Puppy video, media management win Colorado public relations awards

The College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences communications team won two awards at the annual meeting of the Public Relations Society of America Colorado chapter.

A Gold Pick award for Best Use of Social Stories went to the college’s social media manager Ashley Manweiler, who came up with the idea of inviting faculty and students to talk about finals week study tips, and then surprising them with puppies. Videographer Jason Russell captured the “oohs and “awws,” and the video reached more than a half a million people around the world.

The CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital’s social media audience grew by 132 percent over the last year, by nurturing its community of clients, students, faculty, and staff.

Kristen Browning-Blas and Ashley Manweiler holding a glass trophy
Kristen Browning-Blas and Ashley Manweiler

Manweiler juggles 11 accounts, posting fresh, customized content daily on each platform, connecting the hospital and the college with potential and current students, donors, friends and family wherever they are.

Want to know how she does it? Check out her blog post on Three Ways to Make Science Social.

International media coverage

Mary Guiden, smiling, black shirt, outside
Mary Guiden

Public relations coordinator Mary Guiden’s work garnered a Silver Pick Media Relations award for “New test differentiates between Lyme disease, similar illness.”

Her story about professor John Belisle’s findings that could lead to a new test for Lyme disease was covered by 300 media outlets in the U.S. and around the world, including in Canada, France, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Saudi Arabia, India and Malaysia. The story reached 407 million readers and viewers via Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, ABC News, the Associated Press, and other outlets.

Guiden writes articles for the college and university Source news pages, and connects news reporters with experts in the college on topics ranging from anatomy to Zika. In addition to writing, she crafts social media posts, preps faculty for interviews, and amplifies the college’s message in mainstream media and veterinary publications.

CSU won a total of eight awards at the annual ceremony on May 10 in Denver.