2015 Rising PR Stars (corporation and association): Anthony Dobies, Social Media Strategist, West Virginia University

Despite his youth, Tony Dobies has made an impact on the way West Virginia University is perceived and operates.

Dobies has established West Virginia University as a higher education social media leader. He has increased the University's use of those platforms, as well as led adoption of others: Google+, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest etc.

Dubies is the strategic mind behind each. As social media strategist, he is involved in guiding and advising social media operations throughout the university, from President Gordon Gee to trademark and licensing contests – exemplified by WVU's holiday project – 25 Days of WVU Giveaways, which won first place in the West Virginia Public Relations Society's annual Crystal Awards.

He is an invited, regular contributor on social media to the CASE Blog; he has presented at high-level public relations meetings; and he was the primary force behind the University's rollout of Snapchat, which was also recognized with a Crystal Award from PRSA-WV.

Followers have also grown, closing in on 500,000 across all social media from a University level – and that does not include President Gee or WVU’s primary news account. Overall impressions have improved by nearly 2 million views. On Facebook alone, impressions are increasing nearly 500,000 a month.