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Member Spotlight: Jeff Chandler

When Utah Valley PRSA president Jeff Chandler first started his career in public relations, he didn’t know sewage systems would play a vital role. While at BYU, Chandler made the decision to switch from journalism to public relations. He knew he needed more experience in the field, so he interned at an agency whose main clients were wastewater authorities in Sacramento, California.

At Lucy & Co agency, Chandler had the opportunity to do a little bit of everything. This included media pitching, billing, business, hands-on work with the client, and other different aspects of PR. The woman who ran the agency was focused on all her staff being strategic in the way they approached PR.

“She was really good at teaching us strategy,” Chandler said. “She taught us quite a bit about it and building a strategic plan. It was really helpful for me, and it also really helped me throughout the rest of my career.”

 

Chandler’s next career step in Utah with Bremer PR was his first major endeavor with crisis communications that continued to shape him into a PR professional. While beginning a new job with an agency in Salt Lake City, the Salt Lake City shootings occurred.

“We had people calling all over the world wanting to do interviews and come on site,” Chandler recalled.

Even though it was overwhelming, Chandler wanted to focus on respecting the community, victims, and their families. He worked hard to downplay the sensationalism the media outlets were attempting to create with the event.

“This experience taught me a lot about humanity,” Chandler remarked. “It showed me how the role of PR can help people come together and heal. I got to witness so many people from the community that wanted to give of their time and talents to raise money to give to families of the victims.”

With this and his other experience, Chandler put his PR skills to the test to start up Digicert’s PR program from scratch. About seven years ago, Digicert was a small, hungry player that was disrupting the technology space. Now, it’s the world’s largest provider of digital certificates for online security.

“One of the things I take pride in is our recent acquisition of a company in October,” explained Chandler. “Looking at the analytics and share of voice at the coverage of our different brands, our share of voice is much larger than our competition.”

Concurrently, Chandler is the president of the Utah Valley PRSA chapter. It all started about five years ago when Michael Smart recruited him to join the board.

“I’m happy to serve and pay back the community,” said Chandler. “The PRSA chapter is a tight-knit community filled with PR professionals from a variety of backgrounds. It comes in handy when you get into a difficult situation at work. It’s good to have people to call and ask, ‘When you were faced with something like this, what did you do?’”

Jeff Chandler grew up in Spanish Fork, Utah. Chandler graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in Spanish from Brigham Young University in 2001. 

Written by Janine Swart

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