We recently joined the Manchester Publicity Association (MPA) and set out a strategy to collaborate with them to support future projects, such as guest speaker lunches and networking events. The most recent of these was an impressive guest speaker event for the MMU’s Business students. It was organised to bring together like-minded academics and creative industry leaders with business students to explore a range of specialist career topics in the creative sectors and aid them in their first steps into the industry.
The line-up of guest speakers was superb and allowed students to interact with the big cheeses in a number of leading agencies & creative sectors in Manchester. They included John Kampfner (Chief Executive, Creative Industries Federation), Jo Leah (MD, Weber Shandwick), Fergus McCallum (CEO, TBWA\Manchester), Stuart Thurstan (Group Head of Operations, iProspect) and Daniel Nolan (MD, theEword). These industry experts gave students a unique insight into how each and every one of them started out in their careers, how they developed & progressed through the years and how they ultimately got to the senior posts they now hold.
We participated in some of the workshops structured around providing knowledge, guidance & advice to students on CV’s, portfolio’s and interview techniques for their future career paths. It was aimed to give students the opportunity to benefit from the experience of industry leaders. My personal contribution was to facilitate a presentation explaining how to create a winning cover letter, CV and portfolio when applying for creative vacancies.
The final part of the day was to set a competition brief for the design students to complete. They split into teams of four and Fergus talked them through the brief, which was to launch the new £78 million theatre & arts venue The Factory. Built on the former site of Granada’s TV studio’s in Manchester city centre, The Factory owes its name in homage to the city’s legendary Factory Records label.
Working as a creative team, the business students planned out their launch campaigns bearing in mind important aspects such as budget, what media channels to use, demographic, the aim of the brief, how to approach it creatively and what ROI they expect. After a couple of hour’s hard graft the students then had to present their campaigns back to the judging panel – which must have been nerve wracking for them! We were all suitably impressed with the creative ideas, knowledge of the creative market, proactive nature and lateral thinking of the students. It’s safe to say the creative future in Manchester is in safe hands!
After much deliberation the winning team was selected and the announcement of the prizes were delivered. Become UK awarded four spaces at The Roses Creative Awards for the successful campaign. We also provided the runners-up with Apple Vouchers to help buy any necessary design equipment for their creative futures!
Click on this link to watch a short clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYRZCjk_-wY