Student PR Agency

Students filming

The project sought to create a student PR team that runs like an agency, acting on behalf of the University, specialising in storytelling, uncovering enterprising, innovative activity delivered inside and outside of the curriculum to influence others. Five students (nine over the period) were originally funded, with the aim of making enterprise visible on campus, showcasing to internal and external audiences that University of Birmingham students are enterprising - they make their ideas happen; presenting evidence to support the Vice-Chancellor’s words of boldness and persistency.

  • A blog was created with 76 diverse and wide subject ranging stories, spanning the extra-curriculum and curriculum;
  • a public enterprise canvas resource;
  • 7 College inspired videos showcasing students making their ideas happen;
  • 1 evaluation video providing the evidence that University of Birmingham students are enterprising - confirming that they make important things happen. 

The objectives of bringing to life the meaning of enterprise (for students and staff) and presenting enterprise in action through digital and tradition means were achieved. While it is difficult to assert that the project instilled an enterprising culture and encouraged more students to ‘do’ through self-directed activity, a student focus group held in March 2017 suggested that the project’s activities  certainly helped build knowledge and a greater self-awareness of enterprise, providing students with clarity and inspiration.

By the end of Year One, the PR team’s blog had been viewed 7797 times, mostly through Careers Network’s Facebook page. By July 2017, utilising twitter and additional social media, views totalled 62,608, including large international audiences from USA and Russia. Prize incentives were offered to encourage students to write their own content, which proved difficult, capturing only 3 stories. Stories written by the students and alumni were considered the most influential.

The project aimed to collate evidence to show the University as an entrepreneurial University, preparing students with a 21st Century education. The stories collected present an impressive picture, particularly in the extra-curriculum and material from the Project have been used for a QAA enterprise and entrepreneurship case study submission and as part of an AGCAS Conference seminar to UK careers colleagues.

Yet the Project also revealed that students need help to identify and articulate the broader enterprise skills developed. Our ambitious students required help from the PR team to critically reflect on their personal journeys and how they made an impact on others.

Project Category:

Education
Making enterprise visible

Funding Allocated:

£8,724

Funding stream:

Education Enhancement Fund
Alumni Impact Fund (from generous donations to the Circles of influence campaign from alumni of the University)

People:

Alison Sharp, Careers Network, Professional Services (a.sharp@bham.ac.uk)

 

For more information, contact the projects office on hefi.projects@contacts.bham.ac.uk, quoting reference CSLP100.