Experience: Live Client Pitch

Experience is important for any university student to gain, but it would appear that for PR students it isn’t just an added bonus to have. It’s vital and a ‘must-have’ if you want to get a graduate job offer.

Yesterday saw the end of period 1 for the second year of my university course, public relations and communications. The day consisted of live client pitches that would be assessed and contribute 75% of the total grade for Digital PR unit. The course group was split into two halfs made up of 4 groups in each. One set of 4 groups were pitching for Welchs grape juice brief, whilst the others were pitching for CooperVision brief.

I was in a group with 3 others pitching for CooperVision.

Here is a photo of my group for the pitch. Paige Hiley, Trine Larsen, myself, and Chloe Attwood (left to right). We worked really well as a group and all put in a lot of effort for the work. The day was very important and a lot of effort was put into rehearsals of the presentation. Fiona came as a representative of CooperVision along with Naomi from FiveByFive PR Agency. This added pressure and made the day more competitive as they would decide which groups would win ‘Best Pitch for CooperVision’, ‘Best Pitch for Welchs’, and ‘Best Overall Student’.

The key focus of the pitch was our groups tactics for the campaign and how we would measure the success. However, we couldn’t just said there and robot-talk through our ideas. We had to be energetic, creative, and find a way to stand out. We included little cheesy jokes and one-liners to get people laughing and also produced a short comical video to be played at the end of our pitch. The video was of myself and the other members of my group having difficulties with our glasses and subsequently wishing we had CooperVision contact lenses. It got the audience laughing and enabled us to stand out.

It was good to be able to sit through the other groups pitches as well to see their approaches to the briefs. Some groups had made a lot of effort, whilst others lacked a creative spark. After all groups had pitched it was time for feedback and for the winners to be revealed.

I was very pleased to find out that my group had won ‘Best Pitch for CooperVision’ and that we would be accepting a certificate for it from Naomi herself. Having a CooperVision representative choose my groups pitch as the winner was amazing and proved that all of our hard work had paid off. The group that I was backing to win ‘Best Pitch for Welchs’ did win it and was pleased as they had put in a lot if creative effort.

It was a great day and provided valuable experience for the future. A huge thank you is owed to the course leader and unit teacher, Sally Holland for planning the day and giving us students the opportunity to gain this real-life experience.

Experience: Client Meeting

As part of the Digital PR module of my course I had to attend a client meeting with my fellow campaign group members. The client meeting was last friday and was a chance for myself and my group members to show Naomi Garrathy, from FiveByFive agency, and Fiona Phelan, from CooperVision, our ideas and main strategy for the campaign.

To start the module off we visited FiveByFive agency in Southampton who focus on digital communications. They set two briefs with the focus of building a digital relationship with consumers. One brief was for CooperVision Lenses and the other for Welchs fruit juice. In groups of 4 we had to pitch to the rest of the course in an attempt to win the brief that we wanted to create a campaign for. My group made up of myself, Paige Hiley, Chloe Attwood, and Trine Larsen chose to pitch for the CooperVision brief, which we were proud to win. After we won the pitch it was time to get started on generating ideas, key messages and the main strategy for the campaign. The brief is focused on developing a digital relationship and driving consumers to CooperVision website.

The client meeting was scheduled last friday (22nd November) as a way of giving us experience in that type of situation, and also an opportunity to share our main ideas and strategy with .. and Fiona. My group was chosen to be filmed and shown to potential students looking to start at the university to study PR. It was a great experience and my group was very proud of ourselves for how well it went. The meeting was more of an informal conversation about our ideas and gave us the confidence to continue with our proposed ideas for the campaign.

Below are a couple of photos of my group during the client meeting taken for the SolentPR instagram page:

Screen shot 2013-11-26 at 21.39.35 Screen shot 2013-11-26 at 21.39.46

We received some great comments back about our efforts in the meeting and I personally feel that it was a great experience to learn from and to have when progressing through the course.

I hope I’ll be able to get a copy of the video soon, which I will post to show what content was discussed.

If you’re interested in finding out more about what I’m getting up to as part of my uni course then follow my twitter account for frequent updates: @helencummingspr