In August 2022, Hill and Knowlton Strategies India and PRmoment India
started planning a unique initiative that would enable learning for PR
students through a case study competition. The aim was two-fold: to help
expose PR students to a process that takes them through the latest
thinking about communications and bring talent from beyond the main metros
to mainstream attention.
One 2-member team from each of the 4 national
participating colleges took part in the first edition of RiseUP
PR + 2023. 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 inside and outside the communications industry. On the 21st of February, the teams then pitched their campaigns to a top-flight independent jury.
1) Shubham Shivekar Indira School of Communication, Pune
2) Srinidhi Madhavan Indira School of Communication, Pune
1) Ashmita Kumari IIMC, Delhi
2) Devansh Sharma IIMC, Delhi
The Winning team share their excitement:
Mansha Pant, Jagran Lakecity University shared her excitement saying, "When we received the call, none of us was ready for what was coming our way. It took time for me to process the good news.
I was elated to have received this opportunity. The best part was that my friends were there to celebrate my victory with me."
Jahanvee Achantani,Jagran Lakecity University said, "To be honest, my first reaction was speechless, comprehending such great news took me a lot of time, and when I finally did, I felt grateful for the opportunity given to us, both by the organisers and our university.
Being a hostler in Bhopal, my first call was to my parents, when they heard the news about our victory they were literally dancing off their chairs and were extremely proud. Their cheerfulness led to our celebrations eventually and I have just been answering congratulatory calls from my professors since!"
Mentor and Judges reactions
Rimjhim Ray, vice president, marketing, MyOperator and mentor for RiseUp PR said she, "Found the students to be very ambitious and mature. Liked the way they had strong logic to defend their stand yet showed a willingness to learn and adapt. I think rise up was a very effective initiative to have students and real-world leaders interact and learn from each other. I myself learnt quite a bit from the fresh perspective of the students."
Bhavya Sharma, director of communications and ESG, Urban Company and judge RiseUp PR said, "The RiseUP PR+ is a first-of-its-kind initiative in the PR and comms space. It has given college students a wonderful opportunity to learn from the experience and knowledge of industry practitioners while coming up with 360-degree communication strategies. I was impressed with the depth and industry understanding shown by the participating students, ranging from target audience analysis to desired outcomes and metrics to measure. RiseUP PR can be one of those few platforms where experience and fresh ideas coalesce to define communications strategies of the future."
Ridhima Mehra, corporate communication & PR lead, Philips Domestic Appliances, "It’s quite a thoughtful initiative indeed! This kind of exposure prepares the young PR & Communications aspirants for what lies ahead and gives a reality check on what they are getting into. Having access to experienced professionals in the industry such early on is a plus and I’m sure the students milked this opportunity to the max."
Rajalakshmi Azariah, head, of corporate brand and Communications, Diageo India and jury RiseUp PR, "It was a pleasure interacting with the young minds. Although not exposed to PR holistically, their enthusiasm, out-of-the-box thinking and efforts are truly commendable. It has indeed been very gratifying to review the entries. My best wishes to all of them!"
Mona Kwatra, marketing advisor & co-founder, 9CoLab Ventures and RiseUp jury said, "New age thinking and an integrated approach is clearly embedded today in the strategic ideation and execution which elevated the entire pitch narrative. Amidst all this, what resonated very strongly was the fact that the simplest of ideas, executed well, at times is the most elegant solution of them all. aking us through research, SWOT, the students delivered the 30,000 ft strategic view and drilled down to 5,000ft and some took us to ground zero i.e. on-ground execution within the ecosystem. Their creativity, enthusiasm and hard work clearly came across in the top decks!"
Aashish Washikar, Sr.Manager - Public Relations, InMobi Group and mentor RiseUp PR stated, "Through their participation in the RiseUp challenge, these students have shown a fresh and innovative approach to problem-solving, demonstrating not only their deep understanding of the subjects that they are studying but also their passion for driving change in the world of communications. I also extend heartfelt gratitude to the team involved for enabling such a valuable platform for the communicators of tomorrow to showcase their skills and ideas."
Deeptie Sethi, CEO, of PRCAI and mentor RiseUp PR said, "I loved my time with the RISEUP PR initiative to mentor the team of 2 PR aspirants from IIMC. Often, the exposure to students about the real world of PR and the skills the industry requires comes in too late. Such platforms and experiences can benefit the students upfront by not only preparing them with knowledge enrichment but to enter our industry with greater confidence. Congratulations to mentees @Devansh Sharma and @Ashmita Singh in taking this step, working hard, and showing a willingness to learn and grow their thinking horizons.
A special shout out to Hill+Knowlton and PRmoment India for making this happen. Great to see, so many communication professionals personally spending time and finding ways to shape talent."
Gunjan Mukherjee, practice lead - corporate & brand, Hill and Knowlton Strategies and mentor for RiseUp said, "RiseUP as a platform is a great collaborative effort in bringing the industry together to nurture the young talent in PR and help them prep as they step into the industry. I was really impressed to see the participants' tenacity, curiosity and eagerness to challenge the status quo and I am glad that the future lies in great hands. I wish them the best.”
Megha Behl, senior account director, Hill and Knowlton Strategies and mentor, RiseUp PR said, “The entire mentoring experience was very enjoyable and rewarding! It was wonderful to engage with these young enterprising minds and see how they view communication. I was very impressed to see how they factor in integrated campaigns. I wish them all the best for the future.”
"Congratulations to the winners of the first edition of RiseUp PR! It's been truly inspiring to see the level of talent and creativity that this competition has brought out in PR students. By utilizing the case study method, RiseUp PR has provided a platform for students to showcase their critical thinking and problem-solving skills in a real-world context.
We are thrilled to see such promising talent emerge from this competition, and we are confident that these students will go on to make a significant impact in the PR industry. At Hill and Knowlton Strategies India, we are proud to support initiatives like RiseUp PR that empower the next generation of PR professionals", said Abhishek Gulyani, CEO, of Hill and Knowlton Strategies India.
The winners pick up Rs. 75,000 in prize money and internship offers.
Moushumi Dutt, RiseUP PR+200 director said, "All the participants brought a fresh whiff of the incredible tech tools which when combined with the power of editorial content, can surely be a game changer in the field of brand and reputation building. We had a powerhouse of jury members, a great lineup of mentors and an all-India representation of participants. This made RiseUpPR plus, a very memorable event
Paarul Chand, editor-in-chief and partner, PRmoment India said, " PRmoment is very proud to partner with Hill and Knowlton India for this initiative. This is the kind of disruptive platform that we need to help support PR students with real-life campaign scenarios. The students, the mentors and the judges all worked very hard to make this happen. Congratulations to the winners and to all the participants."
If you enjoyed this article, you can subscribe for free to our weekly event and subscriber alerts.