Dr. Jim Owston presents on marketing and public relations topics

Dr. Jim Owston, Alderson Broaddus University (AB) associate provost, was invited by two higher educational institutions to discuss branding and PR campaigns.

In October, Northwest College (NWC) in Powell, Wyo. invited Owston and Dana Pulis, owner of Kinetic Marketing & Creative of Billings, Mont., to co-present on the areas of branding, rebranding, and renaming of an organization. During the 2 ½ hour meeting, Pulis and Owston answered questions from the audience and provided practical illustrations concerning rebranding successes and failures. For over a year, NWC has been considering a rebranding initiative. Owston discussed a similar topic at the first NWC summit in September 2020.

Previously, Owston led the marketing efforts for a former employer’s complete rebranding during 2000 and 2001. This experience led him to author the definitive work on higher educational rebranding with his doctoral dissertation. The nearly 1100-page tome was honored with a national research award from the American Association of University Administrators in 2008 and an international research award from the Council for the Support and Advancement of Education in 2009. His findings were published in the International Journal of Educational Advancement and were reported by U.S. News & World Report, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and numerous other news outlets across the US. Prior to his hiring at AB in 2014, the school used Owston’s research in preparation for the college’s rebranding as a university in 2013.

During November, West Virginia University’s Reed College of Media invited Dr. Owston to discuss his and his daughter Lora’s public relations campaign for the 2018 Beckley Annual Holocaust Remembrance Day. As a guest lecturer in Dr. Jasper Fessmann’s Introduction to Advertising and Public Relations class, Owston examined the campaign’s research, planning, implementation, and evaluation. In 2019, Owston & Owston’s WV Remembers campaign won 26 awards including the Best in West Virginia award and Best in Show in a six-state region from the Public Relations Society of America. Owston and his students at AB received 53 PR awards in various competitions from 2016 to 2020.

Although holding academic rank as a professor of mass communication, Owston’s current role as associate provost centers on AB’s accreditation, assessment, distance learning, and degree completion. Dr. Owston is a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission and the Journal for Marketing in Higher Education and is a board member of the American Association of University Administrators and the Public Relations Society of America – West Virginia Chapter.