The Investigating Business Practice unit, taken by all full-time business school Masters students, provides direct experience of working for a business client – experience you can add to your CV and talk about when you attend job interviews.
We work with a broad range of businesses in many sectors who regularly use the expertise of our students for short term projects, with many of them implementing the work that our students do for them.
How does it work?
Investigating Business Practice is a 15-credit unit where you will be matched with a real business client and work as part of an account team to respond to a brief that the client sets.
You will have to work as a team of consultants, meet with the client, find out what their requirements and expectations are, before coming up with possible solutions that meet the objectives of their brief. You will then be expected to present your proposals back to the client.
The brief will usually be related to the subject you are studying, so for example if you are studying marketing, your live client project will involve coming up with a marketing campaign that the client could implement.
Benefits of live client projects
The unit allows you to develop a number of key skills including:
Live client case studies
Saddleworth Musical Society
The brief:Saddleworth Musical Society was formed in 1958.The Society needs to consider how it develops and evolves to attract and retain members / audiences. Research is required into current audiences, potential audiences and competition.
Outcomes that MSc students delivered included a group report and presentation on how Saddleworth Musical Society should develop its marketing communications and build their brand and offering in the local area.
The brief: Swizzel Matlow is the UK’s largest family owned sugar confectionery business. Established in 1928, the company makes a wide variety of much loved brands, including Love Hearts, Drumstick lollies, Rainbow Drops, Refresher chews and Squashies. Of all Swizzels’ brands, Love Hearts has the highest brand awareness at 89%. Love Hearts first rolled off production in 1954. While Love Hearts remain a much-loved brand, Swizzels felt there was an opportunity to increase the appeal of the product to a younger audience (16-24 year olds).
Outcomes our MSc students delivered included a group report and presentation that offered recommendations on how Love Hearts could communicate with and engage younger audiences to develop and sustain their loyalty.
Driver First Assist
The brief: Every day, victims of Road Traffic Collisions (RTCs) die needlessly because individuals immediately at the scene lack the ability to administer basic first aid. Driver First Assist (DFA) is a not-for-profit organisation comprising drivers (first responders) who have been trained to provide lifesaving first aid and manage the scene at a RTC, prior to the arrival of the emergency services.
Outcomes our MSc students delivered included a group report and presentation on how Driver First Assist should develop its branding strategy.
Joe & Co
The brief: Joe & Co is an independent, British, work wear, denim & apparel brand that is constantly evolving. There is little doubt that in recent years the high street is being reshaped by the impact of the growth of e-commerce. There is a significant opportunity to develop an advertising/brand awareness strategy to drive online sales.
Outcomes our MSc students delivered included a group report and presentation with recommendations on how the company could increase brand awareness and increase sales.
The brief: Bahlsen biscuits are the best-kept secret in biscuits. A German family run business operating for over 125 years, they are one of the largest privately owned biscuit companies in the world, with a turnover of c.£500 million. Whilst enjoying a solid distribution level of 75% (rising to 93% within the major retailers), their Choco Leibniz and PICK UP! ranges are barely known and, along with the brand itself, all have less than 5% brand awareness.
Outcomes our MSc students delivered included a group report and presentation on how Bahlsen should develop its marketing communications system and build their brand in the UK.
The brief: Bounceback Food is a social enterprise that aims to end food poverty in Manchester by selling a range of organic pasta, rice and tinned food on a ‘one for you, one for society’ basis. It matches every product sold with a like-for-like donation to FareShare Greater Manchester. While Bounceback Food continued to grow steadily via a presence at markets across Manchester, the introduction of an e-commerce website, in December 2015, aimed to provide a steady stream of donations via monthly subscriptions.
Outcomes our MSc students delivered included a group report and presentation that offered recommendations on how Bounceback Food should communicate with and engage audiences to develop and sustain their loyalty.
Live Client Project: MSc Public Relations
Part of the PR Skills and Specialisms unit on our MSc Public Relations, the assignment is for students to work with an external live client to research, write and design a Media Pack and Media Relations Plan. Working closely with the client, you will create a press release, social media press release, a target media list, social media content, including blogs and tweets, a question and answer article, photography content, and a 12-month media relations plan. The client will use your work to help promote their organisation to the media and other target publics. Through our extensive network of business contacts, we source the clients and pair you with one matching a PR area you are interested in, such as sports, arts, charity, digital and so on. We work with different clients every year, including large organisations, small businesses and local charities.
Examples of recent clients include:
Manchester City Football Club
24:7 Theatre Festival
Saddleworth Musical Society
Unity Radio FM
Girl Guiding UK
Imperial War Museum North
Knutsford Heritage Centre
Hope for Justice
Manchester Dogs Home
Burnley Football Club
Water Adventure Centre
Friends of the Earth
Manchester Pride Festival
The Autistic Society
Gorgeous Couture Fashion
This practical live project will not only develop your PR writing skills and media relations ability, it will enhance your creativity and client management skills. Invaluable and rewarding, this experience will enable you to demonstrate your PR capabilities and make a strong addition to your CV and employability in the PR industry.