Sofiya Khan and Georgie Menzies win the inaugural Icon Agency FCF Scholarships in Public Relations at RMIT University, Melbourne

(Melbourne, Australia, 15th December 2023)Icon Agency and The Future Communicators Foundation (FCF) have announced Georgie Menzies and Sofiya Khan as the winners of the inaugural Icon Future Communicators Foundation Scholarships. Icon Agency sponsors two annual scholarships at $2500 AUD each for senior undergraduates enrolled in Public Relations programs at RMIT University, Melbourne.

The Icon Agency FCF Scholarship is focused around a yearly theme addressing PR strategies for sustainability, with the 2023 theme focusing on “Social Responsibility to the Environment in Australia.” Students are tasked with designing an inventive communications campaign that raises awareness of these challenges while considering how to do so using low-cost and limited means.

Sofiya Khan won for her “Realfoods: Sip & Learn” campaign, which proposes 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 a RMIT Sustainability Credential. The campaign also aims to increase sales of the café’s ethically-sourced, fair-trade products by 30% over six months.

Sofiya Khan

“The Icon FCF Scholarship is an invaluable tool in furthering my education,” says Sofiya 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 FCF Scholarship is all about.”

Georgie Menzies

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 utilize 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 FCF Scholarship,” says Georgie 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.”

ICON AGENCY: SUPPORTING STUDENTS + SUSTAINABILITY IN PUBLIC RELATIONS

“We’re thrilled to partner with the Future Communicators Foundation and RMIT University to offer a scholarship that challenges the next generation of professionals to create inventive and practical communication campaigns addressing the climate crisis and social justice issues,” says Joanne Painter, Co-Founder of Icon Agency. As part of their committment to the Future Communicators Foundation, Icon Agency is sponsoring two annual academic scholarships at AU$2500 each over 4 years.

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. Along with the reward, the Scholarship 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 Fiona Nwoke, Group Account Director at Icon Agency.

Since its founding 21 years ago, Icon Agency has put social values at the heart of its business and culture. This stems from the founders’ strong belief that every business, large or small, has a moral obligation to contribute to human progress and the protection of 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 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.”

­About Icon Agency

Icon is a diverse team of over 80 people with a common purpose. We work across creative, digital, web, content, PR and communications to deliver positive outcomes and change behaviours. Founded in 2002, our model is adapted to the disruptive forces reshaping modern marketing and communications: the declining influence of paid media; direct-to-consumer brand marketing; the rise of ecommerce; and the experience economy. Icon is a 100% Australian-owned and based SME. Our revenue remains within Australia to support local jobs and innovation. Learn more at https://iconagency.com.au.

About the FCF

The Future Communicators Foundation (FCF) provides aspiring young professionals with scholarships, learning opportunities, and outreach programs that foster communication skills around sustainability, climate and social justice. The FCF is an initiative of The PR Trust, a 501(c)(6) non-profit organisation that provides knowledge and networking opportunities, student scholarships and awards programs that elevate and empower aspiring professionals and young leaders in communications. Learn more at: http://futurecomms.org | http://theprtrust.org

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