A few weeks ago, I returned to my alma mater to run a workshop for this year’s cohort of M.Sc. Strategic Communication students at the University of Liverpool in London, with our UK CEO, Elspeth Rothwell.
I participated in the same session last year and it played a really important role in my decision to join an agency after graduating, so I knew first hand how valuable the session would be for all the students and their future careers.
We started the session with introductions, before we talked through the process of taking on a client or prospect brief, including brainstorming, environmental analyses, campaign timeline projecting and budgeting. The class was then divided into five groups and given a short brief to work on a ‘quick’ campaign. Each brief included an issue and cause and the students had 45 minutes to develop a creative campaign concept and think about the activations.
During the workshopping, we were able to get up-close and personal with each group, answering questions and helping them develop their ideas.
After the 45 minutes were up, a few of the groups presented their ideas and campaigns to the class. As expected, each came up with different ideas from the last; sociology research teaches us that individuals with different backgrounds and experiences will always contribute different ideas even if given the same problem to solve.
Giving communications students the opportunity to think creatively and strategically, and then present their ideas to their peers will always be valuable. Our industry is fuelled by different perspectives and ideas from individuals from different backgrounds, and we’re regularly presenting to clients, prospects, and colleagues. So those seeking careers in PR and marketing will find themselves exercising and building these skills on a regular basis,
As with most industries, entry-level communications jobs are competitive and there are hundreds of graduates and school leavers looking to secure placements every year. We spend time with strategic communications students at the University of Liverpool to help them prepare for life in an agency or as part of a comms team and help them build the skills needed to thrive. Taking the time to give back and help those that are just starting out is really important to us; we were all one of these budding graduates at one time!
By Kris Lam, Account Assistant