#TLCwebinar Reworking The Big Agency as an interactive employability unit #bigag16

Wednesday 10th of May April 2017 12:30-13:30 (UK Time) *Moved from 26th April, as browser issues in universities

Find The Big Agency: Blog : Twitter : Facebook

The Big Agency is a second year university unit at Manchester Metropolitan University that I’ve been reworking to meet the following description:

Creative agencies today are not just looking for creativity; they’re looking for employability. In the agency world, skills such as communication, team working, client relationship building, strategic thinking, project management and customer-centric research, all play an important role in understanding and answering the client brief.

The Big Agency unit will give you the chance to work on a brief provided by one of our industry partners, pitching for the client you want to work on. It will help you build your practical agency skills through a range of account management, research and creative-related tasks, whilst helping you develop your personal skills through the process of self-reflection and personal development planning. Big Agency will help bring to life theories, concepts and models of PR, marketing, branding, advertising and self-development and show how you can apply them.

This unit is assessed on an evidence-based portfolio of work to demonstrate your approach and response to a client’s creative brief and your own personal development: a) in the form of an end-of-year video documenting your work, and b) in the form of self-reflective essays and blogs evaluating your personal and professional goals and achievements.

With great help from my teaching team this year – it’s largely working, although there are more tweaks to be made, and feedback from students has been both encouraging, and the negative feedback has largely been things we had already picked up on this year. It’ll be a fairly informal discussion talking through how The Big Agency worked last year (with lectures/seminars), to a more employability focused unit drawing upon real life projects, and as we seek to encourage students to think creatively for themselves, have the courage of their convictions for some, and face the realities of working life for others.

You’ll be able to check out the webinar here… Slidedeck:


[TOOLBOX] 27+ Sources of Legal Images #DMMP1617 #DSMMCM1617 #BigAg16

This afternoon, I was trying to explain a bit about copyright and the legal use of images to my students, as they are using publicly available blogs, and otherwise default to using results from Google Image search … which could lead to legal issues (see help with image attribution with this JISC tool). This blogpost from StinkyInkShop explains copyright, fair use and Creative Commons pretty well, whilst this infographic explains Creative Commons a little more! Visuals are important, especially in contemporary digital – in all cases, it’s always good to credit the originating source.

Image Source: Jimmy Chang on Unsplash
Image Source: Jimmy Chang on Unsplash

Image Sources

Note that royalty free doesn’t necessarily mean free to use – check the licensing agreements – and don’t be surprised if a ‘free’ site suddenly takes you to a paid site – it’s often a marketing tactic!

Remember also that you can always use your own photos – and use free software such as PicMonkey to edit, add text, etc.

What sites do you use? What sites have I missed?

Faith Based Images

After several years working on faith-based content, here’s some sites that specifically cater to that need.


OPPORTUNITY: For agencies/employers/charities #marketing #pr #branding #advertising #digital

2016-07-28 13.17.04Yesterday, I spent most of the day putting together paperwork, and a digital presence for #BigAg16, a second year unit that I am redeveloping ready for September @MMUBS, and I’m looking for input from you guys out there…

The material for agencies, employers, and charities starts:

  • Want to help find future talent within the fields of marketing, PR, digital, or advertising and branding?
  • Want to inspire that talent with some real world projects to get their teeth into?
  • Want some creative input into some of your thinking from young people who don’t have any baggage?

This September around 200 undergraduates will start their second year at MMU. Around 60 of them are fortunate enough to undertake a one-day-a-week internship with agencies. For everyone else, we want to recreate some of that experience in the classroom, drawing upon real-world projects/briefs, with teaching staff acting as creative directors. Students will work in groups around their specialist areas: Integrated Comms/General Marketing, PR & Comms, Digital Marketing and Advertising and Branding.

Our first project (from @beyondchoc) was signed off this morning, which I hope works as an inspirational example to others, so that students can achieve their learning objectives, and develop their employability skills.

I’m also hoping to get some vox-pop videos from people in the industry, to inspire and educate students with regards to their future opportunities.

Due to the circles that I particularly work in, I need to note that ethics policies would mean that students cannot be required to be of/promote a certain faith perspective, etc. although that doesn’t necessarily preclude faith-based charities if the project has e.g. a social justice outcome. If that wording make sense?!

Read more on the blog, or follow on Twitter, or contact me via my work account.