PR and Advertising students work on briefs from Danone, IKEA, and Yandex.Go
The Advertising and Public Relations undergraduate program at the Higher School of Economics implements unique educational formats. One of them is a business game, which is the most important element of the "Integrated Communications Management" course. Third-year students work on real briefs from customers.
About the business game
The business game is a process that takes up the entire academic year. It is built into the Integrated Communications Management (ICM) course. In September, students are divided into six teams within each study group. Thus, 77 teams are represented throughout the third academic year. Thirteen teams are working on each brief, competing against each other. This year students are working with Danone, BIOCAD, IKEA, Literature Newspaper, Pushkin Museum and Yandex.Go.
Stages of the business game
The first stage of the game was a briefing from each client, during which the students were assigned specific tasks. All the tasks were connected with the integrated communication campaigns with the use of advertising, PR and other technologies in order to attract new target audiences, positioning or repositioning the brand. The goal of each team was to work through the briefs, complete the tasks and then deliver the project to the customer. At the end of the third course, a tender format will determine whose pre-project proposal was the best.
After the briefings, students began to discuss what ideas they have, what research they need, and what information they need to get from the customer. Some teams have already had, and some soon plan to have debriefings, where they can ask the customers questions and get the necessary data.
Next, students will need to do research because working on a campaign is not only about creativity, but also about analytics. That is why coursework in the third year is done in teams on client briefs. Students will need to conduct a variety of research using qualitative, quantitative, or desk-based approaches, depending on the task at hand.
On the basis of their research, students need to prepare a pre-project proposal, preparing a campaign on the client's request and presenting a high-quality campaign.
Integration into the educational process
The business game is integrated into the educational process. What students learn in the ICM course is necessary for campaign development during the business game. The ICM is divided into different thematic units; at this point, the strategy for developing a communication campaign through the lens of advertising and PR is studied. For each seminar, students prepare assignments related to both the material studied and the client brief at the same time. Examples include a matrix of the available and necessary research for a future campaign, creating "personas" (images of the target audience), and describing the nature of a communication campaign. However, these are not just training assignments, these are tools, approaches used in the real practice of communication specialists.
Lecturers in the UIC discipline are responsible for their "blocks". A block of lectures on PR is led by Sergey Zverev, head of the School of Integrated Communications, a block of lectures on advertising is led by Alexander Mozhaev, professor at the Schhol, the digital block is taught by Oleg Vlades, associate professor at the School. In addition, each client has a supervisor - a lecturer who helps build customer and team communication and advises students. However, students have to make decisions on strategy and come up with ideas on their own. The curators are Tatiana Sokolova, Yaroslav Kucherov, Alla Kotsyuba, Yuri Malinin, Grigory Krichevsky, and Svetlana Katkova.
The business game helps students to work with real tasks and understand what to do in the future under the guidance of the best lecturers of the School of Integrated Communications.