Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Paul Harrison: A Leeds Met success story.

After my last rant about the urban Olympics I witnessed outside my front door (Are we fighting a loosing battle?) I was left pondering the task which we had undertaken. I decided to cheer myself up by trying to find a student who doesn't believe climbing over cars like a monkey on E is acceptable walking home etiquette. It didn't take much research to find that Leeds Met has success stories coming out of its....ears or arse, you choose.

The first bundle of brilliance to baffle beyond belief (those alliteration classes are paying for themselves) is Paul Harrison. Below is an unedited version of the article I have sent to the local press and the student paper. Take heed those amongst you, who are contemplating competing in Saturday nights urban Olympics and see what you can achieve if you put your energy into something constructive. For those of you who still want to compete, I just thought I would mention that I have recently purchased an air rifle and am looking for some target practise.

(the last sentence is a joke and I in know way condone the use of firearms and it is not my intention to glorify the use of them, I was only joshing)

Leeds born footballer Paul Harrison has become the latest success story of Leeds Metropolitan University. After graduating with a 2nd class honours in Sport Coaching and Development, Paul has secured a one year contract at Glenn Hoddle’s Football academy in Spain.

Paul has played football for Leeds Met throughout his three year course at university. As a 1st year he was selected to play for the 3rd team, but after soon impressing he was moved up to the 2nd team, who went on to be only the second Leeds Met team in history to win the national title. In his second year of studies he was selected by John Hall to play for the 1st team in which he stayed for the rest of his time at Leeds Met, winning many trophies, including a final victory at Elland Road.

Whilst Paul was playing for Leeds Met he was spotted by former England international Glenn Hoddle. Glenn was launching his partnership with Carnegie, who were sponsoring the Glenn Hoddle Academy trials at Chelsea Football Club. Two weeks after the game Glenn rang Paul personally to ask him if he would like to attend the upcoming trials at Chelsea. Although Paul got injured on the day, Glenn decided he had seen enough and offered Paul a two week trial at the Spanish resort of Montecastillo. The two week trial culminated with a game against Darren Ferguson’s Peterborough United, in which Paul impressed and was offered a one year contract at the Glenn Hoddle Academy.

Paul is still enjoying his time in Spain, his daily routine involves an early breakfast with his team mates, followed by a morning session concentrating on fitness, techniques and small sided games. After lunch the players can take advantage of the 5 star facilities by either working out in the gym or relaxing by the pool. The afternoon session is usually larger sided games with a tactical theme in which ideas are broadened and the players are challenged by new information with tactical and technical input from the coaches. The coaching staff includes ex pro’s such as Nigel Spackman, Dave Beasant, Graham Rix and Hoddle himself.

In a recent tour of England the Gelnn Hoddle academy played fixtures against Chelsea, Southampton, Derby and Manchester City, in which the likes of Bojinov, Nathan Ellington, Leo Franco and other under 21 internationals played.
Paul is well aware of how privileged he is to be playing in such high profile games and said he owes much of his success to Leeds Metropolitan University

Paul said:

“Without Leeds Mets football programme I literally wouldn't be where I am today. I only heard about the football team through the Students Union, who do a fantastic job getting students involved with all kinds of activities . I also owe a lot to the likes of Kev Hammond who gave me my first game, and to John Hall who recognised my abilities and invited me to join the 1st team squad, where I was spotted by Glenn Hoddle. Also the support from my tutors helped me achieve my degree but also allowed me to concentrate on my football.”

Although Paul is enjoying himself in Spain he hopes that his stay will be as short as possible and that he will be offered a trial at a professional club. So far 3 of his team mates are currently on trial at professional clubs.

Paul added:

“My time at Leeds Met was a fantastic chapter in my life, and has played a massive part in my development, I am very grateful for the chances I have received and hope I can pay back all the time people have invested in me by securing a professional contract.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Another member of the team. Introducing Erin.

Name: Erin Mills
Hometown: Harpenden
Course: Public Relations and Marketing

Question One: Who is your role model?

If I had to chose a role model it would probably be Agyness Deyn, formally known as Laura Hollins. Born in Manchester, she started work at 13 in a fish and chip shop. Later on in life she moved to London and work by day in a fast food restaurant and a bar at night. Realising the potential she had to be a model she visited modelling agencies and was signed to Models 1. She is now said the be the fashion industries next worldwide supermodel, and has been the face of campaigns like Burberry, Vivienne Westwood, and Armarni. It is not that I aspire to be a model or even famous, its just the huge success she has achieved from working in a fish and chip shop in a small town in Manchester, to being a huge representation of British youth culture.

Question Two: Why Leeds and Why P.R?

