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Public Relations Expert and Former Student Gives Top Tips

A University of Worcester graduate, who set up a successful public relations and marketing business, returned to give current students some insight into the business.

James Vincent, co-owner of locally-based agency, Hot Source Creative, returned to the University to give current Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations students the benefit of his experience. This collaboration, which also includes work experience opportunities for students, was designed to help students gain employability skills and industry insight.

I really enjoyed my time at the University and I wanted to share what Id learnt since Id started my career, said Mr Vincent.

"I hope students learned that there are many options for university graduates and more support from local entrepreneurs than they think. In addition I hope to have inspired a few students to start their own business.

Mr Vincent, who completed a degree in Business Management and Marketing at the University in 2015, told third year students about his company and gave tips on approaching advertising campaigns, in particular using a digital narrative to create impactful campaigns.

He revealed anecdotes of how out-of-the-box thinking got his company noticed in an industry of tough competition, gaining the business valuable clients. He also got students to come up with a PR and marketing strategy for real-life scenarios that his business had faced.

It is absolutely important for local businesses to share their knowledge and inspire potential employees of the future, he said. The future of Worcester and Worcestershire lies in the next generation of business entrepreneurs. I would advise current students to be prepared for a rollercoaster ride that is as much about understanding people as it is about marketing and public relations.

After graduation Mr Vincent worked for an agency as a digital marketing specialist, then went freelance, setting up his business in 2017. It now has bases in Worcester and Bromsgrove.

He said: I found the course at the University of Worcester well balanced and practical, which I prefer, and the courses focused on the real world rather than just the theoretical. By the time Id completed my three years, I felt confident that I could deliver the services that companies and clients really need.

The courses provided a very solid foundation for all the work that Ive been doing since I left. In particular, I found international marketing helped prepared me for the complexity of working with our Dubai clients. I also found that the sections on strategic planning have been extremely helpful in ensuring that my clients understand and adopt the marketing process and method. Secondly, and at a personal level, Worcester showed me the importance of making what you do enjoyable and that there is an entrepreneur inside each and every one of us.

Advertising student, Jack Smith, 21, said: Having James come in and talk to the class was a really useful and insightful experience. He opened my eyes to how an agency works through a creative brief and the tactics they use to appeal to different consumers.

Joanne Law, Associate Lecturer in the Business School, who leads the Advertising Campaign module, said: As James was an ex-student himself, I feel that he understood the importance of helping the third-year students understand how the theory learned at university can help transfer into real-world practice post-graduation.