Students in the Media & Communication Science master's program pitch concepts for children's rights organization Plan International

In cooperation with the international children's rights organization Plan International, communication students from Ilmenau University of Technology presented creative concepts for the global equal rights campaign Girls Get Equal and for child sponsorships. The main focus was on addressing younger target groups.

Plan International's teaching cooperation with the Group for Public Relations & Communication of Technology at TU Ilmenau began at the end of October 2021. Thirty students of the Master's program "Media and Communication Science" from Germany, Ecuador, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Vietnam and other countries participated in the seminar. The course leader was Dr. Andreas Schwarz, who divided the students into six competing "junior PR agencies" at the beginning.

In their groups, they developed professional communication concepts over the course of the semester, each answering one of two questions: How can Plan International raise awareness of the child sponsorship model for younger audiences? How can more attention be drawn to the Girls Get Equal campaign? 

At the end of the campaign, six different packages of measures with online and offline activities were created, which are intended to appeal to and mobilize the so-called "millennials" in particular, the 25- to 40-year-olds of today. Some of the students themselves belong to this generation and were therefore able to empathize particularly well with the needs of the target group and contribute their own experiences.

In mid-February, the students presented their results to a jury from Plan International Germany at an online event. Representatives from the Communications and Marketing departments as well as a member of the Youth Advisory Board listened to the interesting presentations, asked questions and then selected the winners.

Among the proposals was a concept for a life-size Scrabble game to be set up in city centers. People can take part in the game, place equality terms on the field and thus learn about gender equality and Plan International in a playful way. The winning agencies were Echo-PR for child sponsorships and Worldwide Communications for the Girls Get Equal campaign.

Plan International Germany is cooperating with partners from the education sector for the third time since 2020 and always gains creative ideas from the students and insights into the current state of science. For the media students, the seminar is a very practical preparation for future work in the communications industry. Dr. Schwarz, Chair of the Public Relations & Technology Communication Group, is continuously working to acquire interesting cooperation partners in teaching. These recently included Robert Bosch GmbH, the German Federal Association for Artificial Intelligence, the SETI Institute (USA) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (Switzerland).