I had not really put much thought into which university or which course I was doing till very last minute. My reason for choosing Leeds was mainly due to the fact I had heard a lot about the city from friends and family, my brother had studied at Leeds, and the well credited music scene. I also think it is far enough away from London to feel detached from it. Everyone ends up in London at one point in their life, and I think that getting away from it to get my degree was the best option for me. The reason I chose P.R was a bit strange and unexpected. Throughout my time at school I had always planned on studying physiotherapy. It was not until I was given the chance to get some work experience in P.R that my mind was completely changed. My sister is a P.R and I was given the opportunity to work with her at this years Global Gathering, a dance festival, and I also worked with the same company in the office and at gigs. I absolutely loved it and decided that it is the career for me.

Question Three: What would be your ideal profession apart from Public Relations be?

It sounds stupid, but if I could be a professional first year student till the end of time I think I would. You get to go out as much as you want, you don’t really have any worries apart from money which everyone seems to work around, and you constantly get to meet new people and you have all the freedom in the world. Although I realise I am not Peter Pan and soon I will have to grow up and fly into the real world, I am intent on enjoying my first year as much as possible.

Question 4: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In five years time I see myself in my first year of employment and most likely struggling to find a good job. I am doing a sandwich course so the degree will be 4 years in total. I will have lots and lots of debt just like every other student, but I am sure I will be very happy with my 1st that I get from my P.R degree! I can only hope.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Are we fighting a losing battle?

After just two weeks of setting up the PR unit for the Students Union, I am already questioning whether changing peoples opinions about students is going to be impossible. Our mission statement reads as follows:

"The Mission of the P.R unit is to raise the profile of the Students Union amongst students and the local community. We aim to create and implement innovative public relations campaigns which will allow us to communicate with our public and make the S.U more accessible to everyone."

Now a big part of this was to eradicate the unfair stereotypes that we felt students had acquired over the years. In the eyes of the local non student community it is clear that their is a lot of animosity towards us tax dodgers, but why? well I will tell you why my Countdown watching, pot noodling eating friends. Let me share with you what happened to me last night.

So there I am sitting in bed with my girlfriend Gem watching "The City", now usually I wouldn't admit to watching such tripe but I feel that you need to know every detail. Just as the credits roll we hear some commotion outside our window, not at all unusual as we live opposite one of the Headingley Pubs, so I thought I would take a look. Peeking out of the curtain like nosey neighbour Michael Pain, I was astounded at what I saw. A group of drunk students, one of them preparing to hurdle a row of cars like he was taking part in some sort of urban Olympics. Egged on by his cheering buddies, who could quite easily be 6 of the missing links in Darwin's theory of evolution, each of them shouting some sort of incoherent babble to encourage their answer to Colin Jackson.

He mounts the first car with consummate ease, gliding over the Vauxhall Corsa like a gazelle. With the soundtrack from Chariots of Fire playing in his head he moves on to the Peugeot, up and over in a flash he even manages to dent the bonnet on his descent, what a pro. Now as he eyes up his next obstacle, three mini coopers, he is met by the wrath of my girlfriend who shouts some expletives from the window, as she realises that her car is next. Does this put him of his stride, does he let one persons blinkered view of what is acceptable behaviour shirk his confidence? Of course not, after all this guy has won gold medals in being a (enter derogatory here). Getting more and more daring as he reaches the penultimate hurdle, he jumps from my girlfriends car on to the next car without touching the ground, a feat which any Parkour professional would be proud of.

Landing on the next Mini he deals a devastating blow to its bumper, climbs over the roof, dents the bonnet and lands with the elegance of elephant. Now I'm no car expert but the second Mini he trashed is a very nice car indeed, in fact I was only commenting on it and it's driver the other day, now he may or may not be a "flash b******" but he defiantly does not deserve his pride of joy being damaged by a drunken Colin Jackson.

I did not see him complete his last hurdle as I rushed to get my clothes on and congratulate him on his marvellous achievement. As soon as I got out on to the road him and his motley crew had scarpered. All I saw was Gem in her car with a possessed look in her eye, "get in" she screamed, I duly obliged. Racing around Headingley like a scene from the Italian Job we knew we could cut them off on the next road. With no thought for her own safety or mine, Gem raced around corners like Cruella Di Vel on the hunt for 7 dogs.

When we finally confronted the perpetrators, the ring leader, or Colin as he prefers to be known, was not satisfied that he had caused us enough aggro and tried to open the drivers seat door and was very aggressive towards Gem. I thought about getting out of the car and confronting all 7 of the louts but unfortunately God didn't make me to fight, if they however wanted a battle of wits then I'll meet them behind the bike sheds. After exchanging some very strong words we drove off. It was then I realised that I knew who Colin was, I won't disclose the details off how I know him, but needless to say he will soon be getting a call from the boys in blue, the fuzz or the pigs if you will.

I hope that these seven idiots only represent a small minority of the student population and that others don't act with such little respect for other peoples property.

