Blog update by Guy: This week elephant team members have delivered talks at two universities. We have engaged with postgraduate business students on our latest research and kicked off this year's ‘elephant in the room’ competition, which will result in paid placements for a number of students over the summer months.
Our engagement programme with a number of universities is a great opportunity to invest some time with tomorrow’s communications practitioners. The placements we offer help students get valuable work experience while enjoying daily time with a Director-level mentor. At elephant we are not believers in unpaid internships, we think work should always be paid for.
The ele in the room competition this year with focus on film and digital media and Ellie Griffiths will be writing a blog on the competition in the next few weeks.
Our community investment programme is busy on simultaneous fronts this month. In addition to the student days, we are running our next free advice day for small business start-ups on 20 February. Every quarter, we set a day or two aside to help those starting up to think how they can market and communicate to their audiences without spending money. Simple tips and practical ideas. It seems odd to us that in the communication age, large firms invest heavily in PR and communications but small firms seldom make use of it at all. One of our surveys on SME outlook outlined the serious extent to which small start-ups don’t really know where to start when it comes to promoting their ventures. Our free advice days hope to make a contribution to help a number of small business start ups to secure growth by investing a little time in telling their story through various media. We’ve worked with some inspiring small business owners in the last two years during our free advice days. It’s very apparent there is so much innovation within the sector and it needs support, given it’s the backbone to our economy.
Beyond time, our community programme also sees us give 5% of our net profits to important causes. We’ve recently purchased a couple of art pieces from the Elephant Parade tour, which sees funds support important elephant conservation projects. These wonderful art pieces brighten up our creative workshop area at the barn for visitors and the moneys raised help real elephants.
Business has got off to a good start at elephant in 2015, but we don’t lose sight of our mission to be a rounded business that’s grounded in the community in which we operate. We want to make a difference in our own way. Giving something back is a founding principle of the firm and as our footprint grows, so the impact of our community programme will also get bigger.