Smells like team spirit

This is an article by Nillie Munir and Lucy Brandon.
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Since joining the PR with Marketing course at Leeds Met almost two years ago, we have both felt the pressures of the world of PR both in and out of university. We quickly learnt that the PR industry is fast, sharp and extremely competitive. Even at university we are all competing with our peers to get noticed, get top marks and get the best placements.

Right from the beginning we noticed a lack of friendship and team spirit amongst everyone on the course. After fifteen months on the course we still didn’t know many people’s names and only seemed to interact with the course mates who were actually in our seminar class.

This seems crazy considering as PRs we are meant to be at the top end of the social scale!

Girls with balls: back row, left to right: Lucy Brandon, Char Easton, Charlotte Brookes, Molly Fowler,Nillie Munir Front row: Holly Butler, Abbey Canovan

Girls with balls: back row, left to right: Lucy Brandon, Char Easton, Charlotte Brookes, Molly Fowler, Nillie Munir; front row: Holly Butler, Abbey Canovan

We worked together to come up with something  fun that would help break down the competitive barriers between our peers and create not only friendships but possible future networks which we know we will all need in our careers as PR practitioners.

After discussing our hobbies, interests and strengths as well as talking to others on the course, in January 2013 the PR Penguins were born.

The PR Penguins are a netball team set up by us to create connections between everyone on the PR as well as the PR with Marketing course. We opened the idea to everyone doing a PR course in second year via social media and were really happy with the positive response from our peers! We were really excited to start running our PR Penguin netball team. (And yes, the league welcomes men too).

The team has been up and running for four months now and through the team we have managed to meet so many new people as well as creating lots of friendships.

As well as this we feel so happy that we have widened everyone’s networks. Who knows who you will need to contact in the future to help you out? We train once a week where we all get the chance to talk about our course as well as anything else which has really helped everyone’s relationship flourish.

We play a match once a week in the Leeds Met intramural netball league where we have been complimented on our team spirit more than one and if the league table was based on team spirit the PR Penguins would win without a doubt!

Together we have combined everything we have learnt from our degree so far to encourage our fellow PR Penguins to use their core PR skills both in and out of the office, on and off court by emphasising the importance of passion, perseverance and purpose which we believe to be the three P’s of PR.

We may not have finished top of the league but this definitely won’t knock the PR Penguins down. We have improved so much as a team as well as learning so much along the way.

We would like to carry on leading the PR Penguins in our final year as well as expanding and inviting  all first, second and third year PR students to get involved so we can all work together to one day succeed in winning the league before we all go off to be successful in our future careers.


  1. This is a great idea. Great job taking the initiative to build relationships with your fellow students! Skills and initiative like that will serve you well in your future PR careers.

    I feel the same way sometimes in my programme. PR is so competitive, which makes it natural to compete with your fellow classmates but that can definitely build a wall between you and your classmates. But like you said, its importantly to constantly be building relationships, so great job!!

  2. I think that trying to build friendships with classmates on the course is always a great thing as it makes the whole learning experience a lot more fun – which can only be good for grades and the social side of things, so well done for making the netball team!

    However, I do disagree completely with the lack of friendship you talk about. I’m friends with almost everyone on the course and I’ve only been in classes with about half. The other half I’ve met through friends and I think that everyone on the course, at least the people I know, are very friendly and get on with everyone on the course!

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