Campaign time

My life has officially been taken over!!

A huge advantage to the Public Relations course at Edge Hill University is that it is the only course in the UK that provides the opportunity to work with a client on a live campaign.

As this is my third and final year, myself and peers have had to design and manage the campaign this year. As I have mentioned before my client is West Lancs Women’s Refuge. It’s a great course and i love the fact that we can help such a small organisation in such a big way.

HOWEVER!! Managing 22 first and second years is a lot harder than I first thought. And while we are doing this… we have got to keep track on every piece of work being produced and that the campaign is still going in the right direction! It tough… but secretly I am loving it.

March 8th is International Women’s Day. To celebrate we and WLWR are holding an event in W1 (the Wilson Centre). A night of entertainment to celebrate empowering women through the ages. We have dancers, a comedian, music acts and a raffle…. with awesome prizes. SUCH AS! A Hollyoaks backstage tour, £60 worth of Bench goodies, Gym vouchers and various beauty treatment gift certificates. Tickets are £3 and all profit is to go to the refuge. It’s going to be a great night so get yourself down!!

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Eating pasta with the Italians

My dad works for New Holland. They make Combine Harvesters. The yellows ones. Ever since I was born wisdom about this magnificent machinery has been passed on to me. I even live on a farm and I was only to support the blue tractors, (New Holland as well).

But finally this company has been incredibly useful to me, (except the time I was the only one who new the logo in a pub quiz).

New Holland you see is owned by Fiat. Fiat is a massive international company, very proud of it’s italian heritage.

Anyway, every year they run a bursary scheme to students, undergraduate and postgraduate to help with their studies. This year I applied, I filled out an application form, wrote 200 words about myself and sent copies of my qualification certifcates.

I waited for weeks, figured maybe I was unsuccessful. But then! I received a call from my father, while I was working on an event actually and he told me I had been successful!

So last Tuesday I found myself at the Italian embassy, liaising with the Ambassador and members of the Agnelli family.

There was an award ceremony and only 13 people from the whole who applied had won. I felt terribly honoured and I was thrilled to be there. Lots of photos were taken and I have treated you to a preview. I am horrifically not photogenic but I left it fitted well.

Afterwards food was served and yes, it was pasta, and lasagne and a cheese selection. Small shots of espresso were served and for dessert and tiramiso and pannacotta. My father and I were chuffed!

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Volleyball Tournament

This saturday was the second volleyball tournament.

We played four competitive matches against other universities. We had one female team and one male team.

So we all set off from Edge Hill at half seven. Yes, half seven.. too early to even open my eyes let alone play volleyball at University level. Luckily we were travelling to the Univerisity of Manchester so this allowed me an hours extra rest.

We played four matches and unluckily we lost all four. The boys team did slightly better taking MMU Cheshire to a tie breaker set. It was all very excited, us girls acting as cheerleaders on the side. Very warming indeed. However they lost the set by two points.

We all agree maybe we need a little more practice…. but we are all still loving the sport and really enjoying the team play and training.

Maybe a little more success next time!!

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My Client!

So two weeks ago, I’m starting lectures, I walk in, am greeted by my lecturer, then she sprung on us all before we had the chance to sit down… “Your clients will be here in 5 minutes.”

WAHHH was my state of mind. We had to choose between two clients to base our third year campaign on. This is a huge part of our final year, we have to design a live campaign, create objectives and tactics as well as implement the whole idea while managing 20 second and first years. And we had five minutes to choose. Nice.

Both the clients were charities, Neurosupport in Liverpool, a charity which supports members of the public with mental health illnesses get back into work. They also offer help for their families. The second client was West Lancashire Women’s Refuge. A charity that offers emergency shelter for women and their children who have suffered domestic abuse. They are the only one in West Lancs which specialise in domestic violence as well as a whole range of other services they provide.

It was very hard for me to choose between the two. Charities are important to me and I wanted to help both as much as I can. Neurosupport attracted me as I spent my summer working with mentally undeveloped children and adults at a camp in Minnesota, USA. I loved my summer there and working in special needs really opened my eyes. BUT something about the West Lancs Women’s Refuge was calling me, the brief was a lot more interesting and after meeting both clients I felt we could really help this charity.

