Solent student named ‘Britain’s Best PR Student Blogger 2015’

A second-year Southampton Solent University student has won a nationwide blog competition set up by PR practitioner and editor of online PR magazine, Behind the Spin, Richard Bailey.

Livi Wilkes, 20, is studying BA (Hons) Public Relations and Communications at Solent and competed against more than 150 student bloggers to be named ‘Britain’s Best PR Student Blogger’. She was also named ‘the student with the most weekly appearances’.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to have won, and what I’ve found most humbling is that I blog because I love to, so being recognised and highly praised by such talented and skilled PR practitioners is such an honour,” says Livi, originally from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

“It was all very overwhelming, too, because I received so many lovely congratulations messages and tweets from top PR professionals in the country!”

#bestPRblogs was started up by Richard in 2013 to encourage and inspire PR students across the country to blog. Over the course of the series, Livi Wilkes and 14 other Solent PR students featured on #bestPRblogs a total of 51 times, giving Southampton Solent the title of ‘Most Featured University’!

Richard Bailey, editor of Behind the Spin, says Livi’s blog stood out above the others.

“Livi has been a prolific and a high quality blogger, and her achievements have been recognised through her weekly appearances in the #bestPRblogs contest and by being selected as Britain's Best PR Student Blogger 2015,” he says.

“I first spotted her as a first year student when her blog post during the first 'ebook in a day' event stood out for me.

“I follow over 150 PR student bloggers and the #bestPRblogs contest has run all academic year, so this is a tribute to her consistent creativity and ability to connect.

“I started the contest as a talent-spotting exercise knowing that the skills demonstrated by our shortlisted bloggers will be sought by many employers in the fast-growing public relations and content marketing industries.

“Southampton Solent was also the most active university with 15 Solent students appearing in my weekly selections during the academic year.”

At the end of April, Livi and four other PR students across the country were shortlisted to be the overall winner and had to write posts which were judged by past president of the CIPR and chief engagement officer at Ketchum PR, Stephen Waddington.

Stephen said: “Livi’s content is a mix of personal and professional views and the writing style is honest and engaging. Her win is well deserved.”

PR and communication course leader at Solent, Sally Holland, said: “It’s a huge achievement for Solent PR to have won ‘Most Featured University’ and ‘Best PR Student Blogger’. Featuring in competitions such as #bestPRblogs whilst still studying gives students the edge for future employment and career opportunities. Congratulations, Livi!”

Livi has been blogging since 2012, but when she got the role of Solent PR press editor, she decided to focus on PR blogging and created ‘Live Love Laugh PR’.

“I love blogging! Since school, I liked the idea of it but never had a niche or any clue what to blog about until realising I could blog about PR – and I really enjoy it,” Livi adds.

“The majority of blogs out there are fashion or lifestyle based and I like being a bit different and whilst I'm blogging about 'business-y' stuff, I have my own unique, chatty style.”

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT THE MEDIA OFFICE ON 023 8201 3079 or press.office@solent.ac.uk

About Southampton Solent University 

Southampton Solent University offers more than 19,000 students over 200 qualifications ranging from HND to PhD, in subjects such as maritime education and training, fashion and design, media and television, music, health, sport and leisure, business, IT and technology. The University was awarded the 2013 Quality Assurance kitemark for quality and standards of teaching and learning. Solent was voted one of the most creative universities in the UK in a Which? University 2014 poll of students. Solent Business School has been awarded the Small Business Charter Award, which is supported by the Association of Business Schools and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and ‘gold approval’ by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

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Home to around 11,000 students studying everything from HNDs to PhDs, Southampton Solent University is dedicated to enabling learners of all backgrounds to become enterprising citizens and responsible leaders, while also promoting economic and social prosperity. Winner of the Times Higher Education ‘Most Improved Student Experience’ Award 2015, Solent is a dynamic university with strong local links and a growing network of global connections – and a reputation for developing grounded, well-prepared graduates with the skills and experience employers want. Holder of the small business charter, home to one of the world’s leading maritime training academies and voted one of the UK’s most creative universities in the 2013 and 2014 Which? University student polls, Solent applies passion and innovative practice to all its courses. Spanning business and law, the creative industries, engineering and technology, maritime, media, sport and tourism, those courses deliver a practical blend of career-focused tuition and real-world experience – giving our students the tools they need to shape their own success.

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I couldn’t be more thrilled to have won, and what I’ve found most humbling is that I blog because I love to, so being recognised and highly praised by such talented and skilled PR practitioners is such an honour.
Livi Wilkes, student at Southampton Solent University
Livi has been a prolific and a high quality blogger, and her achievements have been recognised through her weekly appearances in the #bestPRblogs contest and by being selected as Britain's Best PR Student Blogger 2015.
Richard Bailey, editor of Behind the Spin