It seems that we have a lot of work to do, if we are to fulfil our aims and change the public perception of Leeds Met students. I will keep you posted about what, if anything, happens to Colin Jackson.

Rant over.


Friday, 13 February 2009

Let's meet the team

As Cilla Black once said “what’s your name and wheredje come from”.Well Cilla, I’m Adam and I’m from Newmarket. OK so the blind date reference is a bit dated, but I thought I would take this opportunity to introduce myself and the team, and to give you an incite into what makes us tick.

It should be a lorra lorra fun. Enough with the Cilla quotes!

Name: Adam Burns
Hometown: Newmarket
Course: Public Relations and Marketing

Question One: Who is you role model?

I would probably have to say Karl Pilkington, he's Ricky Gervais's mate, if you haven't heard of
him then I highly recommend looking up his work. He's my idol because he is living proof that you can achieve anything regardless off your downfalls. Karl is uneducated, inarticulate and Ricky has even described him as a "shaven chimp", but he is extraordinarily successful. Obviously being mates with Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant helps but Karl is not simply cashing in on his friends cache. He is a published author, has made is own short films and is part of the most successful podcasts ever. I know if Mr. Dilkington can be successful then so can I.

Question Two: Why Leeds and Why P.R?
I think Leeds is a perfect city to study in, I did apply to places in London but I just think our capital city leaves a lot to be desired, it's dirty and full of miserable drones. Leeds has the right balance between being quiet enough to relax in and lively enough to play in. I chose P.R because I have friends who have either graduated or are in their final year and they all absolutely loved the course. The art of P.R appeals to me, it requires creativity and innovative thinking, something which I believe I have in abundance.

Question Three: What would be your ideal profession apart from Public Relations be?
In a ideal world I would love to be a professional footballer or a comedy actor, or I could combine the two and be Jimmy Bullard. When I was younger I dabbled with both of these dreams, playing football for Ipswich town and taking drama as an A-level. However after being released from Ipswich for being TOO SLOW and TOO SHORT I decided it would be wise to concentrate on my education and if the worst came to the worst I could always follow in my dads tiny footsteps and become a Jockey. I still have a burning desire to do more acting, so maybe myself and the P.R team could do some sketches for the blog.

Question 4: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Well at the rate my hair is receding, I predict I will be either sporting a Jack Charlton comb over or I'll look like Greg Wallace from Master Chef, or I could well be recovering from hair plug surgery. I hope however I am happy, successful and still able to run my fingers through a full head of hair. I would love to be working in sports P.R, maybe for a premiership football team, ideally Newcastle. I know this is unrealistic, not me working for a premiership club but Newcastle still being in the top league. With old sweary Joe Kinnear hospitalized it's not looking good for the Toon Army. Over the last year I have learnt that life can be short, so I hope I live the next 5 years with no regrets.


So where do we start?

The P.R unit is the brain child of Student Union Executive Ben Mcdougall (Pictured), "the idea has been in the pipeline for some time and it just needed the right students with the right level of commitment to get the idea off the ground" said Ben. We contacted Ben after a few of us had bad experiences working for P.R consultancies in a bid to nail down the ten pieces of work we need for our first year portfolios. Unfortunately photocopying and making tea do not count towards our course and didn't even count towards our bank balance either. In stepped Mr Mcdougall with the opportunity to spend our Fridays in the Students Union offices attempting to gain coverage for the wide variety of activity going on within the S.U. He could not help our bank balances but the opportunities to fill our portfolios were endless.

After a few meetings our mission statement was written and the foundations were set. It is still very early days but we hope that with some hard graft and innovative thinking we can create something that will be in place long after we receive our caps and gowns.

At present there are four of us, but we hope to grow and to offer fellow students the opportunity to gain credible work for their course. If you think that you would like to get involved then just leave your details on the blog or alternatively email myself

Our first projects include two student led events, a fashion show and a pamper evening. We are also writing an article about former Leeds Met student Paul Harrison (Pictured) who recently got accepted to play for the Glenn Hoddle Football Academy in Spain.

As well as these we are looking for opportunities to raise the reputation of students within the local community, this involves working with CALM and local community organizations.

So after our first meeting we are all very satisfied that we have a mountain of opportunities to work on, we have delegated who will be working on what and plan to hold a mid week meeting on the 15th to discuss our progress.

Until next time.

The P.R Unit

This Blog had been created by four fresh faced Public Relations students. Together we have formed the very first Public Relations Unit within the Students Union.

Our mission statement:

"The Mission of the P.R unit is to raise the profile of the Students Union amongst students and the local community. We aim to create and implement innovative public relations campaigns which will allow us to communicate with our publics and make the S.U more accessible to everyone."

The aim of the Blog is to create a community of followers that will be able to keep abreast of all the latest goings on within the Students Union. We hope to use it as a channel to communicate with the student community and raise the profile of the S.U.

We hope you enjoy

The P.R Unit