In Faculty News, Public Relations

The former assistant dean of the Marriott School of Management, Joseph Ogden, was recently welcomed into the College of Fine Arts and Communications as a professor of public relations in the Department of Communications.

Ogden is no stranger to the college. He earned a BS in public relations with a minor in music here, after which he received an MBA with an emphasis in marketing from the Marriott School. For more than ten years, he has been working as assistant dean of external relations and technology at the Marriott School. His responsibilities included strategic communications, persuasive writing, media relations and marketing.

Ogden looks forward to his move to the Department of Communications.

“After a lot of contemplation I felt the time was right to embark on a new adventure,” Ogden said. “I really love teaching, and this was an opportunity to be able to teach full time and have more interaction with students.”

In addition to interacting more closely with students, Ogden looks forward to pursuing other projects associated with public relations.

“My previous assignments did not leave me with much time to do research in my field so this opens that up a bit more,” explained Ogden, who had dedicated much of his time as assistant dean to strengthening the Marriott School’s external relations and revitalizing the school’s National Advisory Council.

“I’m excited to join my colleagues in PR and to dive back into my industry,” he added. “I’m really energized by the opportunity to spend more time with the students.”

Ogden is already well positioned to make an immediate impact in his field. He is currently at work with his collaborator Laurie Wilson on a sixth edition of their textbook, “Strategic Communications Planning for Effective Public Relations and Marketing.”

Research for the new edition also helped guide the overhauled curriculum that Ogden and his faculty peers created for one of the public relations courses. Starting this fall, Ogden will teach two sections of the revised course—Communications 421—along with two sections of a course he taught while assistant dean, Introduction to Public Relations.

Outside of BYU, Ogden worked as corporate communications director for a publicly traded nutrition and skin-care company. In that position, he acted as the company’s spokesperson, oversaw public relations and marketing in Asia and managed investor communications for the NYSE-traded firm. In addition, he founded and still runs JDO Communications Strategists, a strategic marketing and communications firm focused on message design and delivery.

Noting that JDO’s work has become increasingly vibrant, Ogden anticipates a fruitful exchange between his business and classroom worlds.

Ogden believes that it’s an exciting time to be in communications: in the digital age, the field reinvents itself every few years, but that constant change isn’t the only opportunity for BYU students interested in the field.

“Really, if you think about it,” he said, “[communications] is one of the three-fold missions of the church: to proclaim the gospel. What better way to proclaim the gospel than with well-trained communications and public relations graduates?”

For all these opportunities, Ogden is excited for the new direction his career has taken.

“I feel blessed to be a part of [these developments] and to be a part of the faculty in the communications department,” he said. “I have great colleagues and friends here.

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