So there you go, my third year client is West Lancashire Women’s refuge. They have an information centre in town, just round the corner from Tesco, in case you need any help or advice. This blog is a great method of social media, so watch this space.

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3rd year is scary and riots in London

Hi gang

So I started lectures this week. Very late I know! I have been constantly aware of this by my peers expressing their jealousy. It hasn’t been all late lie-ins and watching Friends re-runs however. Oh no. Third year means dissertation. The word frightens me to my very bones. 10,000 words of opinion, and smart opinion as well. You can’t just say I agree… that would be too easy. I’m totally unamused by the whole stint of it.

I have chosen to study the Swine Flu Public Information Campaign and the use of fear to control the behaviour of the public. So far it has been quite interesting and I managed to secure some fabulous contacts for interviewing from my placement.

Ahh yes, Placement. Another reason why I have started my lectures so late. I have recently completed four weeks placement at Age Concern Liverpool. Charity is my thing you see, I’m a do-gooder Edge Hill. I want to save the world, eventually. So for four weeks I was the “Volunteer Recruitment Publicity Assistant”. A title I was proud to wear. Four weeks of responsibility, commuting and becoming a grown-up. Looking back now I learnt so much and everything from every lecture I had attended seemed to come into play. So thanks for that lecturers, I owe you one.

On another note, I was totally appalled to hear the news today about the protesting students turning violent and smashing the windows of the Millbank building. It sets such a bad example for students everywhere, and it’s hardly convincing to stop cuts when currently these people are in University. Very unimpressed. It didn’t help the suffragettes, it won’t help us. Lobbying is a part of the PR course, so next time you want to change the decisions of Parliament students, I’ll sort you out.

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The Written Word and lots of leaves.

I worked the Written Word event yesterday. Carol Ann Duffy and Billy Collins attended and discussed their works and their roles as Poets Laureate. It was a great opportunity to hear the poet I studied at GCSE explain the meaning behind her poems and the life experiences that were the inspiration.

Duffy opened with a gritty poem about the losing of her virginity. It was great. She used the story of little red riding hood as an continuing metaphor. The wolf as the mystery man. I really enjoy poems that speak the truth and leave in the gory details. Obviously it was a poem so it was a lot nicer to listen to than the gossip.

On another note, the campus is looking lovely this time of year. I had the “wonderful” opportunity to wake up at 7 this morning and experience the early morning campus. The lake looks just lovely. Is it just me or does Edge Hill have a lot more leaves than anywhere else this autumn? I’m enjoying it however, the crunching on the walk to uni is a delight.

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nice to meet you

My name is Bethan and I am a 3rd year Public Relations student. I have spent two fantastic years at this Uni and expect this last year to be just as awesome.

I am originally from Essex…  (pause for stereotyping) so coming up to this big bad northern land took some adjusting. Fully stocked shelves of Vimto, the continuous barm/bap debate and “there is no r in bath” debacle just added to the experience. Coming to Edge Hill University was the best decision I ever made.

So I study Public Relations. I always get asked “what’s that?” so I will explain. Public Relations is the communication between an organisation and the public. So this includes businesses, charities, hospitals, hotels… you get the picture. PR is basically the mastering of the media. Or as I call it, free advertising. The idea is reaching the public and spreading your message without cost.

Modules I’ve studied include Design for PR, Personal Opinion and Persuasion and Crisis Management. Every year for PR Campaigns, all three years join together and run a live campaign designed by the third years for a local client. This year is my year to design the campaign. We are all waiting eagerly to hear who our client is, it’s all very exciting.

Last year our client was Home Start West Lancashire. The campaign involved holding recruitment drives at Morrison’s and Ormskirk train station, hosting a film night and myself dressed as a “Hug Bug”. Not a highlight!

This year I am the Volleyball Female Captain. It’s the first year Volleyball has ran at Edge Hill so it’s been great to see the turn outs we’ve had at training. If you are interested come along! We train 6-8 in the new gym. All abilities welcome! It is also the first year I have been a part of a sports team at Edge Hill. I suggest to anyone interested in any sport to join the team! I have had so much fun already I regret not getting involved earlier.

So get stuck in.

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