The proof is in the pitch! evaluating Work Integrated Learning in an Australian public relations competition

Nicole Bridges, Victoria Erskine, Nicole Donaldson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper explores the experiences of a Work Integrated Learning (WIL) project in the form of a national student competition “Pitch This” for Public Relations students in Australian universities. A survey of various stakeholders in the event over two years showed it to have benefits for students, industry participants and academics, despite some inherent challenges. Key benefits were; improving the student learning experience in a real-world context, improvement in employability skills (specifically team building, creativity and problem solving), increased confidence in preparing for entering the workforce and the opportunity the event provided to build relationships between industry and universities. Despite it being seen as a positive experience in general for students, industry clients, mentors, academics and the professional industry association involved, challenges in stakeholder communication, interstate and competing university timetables and confusion about expectations and process were noted. The research showed, industry is encouraged by the quality of student participants and expressed confidence in the quality of Public Relations education in general that their involvement in the competition provided. Investment in building stronger relationships with mentors and industry clients, clarity and transparency in processes and stakeholder roles are recommended if the event is to continue to grow and have an ongoing positive impact. Funding for management of this WIL project would help secure its future within the sector and further enhance relationships between industry and the universities responsible for preparing the next generation of the Public Relations workforce.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalAsia Pacific Public Relations Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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