BCU shines at PRide Awards


The successes of our staff, students and alumni were recognised recently with four gold awards at the 2023 Midlands PRide Awards for the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR). The event took place at Eastside Rooms, near City Centre Campus.

See the full list of award winners here.

MA in Public Relations (PR) Course Director Philip Young scooped the award for Outstanding Contribution to PR. This honour recognises Philip’s three-decade-long career in PR, from working as a newspaper editor and being a Partner in his own PR agency, to moving into academia and teaching at home and overseas institutions.

Third-year Public Relations and Media student Maria Naoussi Sanchez won Student of the Year, which is the second year in a row this has been awarded to a BCU student.

When presented with her award, the judges commented: “She [Maria] has worked hard during her studies and gained valuable work experience throughout, including an eight-month internship with FROW Magazine. She has volunteered and attended events, keeps up to date with news and industry developments, and seeks out networking opportunities while always adding to her professional portfolio.

“She also makes a positive impact upon those around her, and recently volunteered as an Activity Leader for Education First and has collaborated on various projects.”

Media and Communications (Public Relations) alumna Nicole Daybell, who graduated in 2019, was awarded Outstanding Young Communicator of the Year, while Visiting Lecturer Aimee Postle was awarded Outstanding Contribution to CIPR.

Nicole is now a Senior Account Manager at WPR, having completed work experience there during her time at BCU, securing a graduate role and working her way up the ranks ever since. She has worked on several award-winning campaigns, including for client Care UK.

Aimee has been a Visiting Lecturer at BCU for five years, and currently supports the delivery of some MA Public Relations modules. Outside of BCU she is a consultant and coach, and a former chair of the CIPR Midlands.

The judges said: "The winner of this award led the committee through the pandemic with calm and organised leadership. During the period, we saw a huge increase in events, activities and engagement, and she put the CIPR Midlands back on the map. Post-pandemic, she stabilised the committee and provided a solid platform for growth and engagement in the region, while her work with Iprovision continues to positively change lives. Her commitment and values are unquestionable, and it is a pleasure to work with and learn from her."

TV Presenter and former Director of Undergraduate Journalism, Marverine Cole was MC for the evening.

Course Director BA Public Relations and Media Kelly O’Hanlon, who is Co-Chair of the CIPR Midlands and PRide Co-ordinator, said: “It has always been important to me to forge strong industry links, to provide insights and opportunities for our students, so they can go on to have successful careers. This latest regional PRide Awards has been a real highlight. I am proud that BCU has been an integral part of their journey so far. I hope this will serve as a spotlight on what we do and as a source of inspiration for other aspiring PR and media practitioners.”

Pictured: (left to right) Public Relations and Media student and volunteer on the evening Emma Ndlovu, Marverine Cole, Course Director BA (Hons) Public Relations and Media Kelly O’Hanlon, Public Relations and Media student Maria Naoussi Sanchez and Public Relations and Media student and volunteer on the evening Calista Bryant.

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