Professional Spotlight: Cody Craynor

Cody Craynor is not just the Senior Manager of Strategic Analysis for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) in their Public Affairs department, he is an excellent communicator and he is a world renown bead maker!

Craynor is married with three kids and he met his wife while working on his undergraduate degree at Weber State University.

Craynor has rich experience working in powerful capacities in public relations, but it wasn’t always easy. His first job out of college was working on the I-15 reconstruction project back in 2000. He described what he had to do on a daily basis as telling business owners that the fence they were using along the freeway was state property and that they would be removing it. This did not work out very well, and he had to learn from the very beginning how to communicate sensitive information to an audience who may not be ready to hear it.

He then went on to work as the communication director for the Ogden chamber of commerce. And then to the Utah Department of Health (UDH) where he became the Public Information Officer. While at the UDH he produced a video that won the National Public Health Information Coalition’s public health campaign of the year award!Cody Craner

After working in the UDH for three and a half years he moved to the LDS Church and became a media relations manager. For nearly eight years Craynor worked in media relations taking roles as a Spokesperson, a Media Relations Manager, and a Community Relations Senior Associate. While working as a Media Relations Manager, he earned the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) which is given to those who are committed to excellence and have proven their knowledge and expertise in public relations.

Now Craynor is still working for LDS Public Affairs, but now he is the Senior Manager of Strategic Analysis. Craynor is very good at research, both secondary and primary and deals with this in his current role, but he also teaches a class at Brigham Young University on Research Methods.

Although he has had an incredible PR career, he has even more interesting personal hobbies. He is a world renown bead maker and has become famous among bead makers for inventing a process to create precise beads with a soft polymer clay. Through beads he has made friends with, as he puts it, “dramatically different” groups of people of all walks of life. Craynor got into bead making in his youth and turned a hobby into a lifelong passion. He has been given beautiful ancient beads as a trade for his beads, and his beads were on full display around Alex Boye’s neck in one his music videos. Because of his artistic talent, he has also been recruited to help redesign the Japanese Garden for the Japanese American Civic League in Salt Lake City, which he is extremely excited about.

Craynor pointed out to me that throughout his career he has worked in innately newsworthy organizations and has not had to “spin” his stories to apply them to news. The freeway reconstruction was important to everyone in the state, health hazards are always going to be newsworthy and the Church is a constant headline in the State of Utah. Everyone has different strengths, he enjoys working for big organizations and managing content versus creating content.

Written by Jonathan Yates

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