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St. Joseph's University Wins National RiseUp PR 2024 Competition: A PRmoment, Hill and Knowlton initiative

The winners of RiseUp Edition 2 are here. After a detailed scoring process across parameters such as creativity, the campaign idea and roll out and measurement of impact, the jury picked St Joseph's University from Bengaluru as the winner. Mumbai's SCoRe bagged the first runners-up spot. The second runners- ups are Christ University, Bengaluru.

The winning teams received Rs 150,000 in prize money, doubled from last year. All participants receive certificates of excellence.

The RiseUp Process 

One 3-member team from each of the 6 national participating colleges took part in the second edition of RiseUP PR + 2023 (up from 4 last year). The competition had a unique two-step process. The participants received hands-on guidance about how to construct a campaign plan (in response to a provided case study) from a stellar list of mentors drawn from the communications industry. The teams then pitched their campaigns to a top-flight independent jury on the 7th of March, 2024.

While announcing the results, Abhishek Gulyani, CEO, of Hill and Knowlton India said, "Congratulations to the winners of RiseUp edition 2, and all participants for their unwavering dedication and hard work! Their accomplishments, shaped by the exceptional guidance of our mentors and jury, reflect a journey of growth and success. Here's to continuous innovation and the pursuit of collective excellence! #RiseUpPR"

Moushumi Dutt, RiseUp director stated, "Outstanding presentations, well thought through creative communication ideas and the infectious feel of the energy in the teams, teamed up with an alert, expert and experienced jury, made Riseup edition two, a memorable one. We owe a round of gratitude to all mentors, participating institutes, the participants and the jury."

The winners are:

Winning Team: St. Joseph's University, Bengaluru 

Thangamma KM 

Rahul Srishailappa Murudi

Gopika Menon 

First Runners Up School of COmmunications & REputation, Mumbai

Bhumika Agarwal

Kaurobi Paul

Sushmita Dash

Second Runners-Up: Christ University 

.Rashmi Chacko

Josy Sam Cherian

Milli Soni 

Mentor and Judge reactions

“The enthusiasm alone from the participants was admirable, no doubt. But it is the approach many of them took - on research, market intelligence, brand positioning, product understanding, and making their campaigns integrated - that impressed me the most. It sure points to a very promising bunch of professionals coming our way in the PR space!"- Siddharth Vinayak Patankar, chief creative officer, Acko.

“I was amazed at the depth of thinking demonstrated by the young participants. The holistic approach of utilising comprehensive paid, owned and earned media strategies (POEMS) was quite heartening and I feel with this trend we can expect an enhancement in PR outcomes going forward. I wish them all the best for their careers.”-Sujit Patil, vice president and head - corporate brand and communications, Godrej Group of Industries.

"Gen Z never ceases to impress me; I was genuinely bowled over by the talent of every participant. Kudos to all the participant for their clarity of thought, meticulous research, out of box thinking, thoughtful brand selection, effective use of media, and presentation skills. Judging proved challenging due to the many close calls.

A special compliment to all the mentors for their invaluable contributions and support in preparing the participants for the pitch. Best wishes to all the participants as they embark on their careers."- Rohit Dubey, vice president - corporate communications & advocacy, Jio

"It has been an absolute pleasure for me to be associated as a mentor with this esteemed program. Interacting with the bright young minds involved has indeed been a rewarding experience. The exchange of perspectives from both sides has been enriching, and I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to their learning journey.

Witnessing the dedication and effort displayed by the students has been inspiring. As they say, success often requires taking bold steps, and I commend each participant for their commitment to growth."

Congratulations to all the winners! Your achievements are well-deserved, and I celebrate your accomplishments wholeheartedly. To those who didn't win, I encourage you to view this experience as a valuable opportunity for growth and learning. I look forward to the continued success and impact of RiseUp PR+ in shaping the future of our industry.”- Varghese Thomas, chief communications officer, Greaves Cotton Limited

"The energy and enthusiasm of the students was truly infectious. We saw exceptional young talent, their creativity, and their ability to address complex communication challenges. It was inspiring to see the strategic thinking of the students. I’m heartened to see educational institutions, PR agencies and journalists coming together to nurture our talent. It's an honour for those of us in the industry to join them in shaping tomorrow's leaders." Nandini Chatterjee, Jury-co-chair and former chief marketing & communications officer, PwC India

"The new generation is very fast-paced and comes with very high and promising energy. The planning and internal discussions that evolved into the ideas they presented were truly refreshing and interesting to see." Roopa Nagaraju, head of marketing and public relations, Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions

"It is always enriching to engage with young minds – I was really impressed with their energy, go-to-market ideas and their passion to make a difference. While some will win while others will learn, I believe in stepping up, to create presentations and present to the jury members, they are all winners! I wish them all success and a joyful career journey – may their tribe grow.” Deepa Dey, head communication & sustainability, nutrition and special projects, Hindustan Unilever Limited

“These active engagements through the mentoring sessions created a beautiful platform for mutual learning and growth. I was inspired by the young team’s confidence, fresh perspectives, and innovative ideas. Here's to a growing tribe of people creating more impactful work in our field.” Bhavna Imran, communications leader - South Asia, Corteva Agriscience

“A great experience connecting with the future generation of PR. The discussion provided opportunities to connect, learn, and share new ideas with the participants. RiseUp is a fantastic initiative for aspiring communicators to enhance skills and get ready for the future!” Amrita Sarna, communications lead, Unilever International

RiseUp PR+ was a truly rewarding experience. I got a chance to co-mentor students in this one-of-a-kind industry and academia collaboration brought together by Hill & Knowlton and PRmoment. Despite the limited duration of the competition, it was heartening to guide the students and see them push forward and unlock their potential."Bhavya Sharma, director - communications & ESG, Urban Company

This was my first experience of being a co-mentor to three fabulous students. A one-of-a-kind industry and academia collaboration brought together by Hill & Knowlton and PR Moment, the process was well-defined for both the mentors and the mentees. The mentees were driven by the passion to work hard and smart, wanting to know more, listening to what we had to say and asking the right questions. The result was a great campaign plan. It was heartening to see them push the boundaries and unlock their potential." -Mrinall Dey, vice president & head - PR & Corporate Communications, MobiKwik

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