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Inaugural ICCO University PR World Cup Winners
Inaugural ICCO University PR World Cup Winners

Press release -

Leeds Beckett University win ICCO’s Inaugural University PR World Cup

Leeds Beckett University’s Olivia Withnell and Rose Halpin have won the inaugural University edition of ICCO’s PR World Cup (UPRWC). Beating off competition from ten other student teams from UAE, UK, USA, South Africa and Hungary, the pair presented a campaign pitch for a brief set by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Olivia and Rose have won an internship at a top ICCO member agency for 2023.

“We are both thrilled and honoured to have been given the opportunity to be involved and achieve GOLD, for both ourselves and Leeds Beckett University, in the first ever ICCO PR World Cup competition in collaboration with WWF UK," said Withnell.

Rose Halpin added: "It was so exciting to get directly involved and devise a creative PR campaign for an internationally renowned NFP organisation such as WWF UK. It's inspiring to know that we can make a real change through our own, creative ideas."

Aliya Muhammed Selman and Samyuktha Shankar Narayan representing Middlesex University Dubai claimed Silver, and Bronze was shared between Georgia Starling and Maria Istrate from University of Westminster alongside Clara Armanios and Arwa Shoeb from Murdoch University Dubai. Two more teams were also highly commended: Mila Bozic and Anna Ivanova, from Budapest Business School, and the University of Johannesburg’s Mapaseka Tungoane & Makgotso Tswana.

The Next Gen PR World Cup announced its second annual winners last week and this year the first University competition provided an opportunity for students to face a challenging real-world brief and compete against other university teams from different parts of the world.

Teams had only three days to work on the brief, come up with a creative campaign idea, and put together a five-minute video pitch explaining how the idea was practically implementable.

The jury included judges from the five countries represented.

Sylvester Chauke, Chief Architect, DNA Brand Architects, and ICCO UPRWC Judge said:

“Congratulations to our fantastic winning team, Olivia and Rose from Leeds Beckett University, for coming up with an original creative idea and delivering a great pitch. I was impressed by the level of creativity the students infused in the work and I simply cannot wait to welcome you all as you build exciting careers in PR”.

Gigi Rice, Midweight Creative, Citizen Relations and ICCO Global Youth Board Chair:

“Congratulations to our winners from Leeds Beckett University. I know how hard these competitions are and the short timescales involved, so I was very pleased to see how confidently and professionally some of the student’s pitches were presented. I look forward to seeing challenging ICCO competitions like this, and the Next Gen competition, grow over the coming years.”

Professor Dr. George Lodorfos, Dean of Leeds Business School, Leeds Beckett University also commented, 'Leeds Beckett University are an international centre of excellence for communications education and we are delighted to hear our two students have won the first ever University PR World Cup! As Dean this is such an honour for us at Leeds Business School to win in the first year of the competition and we congratulate Olivia and Rose on their major achievement'.

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The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) is the voice of public relations consultancies around the world. The ICCO membership comprises 41 associations representing 81 countries across the globe: from Africa, Asia, the Americas, Australasia, Europe, and, the Middle East. Collectively, these associations represent over 3,000 PR firms.

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The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) is the voice of public relations consultancies around the world and provides a forum for senior management of the world’s best PR consultancies to meet and address issues of mutual interest and concern.


The ICCO membership comprises 41 associations representing 81 countries across the globe: from Africa, Asia, the Americas, Australasia, Europe and the Middle East. Collectively, these associations represent over 3,000 PR firms.


Members work together to raise standards of quality, address ethical issues, harmonise professional PR consultancy practice, and share knowledge.


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