Claire Mascall PR Prize winner announced
The competition, previously open only to Public Relations students at Leeds Metropolitan, but this year open to all students within the University's Faculty of Business and Law, involved submitting a letter addressed to the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, following his announcement to introduce plastic bank notes by 2016. Applicants had to put forward their ideas of how to win public approval of this change, with the best one claiming the top prize.
Adele fought off stiff competition from other students to claim her prize of £1,000 and a two week PR placement at The London Stock Exchange (LSE), working alongside LSE's PR manager.
The Chair of the judging panel, commented: "This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to get some real, practical experience of devising a plan for a live brief. I enjoy seeing the creative solutions our students come up with and it is right to be working in partnership with industry on such a project. The prize, which in previous years has proved invaluable for students, is also a fitting tribute to Claire, who was a true professional."
Speaking about the winning entry, judge and Co-founder of Leeds and London-based MCG PR, Christine Mortimer, said: "This year's entries have included some very different approaches and angles however the top three entries really stood out as they had a very clear call to action so that Mark Carney would know exactly what was expected from him at the end of the letter. Their research was spot on and in-depth with good use of quotes.
"Adele's entry was a well-considered and thoughtful piece, which we could see gaining traction as a real campaign for the Bank of England. Good background research supported all of her creative, tactical ideas and she thought carefully about the range of audiences to be influenced and the variety of channels to do so. There was a very clear and strong call to action, with a well-defined crowd-sourcing recommendation to maximise the level of public engagement. She also proposed a social media campaign called #Where'sWinston which we loved!"
PR Course Leader, Lucy Laville, added: "This year we opened up the competition to a much wider range of students across the Faculty of Business and Law, and from first year to final year students. This allowed a very broad range of students to take the opportunity to enter and was reflected in the diverse approaches that were presented."
The judging panel was completed by Carol Arthur, Senior Account Director at Quest PR, Harrogate.
Final year Journalism student, Anja Swan, and final year PR and Marketing student, Becky Mason, were named as runners-up and will both receive a £500 prize and week-long placements at MCG PR and Quest PR respectively.
The prize winners were announced at an event at the University's Rose Bowl, attended by award sponsor Graham Rimmer, Keith Loudon, senior partner at Redmayne-Bentley, University PR lecturers and shortlisted students.
Keith Loudon said: "I'm always delighted to be part of the team that runs the Claire Mascall PR prize. It enables students to turn what they have learnt academically into something very useable in their real-life careers. This is the fifth year of the competition and I look forward to continuing to support it in the future."
Graham Rimmer came up with 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 commented: "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."
Photo l-r: Becky Mason and Anja Swan