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Public Relations students make Leeds 2023 impact


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As Leeds gears up for the submission of its official European Capital of Culture bid on the 27 October, we take a look at the work of some of our own BA (Hons) Public Relations students, who have been working hard to support the bid and make an impact with their consultancy research.

Public Relations students make Leeds 2023 impact

In 2014, public relations students from Leeds Business School were commissioned to produce research report to support the Leeds 2023 European Capital of Culture bid team. Working as a set of PR micro agencies, the students produced major research reports for the bid team, focusing on Business Awareness and Promotion, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME) engagement and Student Engagement across the city. 

The work of the team has comprised of bespoke primary research on key aspects of the bid, including social and digital media, sustainable business relationships, story-telling, awareness raising and branding.

The European Capitals of Culture initiative is designed to highlight the richness and diversity of cultures in Europe and raise the international profile of cities. Helping to shape Leeds as the best cultural city in Europe and beyond, the bid team is providing ongoing expertise for the bid from the city’s artistic, marketing and community engagement professionals as well as supplying vital research to help steer the bid.

The micro agencies - Uccello Communications, Crafty PR, and Urban PR - comprise of current and former students Faye Oakey, Helen Wilson, Thomas Bennett, Nicola Burrough, Lara Busch, Suzanne Zuurman, Jessica Embley, Emily Young, Michelle Chan, Dan Chaudron, Michaella Biscomb, Laura Brookes, Alejandra Chapman, Mariam Ebrahim and Henrietta Worthington. Following graduation, many of these alumni are now in exciting jobs working with major PR and marketing companies and agencies across the UK and Europe including Panasonic, tpf the promotions publicity factory, Michael Kors, D&D London, Leeds Bradford Airport and Welcome to Yorkshire.

Speaking about her role in supporting the bid, BA (Hons) Public Relations 2017 graduate Michaella Biscomb explained: “Working on such a high profile and important cultural and business project for Leeds was a unique experience.  Practising professional hands on work with real clients in real time is a unique part of the PR degree experience and one we all enjoyed and learnt so much from.” 

Fellow graduate, Tom Bennett added: “We are all really proud to be a part of the Bid as pro-active students – Leeds deserves to win!”

Speaking about the work of the students, Cluny Macpherson, Chief Officer for Culture and Sport at Leeds City Council said: “We thank Leeds Beckett University and the highly professional PR students from the Business School.  They’ve produced great research with fascinating research insights. They are a pleasure to have on board and have made a big impact on our thinking about communications with our key stakeholders and audiences. Looking forward to future collaborations.”

Dr George Lodorfos, Dean of Leeds Business School, said: “This applied research has had a direct practical impact on the city’s plans for communications around the Bid to become European Capital of Culture and our important engagement with businesses, students and residents across the city.”

Shirley Beresford (pictured), Senior Lecturer at Leeds Business School and Member of the Marketing and Communications Advisory Group for the European Capital of Culture Bid 2023, added: “Our award winning PR degree course team really look forward to working with our partners on more exciting research over the next year and playing our part in a successful outcome for the bid.  Sincere thanks go to our exceptional public relations graduates.”

Some key findings of the report were that students and staff back the Bid and welcome the opportunity to make history for the city, that cultural and creative industries SME’s are vital to the city’s cultural tourism offer, university student experience and driving the development of city region economy. Additionally, that the Bid represents a growth in opportunity for students to develop their careers in the city in the arts and cultural sectors beyond their university degrees here.

The Business School is planning further consultancy research for 2017 – 2018 during the next stage of the Bid process.

Leeds Beckett and our staff and students have been long-standing contributors to the cultural life of our city, and the University is proud to be an academic partner of the Leeds 2023 bid.

Staff from all areas of the University are working collaboratively with partners across the city to ensure Leeds becomes the next European Capital of Culture and in July the Leeds 2023 bid team launched the ‘#MakeLeeds2023’ campaign to mark the 100-day countdown to the city’s bid submission.  The campaign is asking residents, businesses and communities in Leeds to back the bid by making an online pledge to actively spread the word.

#MakeLeeds2023 marks the start of an exciting programme of events designed to generate further momentum ahead of the submission of Leeds’s official bid on October 27. People can pledge their support by visiting the Leeds bid website - www.leeds2023.co.uk - and by using the hashtag #MakeLeeds2023 on social media.

The European Capitals of Culture initiative is designed to highlight the richness and diversity of cultures in Europe and raise the international profile of cities. Helping to shape Leeds as the best cultural city in Europe and beyond, the bid team is providing ongoing expertise for the bid from the city’s artistic, marketing and community engagement professionals as well as supplying vital research to help steer the bid.

Liverpool saw a £750m boost to its economy when it was named Capital of Culture in 2008, and Leeds’s ambitions go beyond this.

#MakeLeeds2023 is a great opportunity to demonstrate our cultural strength on a bigger stage through our creative industries and wider community.

There will be a Leeds Business School Guest Lecture at 6pm on Tuesday 7 November at the Rose Bowl for the European Capital of Culture 2023 Bid.

Find out more at www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/leeds2023.


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