Editor’s note: Today we continue our learning adventure in Australia. Here Madison Hesseltine and Sterling Payne write about our visit to one of Australia’s leading PR agencies.
The students of UCM were fortunate to be invited to the Phillips Group office to learn and engage with the public relations professionals of Phillips Group. Phillips Group is “an award winning, strategic communications, creative and digital company.” They do everything from media relations and branding to auditing and reviewing. The managing director of the group, Stephanie Paul, gave us an overview of the firm and insight about what we should expect during our visit. We split up into five groups and rotated around the office to listen to five different case studies presentations. The case studies covered a wide variety of strategy-based public relations work from social media to media relations and community engagement.
One of the projects we learned about was The Queensland Anzac Centenary grants program. The project was from 2014-2018. The grants program helped communities deliver projects that honor the legacy of Australian servicemen and women. It also commemorated the 100 years since Australia’s involvement in WWI.
Another project we learned about was the Michael Hill Jewellers project. In 2017, they planned to open a global flagship luxury store on George Street in Sydney. Their intent was to extend the brand into the premium luxury jewelry market. The results of the program were highly successful as a grand opening featured celebrities, influencers and social elite, politicians and many other official guests.
After the presentation sessions, we were treated to genuine Australian food. we sampled meat pies, sausage rolls and Australian sparkling drinks. We learned some interesting facts about Australia and learned some Aussie colloquialisms. For example, McDonald’s is often called Maccas, barbeque can be known as barbie, and Christmas can be known as Chrissie.
It was very interesting to learn about workplace culture and environment which is slightly different than back home, but overall the similarities around how PR in Australia is practiced is very much comparable. Nicole Mense said, “It was very insightful to see how PR and marketing work together and how successful it is. After listening to the case studies from the Phillips Group professionals, we learned that the way Australians do PR, marketing and advertising is not much different than we do it in The United States.