HSE Students Win at ‘PRactice’ Business Game
Winners of the 14th annual business game «PRactice»
The finale of the XIV annual business game ‘PRactice’ (in Russian: PRактика) for students in advertising and public relations was recently held in Moscow, with HSE second-year students taking first place in the contest. The jury included representatives from Villagio Estate, Canon, Nestle and other prestigious companies.
About the Game
The business game ‘PRactice’ introduces the work of public relations specialists to students and helps to establish cooperation between future PR-specialists and current PR-practitioners. The event is organized by the ‘Advertising and public relations’ course of the Faculty of Philosophy at Lomonosov Moscow State University, along with Brook Communications and GRAPH Infographic Solutions.
This year, 2nd-year students of the Bachelor’s programme in Advertising and Public Relations - Ekaterina Revyakina, Elizaveta Rakhnovskaya, Le Do Thanh Long, Eva Moskalenko, Polina Romanova, Anna Mokrousova and Vladislav Kucherenko represented HSE at the contest.
‘PRactice’, unlike many case-championships, lasts for a month, involves regular interaction between team members and includes four successive rounds. During the game, participants develop a business project and design a strategy for its promotion, taking into account the introductory information from the game organizers.
Creation of a startup project is a time-consuming process that requires a wide range of interests and skills, including analysis of industry markets, audience analysis and targeting, as well as the ability to identify the most effective tools for promoting the product among the target audience.
About the Project
Having studied the market for mobile applications, HSE students discovered a lack of applications connected to the restaurant business. They decided to create a service that would help to find a suitable restaurant or cafe, according to the preferences of a particular user. They called their potential application ‘SayFood’.
In terms of functional characteristics, it resembles Tinder: users specify their preferences, and then select the one he or she likes most from the available options. Of course, in today's world, our choice is also based on the reviews of other users, so the application included a ranking feature based on the previous experience of other users of the app.
One of the key tasks of the game ‘PRactice’ is to develop the participants' practical skills in PR management, making it as close as possible to a real campaign development. This year the participants were able to use event management as a promotion tool, and the organisers allocated 5m roubles for campaign implementation. However, the HSE students decided not to limit themselves to the suggested tool, and instead tried to develop a complex PR campaign that took into account expenses for working with bloggers and media partners.
In addition to practical knowledge of PR tools and press release skills, students also used their knowledge of the communication theory. Thus, the philosopher Marshall McLuhan, who studied the impact of electronic communication on humans and society ‘prompted’ the students to come up with the idea for their slogan. If Marshall McLuhan had lived in the 21st century, he would have said: ‘Food is a message’.
Only three teams made it to the finals: representatives from HSE, MSU and RANEPA. In the final. HSE students suggested integrating their application into the social network Instagram and added a small flashmob challenge in order to attract users' attention to the new service and increase the number of application downloads.
‘In general, I liked the game, although sometimes it was not easy. For example, I found it hard when the jury criticized our strategy. But it's great, because it’s the only way you can learn to listen to other people’s opinion and defend your point of view,’ — said team member Lisa Rakhnovskaya.
‘Don’t be afraid and try participating in specialized events as often as possible, — said team captain Vladislav Kucherenko. - Show your knowledge and apply the skills you gained at the university. During the business game we learned to select promotion tools, justify our decisions and our point of view, and received feedback from professionals. In addition to that, we met new interesting people and students from other universities, and had good time in general.’
Last year, HSE launched its new joint course with Mail.ru called Communications in IT, where the head of RBC Group’s press centre, Egor Timofeev, was an invited speaker. In the latest edition of Success Builder, Egor talks about how the roles of a journalist and a PR specialist differ, why media is hard work, how to fight fake news, and how to be part of a brand on social media.