EDITORIAL: Real-life training means headstart

There's work experience, where you make the tea, photocopy documents and perhaps tag along to a client meeting. Then there's work experience on the University of Central Lancashire model, where you pitch for business, sell in stories and report back regularly to clients.

The clients are a brave bunch, who - depending on your point of view - should either be commended for taking a risk using student PROs for real campaigns, or condemned for replacing experience and insight with enthusiasm and energy.

As long as no serious damage is done by the Preston-based student PROs, who operate under the snappy name UK Progress - showing at the very least a knack for corporate branding - the former of these two responses is the more appropriate.

Clients get PR services at a fraction of the cost a 'real' PR firm would charge. In this instance, a flat fee of £2,000 is levied to offset the costs incurred, such as mobile phones, transport and (one hopes) a round of drinks for the students after a busy day.

For the staff of UK Progress, it offers an unprecedented opportunity to work on real PR campaigns. If employers are faced with the choice of hiring Preston alumni - effectively trained second jobbers for the price of graduate trainees - or those from elsewhere, it is fairly clear which they will pick.

Figures last week suggested that four fifths of PR-degree graduates are now employed full-time in the PR business. For those with a Preston qualification, that figure must surely be 100 per cent.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.