty, it was
With such a unique event, it
made sense to utilize memorable
grassroots marketing techniques
to promote the event. Our strategic outreach calendar was detailed, thorough and extremely
effective. During the week of the
fundraiser, we rented a miniature
donkey named Janie to interact
with potential attendees. People couldn’t get enough of little
Janie walking around campus,
high schools and even on our our
city’s main street helping to promote the game. We made sure
to have signage and PRSSA reps
Managing Your Social Media
always by her side explaining
what the spectacle was all about
and encouraging patrons to take
selfies with her and posting them
on their social media using the
Our 10 donkey all-stars were
rented from a company called
Donkey Sports Inc., based out
of Washington. With major assistance from our Faculty Adviser, the game was hosted in the
UVU basketball arena, which
gave us access to digital screens,
scoreboards, sound equipment,
the ticketing office and lots of
space for our donkeys and their
fans. The night consisted of four
ten-minute games, engaging dif-
ferent riders from various sectors
of our community.
This event was an incredibly
rewarding experience for our
Chapter as well as the individuals involved. Our Chapter’s social
media following and campus-wide
awareness increased significantly
throughout the donkey basketball
campaign and the weeks following. The unforgettable night consisted of 30 riders and over 550
people in attendance. I would encourage all other PRSSA Chapters to think outside the box this
year regarding their fundraising
campaigns. Do something memorable and profitable, and put the
FUN in FUNdraising.
BY ZACH WRIGHT SENIOR MANAGER OF ADVERTISING, SPRINKLR
You pick up your phone, open sired effect you want when grow- their check-in will spur some- Through our connection, I was
Twitter and scroll through your
feed for about 20 seconds. In that
time frame you have seen an article, breaking news brief or, let’s
be honest, something about the
Kardashians. The sheer fact that
you’re getting your news and information online in real time is
what social media is all about.
However, something has been lost
in the evolution of social media.
Something about it has begun
to feel disingenuous, unengaging and, quite frankly, not very
social. Why do we find ourselves
automating our personal brand?
Where has the “social” in social
It’s clear social media has
evolved to accept automation as a
part of its culture, but what can
you do to maintain a semblance
of personality? I believe there are
three things we can all do better
to put the social back in social media and make it fun again.
Focus on quality, not quantity.
The overwhelming belief is
that the more you post and share,
the more you will be seen. While
that is true, it’s not getting the de-
ing or maintaining a personal
brand. Rather than putting your
focus on the amount of messages
you send out, you should be focusing on the quality of the message you’re sending out. It should
mean something. Think of it like
this: When you’re talking to your
boss, do you blurt out things that
are not relevant and waste time?
No. You speak with a purpose because you want to maintain your
reputation. Treat online conversations as you would treat face-toface conversations.
Engage, engage, engage. The
number one question students will ask me (next to, “Are you
hiring?”) is “How do I get people
to engage with me?” My answer
is simple: Treat others as you
would want to be treated. Every
time someone puts out an original
message, they are asking for other
people to judge it, engage with it
and to most of all like it (no pun
intended). While you’re sitting
there with bated breath waiting
to see if your joke is a hit, someone is wondering if their heartfelt
message has been well-received.
Someone else is wondering if
one’s “OMG so jealous” remark.
We are all waiting for a response,
which is why we are sharing our
thoughts and messages on social
media. Engage with others if you
want to be engaged with.
Open yourself up to meeting new people and having
new experiences. This one hits
home more than any other. Reason being, in 2007 I branched out
and poked (before it was weird,
I swear) a beautiful girl on Facebook. A few awkward conversations later we were dating and a
few years later we were married.
Now we are expecting our first
child together. I realize that for
every story of success there are 10
more that result in a different, less
The same can be said for almost every other social situation.
I have had the fortune of meeting
three best friends on the internet, my wife and countless other
friends and connections. In fact,
I am only connected to PRSSA
through a simple online connection that blossomed into not only
a professional relationship for the
next three years, but a friendship.
able to speak to the Ohio University PRSSA Chapter, build relationships and have seen countless
students receive internships and
jobs — all because of a tweet.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not
telling you to go out and start poking random people on Facebook,
but I am saying to think twice before you dismiss an opportunity to
connect with someone.
So what do you say? Let’s put
the social back in social media!