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The The PHA Group 2017 PR Student Awards have received a number of amazing entries and we would like to say a very big thank you to all of you who entered, we really enjoyed reading your entries and were impressed by your enthusiasm for PR.

After much deliberation, the team couldn’t narrow it down to one winner, and therefore have decided on the following three winners:

Josh Dunne – Addict Aide’s Louis Delage Instagram Campaign

Kate Eldridge – Smirnoff’s “Love Wins” Campaign

Jasper Stanley – The Royals’ Heads Together Campaign

As a leading UK PR Agency, The PHA Group are advocates of recognising talent and we are committed to reaching out to students to help inform them on what a career in PR can offer them. We run a very successful PR Internship programme, regularly attend University Careers Fairs and host PR Open Days at our offices for aspiring PR professionals to gain a unique insight into what it’s like to work in Public Relations.

Over the years we have been hugely impressed by the creativity and ideas of the great interns we have had at our agency and so we wanted to create an initiative designed to give students a chance to discuss PR campaigns that they felt particularly engaged with.

We asked students to tell us about their favourite and most inspiring PR campaign from the past 5 years in 300 words or less. The campaign could be from any size company but had to be a PR campaign specifically.

We hoped to hear from students who are interested in a career in PR and who are excited about the prospect of joining The PHA Group team for a day of interactive and bespoke activities at our London Offices – and we weren’t disappointed!

We received so many engaging entries which had hard-hitting topics at their core such as mental health, equality and addiction. It was a tough process choosing a winner, and so we decided on three of our favourites.

Josh Dunne impressed us with his understanding of the impact that PR can have and how campaigns can be effective on a low-budget for his entry on Addict Aide’s fictional Instagram account for socialite Louise Delage to highlight how easy it can be to miss the addiction of someone close to you.

Like my addiction

A post shared by Louise Delage (@louise.delage) on

Kate Eldridge wowed us with her description of the “Love Wins” PR campaign for big brand Smirnoff and the real world impact that they achieved with their bespoke ‘equality collection’ vodka bottles which created awareness and supported gender, sexuality, race and nationality equality.

New bottles!! #love #loveislove #lovewins #❤️ #

And finally, Jasper Stanley stood out for his awareness that a successful PR campaign doesn’t have to have a monetary impact, but can simply create a conversation where previously there has been stigma – this was achieved by the mental health campaign Heads Together in partnership Prince William and Harry.

The winners will spend a day at The PHA Group learning from industry experts and gaining a unique insight into one of the UKs leading PR agencies. There will be Q&As with our senior team, including ex-national newspaper journalists and the founders of the PHA brand. As a multi-sector PR agency we have expertise across consumer, sport, business, fashion, corporate and political PR and our friendly team are excited to welcome Josh, Kate and Jasper to the agency on Wednesday 19th July.



The PHA Group PR Student Awards – we have our winners!

The world was hit by the recession in 2008, with some countries hit worse than others, leaving unemployment rates at an all-time high. The number of people out of work in the UK in July 2012 was 2.53 million according to the office of national statistics, with the unemployment rate at 7.9%. The number of people claiming jobseekers allowance is 1.57 million.

David Cameron has announced a scheme that will force people on job seekers allowance to do community work, “Have we created a benefits system that has insufficient responsibility at its heart? My answer is yes we have, which is why we need to change it” (David Cameron, The Guardian).

Although the UK has had a rough ride over the past five years, other countries within the Eurozone are much worse off, with countries such as Greece and Spain with unemployment rates at 25.1%.

Unemployment is a scary prospect for many students and recent graduates, who have been aware of the recession over the years but haven’t had to deal with the reality of it. Students and graduates across the UK work hard to gain excellent A-levels in order to get into University to gain a respectable degree, with the hope that all their hard work results in a job. However, as many recent graduates will tell you, this is not how the story goes.

The past five years of their life has been work, work, work where they have gained excellent A-levels, gone to university and achieved a respectable degree but instead of it resulting in a job, it has led to nothing. It’s not all bad as many young people are able to gain work experience, where these companies need you as much as you need them? However, there is a catch 22… You can’t get experience without having experience. If they are lucky enough to land an internship or work experience more often than not they will be working for free, but the hope would be that at the end of a three-month internship there would be a job at the end of it. This does happen for many people, but it also doesn’t happen for many people, so it’s then back to square one.

Due to the high unemployment rates the competition of getting that one job is fierce. There could be up to 60 people going for one position, and there is always someone with a little bit more edge. It’s all about the edge… thinking of new ways in which you stand out. There are many ways to do this, but you have to think of it first. It’s not enough anymore to go to an interview dressed in your smartest outfit and answer a couple of questions you have to shine over and above everyone else. This is what is so difficult with the number of candidates going for one position the competition is extremely high.

Another shock for students and recent graduates is exploitation. Is it right that companies feel they can exploit students and graduates for free? There are many people looking for internships and placements where the competition is great, and if they manage to obtain one they are offered nothing or next to nothing for expenses and many of these students and graduates do not have the money to travel every day therefore meaning they are unable to take the internship. It is a vicious cycle. But the fact of the matter is most companies at the moment can’t afford to take on interns, in terms of both time and money, so you can’t blame them for wanting a helping hand around the office.

As discussed unemployment rates in the UK are high and the added pressure of needing a degree in order to get a job is increasing. However, with the increase in university fees from £3000 to £9000 in September 2012 means that a lot of students are not going to be able to afford to go to university resulting in no degree, therefore, will be less likely to be able to find a job. As we are seeing all over the world, especially in countries such as Greece and Spain, a high unemployment rate leads to a high crime rate. Crime rates in the UK are on the rise, just look at the London riots in 2011, although the catalyst may not have been unemployment, the demographic shows the main culprits were under 25 and unemployed.

The Results of the Recession for Students and Graduates