PR students seed their future with Ikea pitch success
The PR Skills module offers a unique opportunity for postgraduate students to get first-hand experience of working with and pitching their ideas to industry professionals from IKEA, the international furniture and furnishings group.
Four groups of students were tasked with coming up with a PR plan to enhance customer engagement with the IKEA Family Loyalty Scheme. The winning students were team leader Karla López Crowley from Mexico, Yashni Jagernauth from Mauritius, Catriona Megahey from Ireland, Anna Sorokin from Ukraine, and Yolanda Rijkeboer from the Netherlands.
Senior lecturer Robert Minton-Taylor, a former company board director, branded the three month project - which culminated in the groups pitching their ideas to IKEA Marketing Manager Adam Riley and Sustainability Specialist Calum McIntyre - a great success.
He commented: "We like to partner with iconic companies such as IKEA to give students employability skills in the 'real world' of work.
"The high standard of the students' work made the judging difficult, but in the end the winner was clear. We went with the team that delivered the best all round experience and had the best research connected and workable solutions."
Calum McIntyre added: "Our relationship with Leeds Business School has proved to be very beneficial for us. The students have developed some excellent sustainable and environmentally-friendly ideas for use in store and with the local community we serve."
"The students' stand out idea was to gift Ikea Family Loyalty card members packs of Swedish seeds to mirror the seasons, all with IKEA look-a-like pictogram instructions of how to plant the seeds. A lot of care and attention to detail had gone into the design of the packaging - with live samples presented to the judges. It was impressive. Creativity was this team's winning card."