The Global Communications Symposium brings together students from around the world for cross-cultural exchange of talent integration, ideas and teamwork. Students, lecturers and industry professionals have converged every year since 2002 to observe and participate in this highly valuable program. A collaboration of 15 universities from 15 countries teaches the future generation of communications industry leaders about the challenges of working across cultures, languages and distances. The 2018 edition of GlobCom was hosted by Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Students are grouped into teams (or ‘real communication agencies’) and given 12 weeks to prepare a global public relations campaign based on a challenging corporate PR brief that spanned 5 continents. Each team was led by mentors from education or industry. Joseph Henry, the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Vivaldi Public Relations, the leading Public Relations Agency in Thailand, coached one of the 9 teams. Joseph also participated as one of the esteemed jury members tasked with selecting the finalists for the competition.
About the experience he said, “It was incredible working with a group of talented and motivated students from Spain, Australia, UAE and many other countries. The proposal and pitch presentations I saw were strategic, professional, and incorporated and conveyed many excellent ideas. It was my privilege to support this worthwhile program as both a mentor and jury member.”
Working purely in an online fashion can be challenging and is open to producing inadequate results based on misunderstanding or misinterpretation. Education centers today bring together students from different countries and different backgrounds in an environment in which they must learn together, work together and create understanding, often across great physical distances. In this regard, it is no different to how teams must co-operate in international business environments and being able to learn these skills has massive value for students for this very reason. PR is something that is also often misunderstood by agency clients and internal operators alike; its value and the interpretation of its meaning can mean different things to different people across different regions. That’s exactly why this type of collaboration is essential in teaching crucial skills to developing young PR professionals.
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