Competitive Pitch Award 2010

Final year students from Leeds Met’s BA (Hons) Public Relations course took part in the University’s coveted Grayling Competitive Pitch Prize (formally Trimedia) this week.

The students were provided with a PR brief by Grayling and the top four groups were then called to pitch in front of a panel at Grayling.

This year two teams were to be congratulated as joint winners; STARK PR (consisting of students Adam Lewis, Amanda Fox, Lauren Foster, Gwen Youlden and Alice Harper) and ECLAT (consisting of Laura Miller, Lauren Burke, Lydia Cambata and Kimberley Toulsen) have both won the Grayling Competitive Pitch Prize for 2010.

Amanda Fox one of the joint winner commented; “Winning the 2010 Graying award has been a fantastic achievement. The opportunity to do real life pitching for Graying has given us essential industry skills which have proven to be highly valuable as we enter the world of work. As a result of this experience with such a leading agency, we have been provided with the confidence to successfully tackle any pitching situation in the future.”

Helping to mentor the students was Justin McKeowan, a Director from Grayling who took part in the competition himself 15 years ago.

Justin said; “This year’s competition was one of the most aggressive yet, hence Grayling being unable to pick only one winning team. All the teams were noted as having preformed well in this ‘real life’ competition with ‘real’ clients and ‘real’ situations.”

Sadly there can only be one winner, or in this case two, our sincere commiserations go to the teams SHIFT and 5 Communications.

Coverage: Behind the Spin – Online PR Studnets Publication

Covering in the Northern Echo was a result of myself selling my ‘local girl wins award with international PR agency’ story.

Media Release

May 2010

For immediate release

Local PR Student Battles it out in the Boardroom to Win Grayling Prize

Final year Leeds Metropolitan University student, Amanda Fox from Darlington, has battled it out to win the prestigious Grayling Prize 2010 which awards public relations excellence amongst students.

The annual competition, launched 16 years ago, offers students the opportunity to showcase their professional abilities in a competitive board room environment whilst also identifying the PR talent of the future. Over 50 public relations students from Leeds Metropolitan were provided with the brief for one of Grayling’s current clients; the task was to create a strategic PR plan to establish the client brand at a national level.

After a competitive pitch at the University, four short listed teams were invited to Grayling’s Leeds office to pitch in front of a panel of judges including Grayling Divisional Director, Justin McKeown, and Leeds Metropolitan’s Senior Lecturer in PR and Marketing, Shirley Beresford. The standard was so high, two teams shared the prize – Stark PR, comprising of Amanda Fox 23 from Darlington, Lauren Foster 22 from Washington Tyne & Wear, Alice Harper 22 from Islington, Adam Lewis 22 from Manchester and Gwen Youlden 22 from Lichfield, and Lauren Burke 22 from Chester-Le-Street, Lydia Cambata 22 from Hitchin, Kimberley Toulson 22 from Congleton and Laura Miller 22 from Epworth from Eclat.

Leeds Metropolitan PR alumnus Justin McKeown said: “This year’s competition was one of the most aggressive yet, hence Grayling being unable to pick only one winning team. All the teams were noted as having performed exceptionally well in this ‘real life’ competition with ‘real’ clients and ‘real’ situations.”

The winners will be presented with their £1,000 prize at the Leeds Metropolitan Business School graduation ceremony this summer.

Lecturer Shirley Beresford said: “Grayling’s sponsorship of the student competitive pitch prize is vitally important to the reputation of the PR degree, preparing our students for their entrance into the PR industry. In the increasingly competitive world of work, ongoing employer collaborations and relationships of this type are crucial when equipping our PR students with the experience and skills that will set them apart from others in their career. We are enormously grateful for Grayling’s support for the young PR professionals of the future.”

Amanda Fox of Stark PR said: “We are all thrilled to have won the pitch against such tough opposition. Competing in a real pitch situation was the perfect opportunity to showcase our progression throughout the course in preparation for our transition into full time employment. We’d all like to thank both Leeds Metropolitan and Grayling for providing us with such a fantastic project!”

For further details please contact Lisa Hiscoe in the Faculty of Business & Law Marketing team team at Leeds Met on 0113 8127531 or email

Notes for editors:

Leeds Metropolitan University

  • Leeds Metropolitan University has 30,000 students and over 300,000 associate students through its partnerships with 24 colleges.
  • Student winners were: Stark PR (L-R) Adam Lewis, Lauren Foster, Amanda Fox, Alice Harper and Gwen Youlden Eclat (L-R) Laura Miller, Lauren Burke, Lydia Cambata and Kimberley Toulson
  • The University has achieved its best ever Research Assessment Exercise results. Sports-Related Studies is in the top 6 institutions in the country with research rated at the highest levels of 4* and 3*.
  • The University scored highly in the Times Higher’s Student Experience and was ranked 2nd in the category ‘Good library and library opening hours’.
  • The University’s new iconic Rose Bowl building was awarded Best Commercial Property Development in the 2009 Yorkshire Property Awards.


  • Grayling is the world’s second largest independent Public Relations, Public Affairs, Investor
  • Relations and Events consultancy with specialist services including CSR, environment and sustainability and digital.
  • Grayling grew out of the merger of three major successful companies – Grayling, Trimedia, and Mmd – in January 2010.
  • Grayling has 900 staff in 70 offices in 40 countries across the US, Western and Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific.
  • The company has revenues in excess of €100 million (USD148 million). For more information about Grayling, please visit

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Senior Account Manager | Comms / Digital / PR / Marketing / Sponsorship / Sports / Travel / Entertainment

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