Curtin Malaysia students take part in 2018 GlobCom Symposium

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GlobCom 2018 participants gather for a group photo.

MIRI: Four public relations students of Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) played the role of global ambassadors for the varsity at the recent 16th Global Communications Project (GlobCom 2018) Symposium held at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand.

Students Yvonne Au Siao Tong, Ashley Elise Protasi, Thasleem Nisha and Camelia Nancy Harris were accompanied by lecturer Dr. Fidella Tiew.

Curtin Malaysia in a press statement yesterday said with the theme ‘Creating a Positive Communication Climate for Unconventional Energy Sources’, the 5-day symposium brought together nine international teams comprising over 200 students from participating universities.

Among the participating universities were University of Erfurt (Germany), AUT University (New Zealand), State University St. Petersburg (Russia), Chulalongkorn University (Thailand) and Emerson College (USA).

GlobCom is an annual international initiative involving 16 universities from 14 countries aimed at offering a platform for intercultural cooperation among students and lecturers in the fields of public relations (PR) and communications.

Each year, a number of virtual student teams comprising students from each participating university are formed and act as ‘global PR agencies’ for a real-life international client. The client provides them with a PR brief from which they would develop creative and realistic PR solutions within three months, collaborating online in chatrooms, by email, Skype, social media, or by phone.

They would then converge at the symposium where, mentored by professionals from international PR firms, they present their proposals to the client and judges like a real-life PR pitch.

The client this year was INEOS, one of the world’s leading producers of petrochemicals, speciality chemicals and oil products, and the teams had to develop strategic communication campaigns for the company by using an integrated internal and external communications approach. The campaigns’ target were politicians, communities, influencers (environmentalists), media and staff, as well as consumers.

Unit leader for the students’ Public Relations – Cross Cultural Communication unit, Dr. Adamu Abbas Adamu, said participation in GlobCom is embedded in the unit and Curtin Malaysia students, along with students from Curtin’s main campus in Perth, have been participating since 2015.

“GlobCom exposes our students to different communication styles and cultural settings as they are required to work with people from various countries and cultural backgrounds. It also introduces them to new communication tools practised in industry,” explained Dr. Adamu.

In 2015, Curtin Malaysia had the honour of hosting the GlobCom Symposium in Miri, the first time it was held in Malaysia. That year, the international participants, including those from Curtin Malaysia, devised communications solutions for the Heart of Borneo Initiative, the government-led and NGO-supported conservation and sustainable development programme established by the governments of Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia.

In 2016, they proposed communications solutions for the Dugong & Seagrass Conservation Project in Abu Dhabi, and in 2017, for GlobCom 2017 in Bangalore, India, they crafted communication strategies on ‘Vision Crisis’ for ZEISS Germany, a global leader in lenses.