Last week I was lucky enough to be one of the CIPR volunteers giving 17 year olds an insight into PR. It formed part of the National Citizens Service – a scheme set up to give 16 and 17 year olds in England the chance to build life and work skills while giving something back to their local community. The group I met were amazing – some had definite ideas about the career they wanted, others were open to suggestions and keen to learn more about the world of communications.

At the end of the session, the group came together to present their ‘pitch’ to the volunteers – Dragon’s Den style. This was effectively a test run for the next day’s actual pitch to request sponsorship for their local community project that they had developed.

What really amazed me was how a group of young people who had only met each other the week before could come together to deliver a really effective presentation. Not only that, without formal training and guidance they gave a refreshing alternative to what has become the de facto presentation format of Powerpoint.

I admit I still have a lot to learn about Powerpoint as well as more interactive visual tools such as Prezi, but the group that presented didn’t use any form of IT. They used their team to visually represent facts and figures - and very effectively.

It reminded me that a refreshing approach is more likely to engage an audience than a tired formulaic approach. Putting creativity into action is important when you’re in the external communications world and what better time to demonstrate this than at the very start. I remember when I first began working in PR, one pitch required one of the presenting team members to dress up in a shark costume – he felt silly, the team slightly nervous about whether the client would ‘get it’, but we’d done our research (there was a brand related reason for the fish costume!) and the approach won us the account.

Daring to be bold and different is important to us as a team at theblueballroom. In a world that is increasingly visual, with people around the world sharing images, video and designs online every second, it’s essential in PR and communications to demonstrate creativity in a visual way. We're looking for a talented Account Executive to join our growing team. Could you be right for the role?

It was exciting to have an insight into who will be the next generation of business at the CIPR workshop last week. I got a lot out of it, including a very positive belief that the future of communications is in safe hands!


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