2015 Claire Mascall PR Prize winner announced
The competition, which is held in memory of Claire Mascall - a pioneering woman in the field of PR - was open to all students within the University’s Faculty of Business and Law. Students were challenged with writing a fictitious letter to the leader of Leeds City Council, advising how to build on the legacy of hosting on of the most successful Tour de France Grand Departs in the history of the legendary cycling race.
David fought off stiff competition from other students to claim his prize of £550 and a two-week PR placement at The London Stock Exchange (LSE).
He commented: “It’s a fantastic honour to be awarded the Claire Mascall PR Prize. When I graduate this summer I plan to move to London, so to do a work placement at LSE is a great opportunity that will give me priceless experience and hopefully open doors for my future career.”
David added that for his first job after university, he hopes to gain employment as a PR account executive, in a bid to gain a broad range of experience before deciding what area he would like to specialise in.
Speaking about David’s winning entry, the Chair of the judging panel and Co-founder of Leeds and London-based MCG PR, Christine Mortimer, said: “All the entries were well-structured, with some sound research and good ideas, but David’s entry edged ahead because of the clarity of its strategy and tactical ideas to deliver on the objectives. The key campaign stood out as clearly addressing the importance of the city to the council, engaging communities, businesses and tourists and made good use of flagship venues in the region.”
PR Course Leader, Lucy Laville, added: “The Claire Mascall Prize is a highlight of the student calendar and we aim to present the students with a contemporary challenge each year that will test their understanding of a key issue or event and its wider context. We’re very grateful for the support of our judges and Claire’s widower Graham Rimmer in ensuring the success of this award and the wonderful opportunities it creates for the winners.”
The judging panel was completed by Graham Poucher, Welcome to Yorkshire’s Senior Press Officer, who delivered the Claire Mascall Prize launch lecture in October 2014 when he presented on how Welcome to Yorkshire won the bid to host the Grand Depart.
PR & Marketing student Chelsea Galpin, PR & Communications undergraduate Beth Simpson and PR student Olivia Paget – all in their final year - were named as runners-up and will each receive a £150 prize and week-long PR placements at Welcome to Yorkshire, Leeds Beckett University and MCG PR respectively.
(L-R) Chelsea Galpin, Olivia Paget, Graham Rimmer, David Mayers & Beth Simpson.
The prize winners were announced at an event at the Malmaison Hotel in Leeds attended by award sponsor Graham Rimmer, alongside: the competition judges; Head of the School of Marketing, PR and Communications at Leeds Beckett, Dr George Lodorfos; PR Course Leader, Lucy Laville; Head of Communications at Leeds Beckett, Helen Welburn, and the four finalist students.
Graham Rimmer developed the idea of the annual prize in memory of his late wife Claire Mascall, who was a pioneering woman in the field of PR. Claire had a 35-year career in corporate relations that ranged from the nuclear and electricity industries to housing and construction, banking, and finance. She rose to become Head of Corporate Affairs at the London Stock Exchange and Global Head of Corporate Communications at ING Barings before setting up the consultancy Mascall Rimmer & Associates with her husband.
Graham said: “The prize is in the name of my wife and is very much driven by her: She was one of the very first women to come into PR in a senior position in the 1970s, starting as a secretary and driving through to succeed in a male-centred environment.”
Top photo, front row (L-R): Olivia Paget, Chelsea Galpin, David Mayers & Beth Simpson. Back row (L-R): Lucy Laville, Christime Mortimer, Graham Rimmer, George Lodorfos & Graham Poucher.