Marching on Together

Posted on April 11, 2019


The skies between Leeds and Belfast are well travelled for the Clearbox team with Danielle Hibbert, who heads up our Yorkshire office, often flying our way for events and meetings. 

We recently travelled the other way for our annual visit to Leeds Beckett University for a talk to PR students about a topic of their choice. 

This year, they chose to learn more about PR life in Northern Ireland, the reunification of our society following the Troubles and how we feel we’ll get on here after Brexit. To talk about the future, you have to explain the past and condensing hundreds of years of history into a handful of slides is a challenge, but one we’re always up for. 

Northern Ireland is described by many as a post-conflict society, and it was really interesting to meet many students during the lecture who also hail from post-conflict societies. 

Students from Vietnam, India, Pakistan and China were among those to come along, and it was intriguing to hear how their societies have been built and rebuilt and how conflict in the past shapes the media and PR in their home countries today. 

We also talked to students from other parts of the UK, who had different views on how Brexit will impact things closer to home; particularly in the PR industry. 

Some of the regional, political and religious nuances of living and working in Northern Ireland surprised the students, but some didn’t. We’d say that the knowledge of how we live here and the differences between our communities is growing. We’re not joking when we say this, but we think a lot of that is due to the success of Derry Girls, which virtually everyone in the room said they watched.

We really enjoyed our trip to Leeds and it was great to once again meet a group of bright, enthusiastic and talented students. Whether they stay in the UK or return home, we’ve no doubt that whatever PR industry they go in to will benefit immensely from their skills and talent. 

As always, we wouldn’t have been able to get involved with the students if it wasn’t for the legend that is Robert Minton-Taylor. Robert has been a staple of PR learning in Leeds for a long time and continues to motivate and inspire students to do great things. He’s also the only tutor that’s ever thrown an entire group of students out of a lecture because not one of us knew the top news stories of the day. A career-changing moment, that’s for sure…

We’d like to say thank you to Robert and the students of Leeds Beckett University for another brilliant experience. The warm welcome and hospitality is always second to none and we really love our visits to Leeds. See you all on the next one! 

The visit to Leeds was part of our Box to the Future campaign. This programme is part of our commitment to help inspire the next generation of PR leaders. We offer work placements, internships, workshops, talks and more to school and university students around the UK & Ireland. If you’re interested in a work placement or internship with Clearbox or you’d like us to visit your school, college or university to talk to students about PR then give us a shout - hello@clearboxcommunications.com.