Top London PR Agency run workshop at BU


Leading London PR Agency Bell Pottinger ran a workshop at Bournemouth University (BU) aiming to give students an insight into the PR industry and assist them with their studies.

James Gater, Associate Partner at Bell Pottinger lead the first hour of the workshop, which focused on the Science of PR. Gater said he wanted students to understand that “the concept of public relations is a hybrid combination of head and heart”.

Gater, who studied PR at BU said, “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at BU. The thing it has above other universities is that it has a very practical and pragmatic approach to education, and focused firmly on getting people employment”.

Luke Chauvaeu, Partner at Bell Pottinger drew upon his extensive industry experience, leading the second presentation of the session focusing on ‘the guts’ of PR. Chauvaeu said “I’ve been entertained and had a very engaging team of people in terms of this afternoon’s lecture. Everyone’s been welcoming!”

After the presentations the students were set an interactive pitching activity, aimed to prepare them for the working world of PR and increase their professional presentation skills.

Dr John Oliver, Associate Professor of Media Management at BU said, “Hopefully the day has given students a chance to showcase their talents and exposure to a top agency. We have seen really high quality work from students today”.

Pippa Chester, a final year student at BU who took part in the session, said, “It’s really good to have people from a top communications agency. It says a lot about the course that they’ve come to Bournemouth.”

Hilary Stepien, Programme Leader of PR at BU said that she hopes “people will take away knowledge that there is a whole world of PR out there beyond consumer stuff. We would love to have them back again next year as the session would benefit any PR student at any level of their studies”.

BU leaps up 14 places in The Sunday Times league table


Bournemouth University has leapt up 14 places in The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2014.

The report on 22 September highlighted the fact that BU is the first university to have been “commended” for the quality of student learning opportunities by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) – the highest award possible.

Professor John Vinney, Vice-Chancellor of Bournemouth University said: “I am very proud that BU has made such a big leap up The Sunday Times League table, especially coming so soon on the heels of the QAA commending the quality of our student learning opportunities.

“We are working hard at the University to provide inspirational teaching, world-class research and strong links with the professions to create forward thinking graduates with the skills and flexibility to succeed throughout their career – wherever it may take them. It is very satisfying to see this work being recognised and we look forward to further advances up the league tables.”

The feature also focused on the fact that every undergraduate honours degree student at BU is promised a work placement of typically 40 weeks and claimed that our degrees in public relations, retail management, scriptwriting and tax law were all ahead of their time.

The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for the National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) also was given a deserved mention.

BU was one of the top five universities in the UK to have gained the biggest leaps up in the league table as we moved to 67th.


Strong response for Bangkok conference

Planning for the 1st International Corporate and Marketing Communication in Asia Conference to be held in Bangkok on November 18-19 is progressing well, reports Prof Tom Watson of Bournemouth University.

He has recently returned from meeting his co-organisers Assoc Prof Jirayudh Sinthuphan and Assoc Prof Saravudh Anantachart of Chulalongkorn University.

The conference, organised in collaboration by the Thai university’s Faculty of Communication Arts and BU’s Media School, has attracted interest from across Asia and the Middle East.

The international review panel has chosen 30 abstracts from ten countries with a broad range of topics and approaches.

“At our meeting in Bangkok, the conference schedule was finalised and other arrangements confirmed. The facilities at Chula are very good and enable us to run two parallel streams of papers on both days”, said Prof Watson. “We are really pleased with the response which is far more positive than expected. Already almost all speakers are confirmed to attend and registered.”

The audience will also include Thai and regional academics and representatives of the national advertising, marketing communications and public relations sectors. The conference schedule will be published shortly at

BU graduate is World Champion Duathlete


A former BU student has raced to victory with a gold medal display at the Duathlon World Championships.

James Coleman, 28, landed the gold medal for Team GB’s 25-29 year-old category in Ottawa, Canada having only taken up running in 2007 when his internship required him to sprint to the post box to deliver mail.

James studied BA Public Relations at Bournemouth University, graduating in 2007, and partly credits the success to finding his running legs at University through ‘daily runs on the beach’.

His degree has also been well used; when James is not competing or practicing he heads up the sales team at National News PR Specialists 72 Point.

On winning his gold medal, James said, “To win a medal is amazing. I was thinking if I made the top ten I would have been happy.  I am over the moon. Everything came together at the right time.”

A duathlon is a race that includes two disciplines, typically running and cycling, and James explained how he was keen to take his competing one step further, “Now I may take up swimming and see what I can do in the triathlon event.”

The former BU student was also on hand to offer advice to budding BU students who may be want to consider following in his (running) shoes, “It’s amazing what you can do if you find something you’re good at and fine tune it to then become the best in the world. With a support team, encouragement, training, dedication and sheer determination and belief, then most goals are achievable!”

BU students win national PR competition


Two final year BU students fought off competition from PR students from across the country, to win the coveted prize awarded by Grayling, the global PR agency.

The finals of the competition – named ‘Amilla’, after the Greek term for healthy competition – were held at Grayling’s offices in Soho, central London.

Five teams made it to the finals after an initial application phase: three from Bournemouth University and two from Leeds Metropolitan University.

Students had to pitch their campaign to Grayling on behalf of one of their current clients, Anchor – England’s largest not-for-profit provider of housing and care to older people.

This challenging brief took students beyond their comfort zone of young consumers, requiring them to research and engage with post-retirement people.

The winning team was made up of Richard Wilson and Mario Morello (team name, ‘Willoonello’), who are both in the final year of BA (Hons) Public Relations at Bournemouth University. Their prize was work experience at Grayling.

Alison Clarke CEO of Grayling UK and Ireland, who presented them with their prize said their pitch was “really smart, really well thought through”.

Dr Dan Jackson, a course tutor of BA Public Relations at BU, added: “We are so proud of Richard and Mario.

“They are terrific ambassadors for the University, and have fantastic careers in PR ahead of them”.

Dr Tasos Theofilou, the Chair of the 2013 Amilla competition, said: “Their success is a terrific endorsement of the quality of PR education they receive at BU. They understood better than any other team what the client wanted. Their research and insight was outstanding”.