phd academy graduate scheme: week 3

Debbie Batchelor, Media Assistant, fills us in on week 3 of the PHD Academy Grad Scheme.

On Monday the 5th of October, the third and final week of the PHD Academy Graduate Scheme began. Firstly, we had a talk from staff at Talon, the Outdoor specialists that currently have an impressive 21% market share. They talked us through the varying formats for Out of Home and there was even an additional section from Grand Visual, who are specialists in Digital Out of Home, a sector that is rapidly growing year on year. We then heard from the International team, which was especially interesting, as a lot of us had not had the chance to work with them yet.

Tuesday’s sessions opened with a presentation from the Broadcast team on the changing AV market. I learnt so much about consumer behaviour from this session; for example, the average TV viewer watches 3 hours and 49 minutes of TV per day (I’m not sure I even have time for that!) Furthermore, 95.8% of all households own at least one TV; I always knew that TV delivered excellent coverage and reach, but these statistics still amazed me. After this session, we travelled to the head office of Global Radio for a presentation from their staff. This involved lots of group quizzes and plenty of chocolate-based prizes. We learnt about the wide variety of services that Global have to offer and the many different events, show and celebrities that they work with. We listened to old jingles from famous brands that we could all easily recognise, which helped us to truly understand the power of radio.

Our third day focused on the all-important Client Services and then finished with a trip to the Drum offices where Drum and Fuse gave their own presentations. We learnt that 94% of brands have used some form of content marketing in 2014, and so our connection with Drum and Fuse has never been so vital.

The remainder of the day, and all of Thursday was devoted to finalising our group pitches. We worked diligently within our teams and alongside our group mentors. Paul Hawkey, Joint Managing Director of PHD Performance felt that, ‘as a mentor it’s been great to see how quickly the team came together, divided out the work, then used the various resources available to them to develop their approach. They are incredibly fast learners and this process will open their eyes to how the agency produces great work for clients’.

On Thursday, we gave our pitches to the panel of judges and our peers, which was quite daunting but also a chance to show how much effort we had put in. Everyone’s pitches were fantastic and I was really impressed with the breadth of creative ideas that I saw. We celebrated after with drinks and needless to say, everyone was a little more tired than usual come Friday morning. The winners were announced (more drinks for them!) and Verica Djurdjevic gave us all some words of wisdom to take with us on our careers at PHD.

Daren Rubins, CEO of PHD, thought back to the start of the Grad Academy and recollected, ‘I was lucky enough to kick the programme off, alongside Hugh Cameron. My bit was about our special company culture and how we win through being joined up, my favourite subjects. Such a great initiative with smart, curious, ambitious young people.’ Now that the PHD Academy is over, I would like to thank all everyone that put their time and effort into organising such a great schedule of events. We all finished the Graduate Academy with more knowledge, experience and friendships than we started with, and that can only be a plus!

debbie pic

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