Public Relations guru Josh Heath has had an interesting, yet rewarding path to his success as a PR practitioner at Method Communications. Growing up locally in Kaysville, Josh attended Davis High School. Upon graduation, he departed on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) to Peru. While in Peru, an ACL injury took him to Nauvoo, Illinois to serve the remainder of his mission. Josh was first exposed to the PR world while working in the mission offices in Nauvoo. Unable to do normal missionary duties due to his knee injury, and seeing the role that PR played in the operations of an LDS mission, it was here where Josh first thought he could see himself as having a career in PR. Heath allowed me to ask a few questions about his education, career and advice for communication students.
A Typical Day
Method Communications is still in the process of growing the organization and putting in new locations throughout the nation, so Josh Heath certainly has his hands full. He has a full client book and is always working with them on ways to improve relationships and grow their businesses. When working with clients, he often works with their advertisers and applies the concepts he learned in his college Visual Communications class to dissect the ads and know where they can improve. His days are packed full of marketing and advertising activities, often traveling to work with clients. He credits his wife for being understanding about his busy schedule and the occasional travel which comes with being a PR professional.
Upon returning home from his mission, Josh Heath attended Weber State University for one year before transferring and finishing school at the University of Utah (U of U). Heath graduated from the U of U with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and an emphasis in PR. While in college, Heath not only developed a love for PR, but for photography as well. When he can find time in his busy schedule, he will take pictures and photograph weddings. His photography has appeared in several publications including Inc., Forbes, The L.A. Times and MSNBC. He also took all the photos that appear on Method Communications website, methodcommunications.com. Even though Heath developed a love for photography in college, he found a career and lifestyle in PR.
Josh Heath credits several classes as being important to the success he now finds in PR, but there are two in particular that stand out. Mass Communications 1010 is the class where Heath began to realize he could find a lifelong profession in the PR field. The second is visual communications, which is the class whose teachings he uses the most now. When pitching an idea to clients, or helping them bring forth an idea which they have already created, Heath is presented with the duties of making sure that everything looks presentable in a professional manner. Tanks to his visual communications class in college, he knows what to look for.
After graduating, Josh Heath landed a job in Washington, D.C. at Policy Impact Communications (PIC), where he oversaw day-to-day marketing and PR efforts for the company’s top clients. After several years at PIC, Heath brought his family back to Utah. Upon hearing of Heath’s return to his home state, Method Co-Founders David Parkinson and Jacob Moon received a referral about Heath and his knowledge of the PR field. He was soon brought on by Method, and began working as a public relations executive. When Heath started with the company in 2010, there were four employees including himself and one office in Salt Lake City. As it stands today, Method has more than 50 employees with offices in Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, with two more opening soon in New York and London.
Most Important Part
When asked how Josh Heath continues to find success in the often difficult world of PR, he credits the persistence he has to keep going when things never seem to be going his way. Heath has a solid foundation of ethical principles he sticks to no matter what. He also stressed the importance of being able to adjust to different situations on a very short notice and being able to stick to your guns on important topics.
“The best quality you can have in public relations is persistence,” he says. “Keep going and do whatever it takes to get the job done, but have ethical principles and stick to them.” Along with persistence, Heath stressed the importance of ethics several times. “Ask yourself, ‘Where do I draw the line?’ Once you have that answer, stick to it and never change it.” Heath has seen many failures and successes in his career, but because of his desire to never give up and stick to his ethical beliefs, he will continue to outnumber his few failures with his many successes.