A student from Napier University in Edinburgh has been crowned as CIPR Student Rep of the Year.
Bill Ranatunga, who graduates this year from the BA (Hons) Communication, Advertising and Public Relations course at Napier, is the student judged to have best represented the CIPR.
Each year approved PR courses select CIPR student representatives. 31 student reps competed for the title this year.
They were judged on how well they fulfilled the vital liaison role they played between their university, students, practitioners and the CIPR. They were also assessed on their ability to give a formal presentation and plan, organise and implement a professional event.
As well as completing all other aspects of the student rep role, Ranatunga hosted a networking evening that attracted around 60 students and 40 PR professionals. Students came from various institutions in Scotland and from as far away as Manchester to take part in the evening. The CIPR Scotland committee is now contemplating using it as an annual event to attract students in the region.
He also secured media coverage through a variety of channels such as The Journal, a 32-page, mini-Berliner format newspaper published on a fortnightly basis and distributed to all five of Edinburgh’s higher education institutions.
Ranatunga said: “I had a lot of fun doing the event and it attracted students that greatly appreciated hearing about how the CIPR could help them find a career in public relations.”
Carol Matthews, Chair of CIPR Scotland, said: “CIPR course reps are the future leaders of the public relations profession – so to come top of this distinguished group is a real achievement. By juggling the responsibilities of a course rep alongside their studies, these students demonstrate their ability to manage priorities in a professional manner and a commitment to their chosen career.”
“The industry and future employers are lucky to have them.”
In addition to the Award, the CIPR is giving Bill a complimentary ticket to the World PR Conference and Festival which it is hosting in London on 23/24 June, as well as an activities away day of his choosing.
The runners-up were Beth Moore from Cardiff University and Ariadna Bahmatova from London Metropolitan University.
If you are studying on a CIPR-approved degree course and are interested in becoming a CIPR Student Rep at the beginning of the next academic year speak to your course tutor and get them to arrange an election or arrange one yourself. Once elected inform Vicky King the CIPR’s Education and Student Liaison Officer either by email, firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 020 7766 3333. Student reps receive free CIPR membership while they are in the role. The CIPR will also be hosting the annual student rep day in the first term of the academic calendar at CIPR headquarters in London where newly elected reps will be briefed on the role.