We’re rapidly developing a special connection to the wonderful city of Leeds. We recently opened our newest office there, and last week, we were invited by Leeds Beckett University (formerly Leeds Met) to give a talk to a group of final year, postgraduate PR students.
The university picked the topic - the complexities of working in PR in Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland’s relationship with the Republic of Ireland and PR life after Brexit - so we cobbled together our thoughts and made our way to Leeds city centre for the talk.
Students from around the world attended, keen to hear how PR life is affected by operating in a post-conflict society. Interestingly, quite a large number of the students are from similar backgrounds to ourselves - conflict or post-conflict countries. They were from a wide range of places including Thailand, Greece, Italy, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Holland and, of course, the UK.
During the two hour presentation, we covered a wide range of topics including the need to tailor a single message for multiple audiences and understanding social, religious and businesses sensitivities when planning communications campaigns. It was an engaging discussion that made us more aware of the issues facing PR practitioners, and human beings, in different territories around the world.
The talk also provided the students with an insight into life in Northern Ireland. Held 20 years on from the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, it was a timely reminder for us all about how much our country has changed in that time.
We’ll not go into the Brexit part of the talk because what more can you say about that than has already been said?
We ended the discussion by talking about the things that make Northern Ireland great. The food, the people, the creativity, Liam Neeson, Ballymena United. The students knew more about Northern Ireland than we thought they would, however, not one of them recognised a picture of George Best. Disturbing.
Leeds Beckett is one of the UK’s leading universities for PR studies and it was brilliant to visit the new-look Rose Bowl campus in Leeds city centre and meet the students, who we have no doubt will go on to achieve great things.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to Robert Minton-Taylor and the Leeds Beckett Business School team for inviting us to talk and also thank the students for their contributions to what was a great, engaging discussion.
The visit to Leeds was part of our Box to the Future campaign. This programme is part of our commitment to help inspire the next generation of PR leaders. We offer work placements, internships, workshops, talks and more to school and university students around the UK & Ireland. If you’re interested in a work placement or internship with Clearbox or you’d like us to visit your school, college or university to talk to students about PR then give us a shout - firstname.lastname@example.org.