Last week we hosted our first ever digital marketing workshop with first year students at the University of Huddersfield. From Pedro, our account director Joyce Cowles and digital marketing manager Graham Pinkney made the short trip over from the offices in Leeds to host the workshop.

The aim of the day was to give students a practical learning approach on all the different elements of working in an agency.  This included demonstrating some of the best bits of agency life, and highlight how skills like creativity, problem-solving and teamwork are all essential, especially in agencies.

We decided the best way for students to find out more was to give them practical exercises so they get some experience on what a regular day looks like. Most agencies tend to do talks to share experiences, we decided to take a different approach on this which we believed would be more engaging for students.

The Workshop

Students were split into teams and created their own agency with a name, expertise and size. For example, one of the teams agencies was called ‘Click It’, a video marketing specialist which operated nationally.

We then gave each team a real life client and some aims/objectives they wanted to meet. The students were tasked with producing a campaign and strategy to meet these objectives based on the services their agency offered.

Once the students had a campaign they wanted to run with, we presented them with a ‘real life agency road block’ which both Joyce and Graham had come across in past experience. This could be anything such as ‘your client doesn’t like the idea’ or ‘your designer on the project has suddenly left the agency’. Each team picked their roadblock scenarios at random from a selection of cards, so it was a surprise to them!

This gave students both sides of the coin when working in an agency, while sometimes you can be really creative – you also need to think on your feet and learn about managing the expectations of a client.

Next students presented their agency, strategy for the client campaign, and how they overcome the roadblock scenario. Joyce and Graham then fed back to the students on their approach and compared this to how they actually dealt with the scenarios themselves.

We called this part the retrospective which is a key part of finishing any project so that you can learn from lessons and spot the red flags sooner. It also means you will have solutions ready if the roadblock scenarios were to occur again.

To make things more interesting for the students and eclipse agency life, we made it into a competition with the winning team getting a free tab at the student union bar! At Pedro, we usually like to end the week by heading to the pub or having a team social, so we wanted to show this side of agency life as well.

After the workshop, Joyce and Graham took part in Q&A session with students to discuss their course, careers in marketing and share some of their own experiences

The day was a great success and the feedback received from students very positive. Were now looking to take the workshop across universities in the North to help more students learn more about agency life and what they can expect from a career in digital marketing.

A big thanks to Raisa Yakimova, The University of Huddersfield and of course the students for letting us come along!

Feedback from Raisa:

“Graham and Joyce ran a really fun seminar with our first year digital marketing students. Students were super engaged, and loved the activity. They even stayed afterwards and had lunch with students. The winning team was awarded a £30 tab at the local pub. Graham and Joyce even gave the students suggestions for their digital marketing assignments, and offered to be their mentors. It was fabulous!

I hope Graham Joyce can come back again next year to run a similar seminar.”

If your looking to find out more about digital marketing, email us or call our Leeds office on 0113 4510237.