Icon Agency and The Future Communicators Foundation (FCF) have announced Sofiya Khan and Georgie Menzies as the winners of the inaugural Icon Agency Future Communicators Foundation Scholarships.
Lead Image: Sofiya Khan and Georgie Menzies
Icon Agency sponsors two annual scholarships at $2500 AUD each for senior undergraduates enrolled in Public Relations programs at RMIT University, Melbourne.
Each year, the Icon Agency FCF Scholarship focuses on a theme addressing PR strategies for sustainability, with the 2023 theme centring on “Social Responsibility to the Environment in Australia.” Students are tasked with designing an inventive communications campaign that raises awareness of these challenges in a financially conscious and resource-effective approach.
Sofiya Khan won for her “Realfoods: Sip & Learn” campaign, which presents a partnership with Realfoods, a volunteer-run, social enterprise café on RMIT campus. The proposed “Sustainability Mastery Series” would offer workshops in environmental responsibility, leading to an RMIT Sustainability Credential. The campaign also aims to increase sales of the café’s ethically sourced, fair-trade products by 30% over six months.
“The Icon FCF Scholarship is an invaluable tool in furthering my education,” said Khan. “It’s an opportunity to stretch my communication skills to work on what I care about most — sustainability and social responsibility”.
“What I want to do moving forward is to create creative communication,” says Sofiya Khan, “and couple that with the principles and practice of poignant public relations to bolster social responsibility outcomes. This is what the Icon Agency FCF Scholarship is all about”.
Georgie Menzies won for her “Carbon-Conscious Commute” campaign, which “harnesses the power of social media and smartphone apps to create a campaign that encourages people to utilise public transport and greener methods of transportation through a gamified experience.” The proposed smartphone app would provide users with an accurate measurement of their savings in carbon emissions from using public transport while creating a competitive leaderboard with positive reinforcement metrics.
“I am incredibly honoured to be awarded this year’s Icon Agency FCF Scholarship,” said Menzies. “I hope to have the opportunity to work on future projects relating to sustainability and social justice in my professional communications endeavours. I believe that this is an area that we should all collectively be focusing on as we face more prevalent climate issues — and this can be achieved through utilising effective communication tactics to inform and impact change within society”.
The Icon Agency FCF Scholarship competition is open to senior undergraduate students enrolled in Public Relations programs at RMIT University, Melbourne, including the Bachelor of Communication and the Bachelor of Professional Communication. Alongside the financial assistance, the winners receive a one-hour mentor meeting with Icon Agency group account director, Fiona Nwoke and future opportunities with FCF international programs.
“Having spent the first 9 years of my career in the UK working in national radio before transitioning to large PR agencies and then spending the last six here in Australia leading an ever-growing team at Icon, I see first-hand the importance of mentorship to encourage and guide the next generation of PR leaders to affect social impact and change. The industry is always evolving and I believe the practice of continually sharing experiences and knowledge strengthens us both as practitioners and mentors.” said Nwoke.
Since its beginning 21 years ago, Icon Agency has put social values at the heart of its business and culture. This stems from the belief that every business, large or small, has a moral obligation to put people first, drive positive change and protect the planet.
“Being all about people, and having a clear purpose to do right in the world, is something we take very seriously,” says Joanne Painter, co-founder and group managing director of Icon Agency. “Whether it’s sponsoring gender equality research, or donating our time to university boards, we’re big believers in getting involved and giving back to our industry”.
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