Four Northumbria University students have been shortlisted in a special Public Relations competition that was set by Newcastle City Council to see if they could design a super hero who could help clean up the city.

The third-year students are from the University’s BSC (Hons) Communication and Public Relations course; and they were whittled down from twenty-one colleagues who pitched from the same course.

The students were all given a mock advertising brief as part of their final year’s work.  Their task was to come up with a quirky, public facing campaign focusing on the Council’s high profile “Keep it Clean” scheme.

They had to research the brand and its capabilities that included doing some questionnaires and surveys, devise their idea and then pitch it to a panel of six judges; who were marking on content, delivery, presentation and overall understanding of the “Keep it Clean” product.

The “Keep it Clean” campaign is aimed at encouraging behavioural change amongst people who litter, fly-tip and don’t pick up after their pets in Newcastle.

Now it is up to the public to decide the overall winner, as the City Council has opened the floor out to the people of Newcastle and beyond to cast their vote and choose their favourite concept.  The young people have recorded a 30-second video clip each pitching their idea in a nutshell.

The four student campaigns are:

Kate Chapman                  Eco Lass – One City, One Mission, Play Your Part
Samantha Isola                 Operation Bin-Bam- Keep it Clean you Filthy Animal!
Stacey Tippin                     Canny Clean
Joss Varney                        #LitterHero

Click here to learn more about each project: https://www.newcastle.gov.uk/environment-and-waste/keep-it-clean-newcastle/litter-hero-campaign

Councillor Nick Kemp, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and regulatory services for Newcastle City Council, said: “The student population plays a major role in the economic fabric of the City, as higher education brings a lot of finance into Newcastle and also raises the profile of the City around the world.

“But on the flipside during and after term times, littering and fly-tipping in some student areas is a big problem; not only with the students but with landlords as well.  It’s refreshing to get a young professional‘s creative take on how to raise awareness amongst students and residents, and how we can try to tackle this growing issue that is affecting the City. ”

The actual ‘Keep it Clean’ advertising campaign was delivered by Newcastle-based design house, Drummond Central. They devised a hard-hitting campaign that was seen on billboards, bins, refuse vehicles and flyers. The designers came up with the clever idea to use what people seemed to think was expletives in the Keep it Clean slogans [Stop #*@*%!& on your own doorstep]

Chris Hall, Programme Leader, BSC (Hons) Communication and Public Relations course at Northumbria University. She said: “One of the benefits of the course is that we work a lot with live clients, so students are able to put theories into practice and graduate with real life experience of PR.  The current final year students have worked with the Newcastle United Foundation and Sage Gateshead, as well as with Newcastle City Council, so their ‘real life’ experience covers a range of sectors.

“The students really benefitted from working with the City Council, and enjoyed producing a live strategy and delivering a real pitch to a panel of Council staff.  This sort of collaboration ensures that the course stays up to date and relevant, and increases the employability of our graduates.”

To cast a vote for your favourite ‘Keep it Clean’ super hero campaign, please follow the simple instructions on the following social media link. People have until 5pm on Tuesday March 22nd when the lines will close – https://www.newcastle.gov.uk/environment-and-waste/keep-it-clean-newcastle/litter-hero-campaign.

Further details can be found about the City Council’s Keep it Clean campaign by visiting the official website www.newcastle.gov.uk/environment-and-waste/keep-it-clean-newcastle

Who knows we could even see the winning entry actually displayed around the city!