Member: Jim Owston
Company: Alderson Broaddus University
Title: Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences & Associate Professor of Mass Communication
Joined PRSA: 2016
What has been your most memorable PR campaign you lead, created, assisted with?
— I did a massive promotion for a Foreigner/Guifferia concert in Charleston for WOAY-FM (Y94) during spring 1985. We called the promotion – the Y94eigner Great Giveaway. The promotion lasted two weeks. For each hour of the day, for 14 days, we gave away a concert related prize. I believe we gave away 80 pairs of concert tickets, albums, t-shirts, band ephemera, and 30 seats on our concert bus from Beckley to Charleston that included transportation, tickets, and a meal for each person. In addition, Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones came onto the bus before we headed back to Beckley. In addition, two grand prize winners were treated to an all-expenses paid trip to see Foreigner in Rochester, NY. Rochester is lead singer Lou Gramm’s home town and the band celebrated his 35th birthday at that show in his hometown. This package included concert tickets, flight, hotel accommodations, limo service to and from the airport and the show, and cash for meals. We covered all costs by working with ENTAM, Tri State Productions, Atlantic Records, MCA Records, the bands’ management companies, Chick-Fil-A, Piedmont Airlines, and the hotel and limo service in Rochester. Best of all, it cost the station $0.00 for the 433 prizes we gave away.
What would be your dream job?
— I’m in it.
What advice would you give your younger professional self?
— Look for ways to cross promote everything. You get more bang for your buck.
What do you do for fun, outside of PRSA?
— I am a genetic genealogist.