Pitch This! Competition

The “Pitch This!” Competition is designed to develop public relations students into professional practitioners.

The competition recognises that Australia has a number of tertiary courses where students are developing the skills and knowledge in PR practice.

The purpose of the competition is to:

  • Highlight the importance of practical application of public relations students’ learnings

  • Harness the skills, energy and enthusiasm as well as the capacity to practically apply their knowledge and skills to assist community organisations in their tasks

  • Provide students with another opportunity to gain practical experience

  • Encourage high standards of public relations practical application in a mentored environment by public relations professionals

  • Encourage students to participate through practical application in a professional industry

  • Encourage healthy competition and striving for excellence among public relations students

  • Develop close relationships between students and professional public relations practitioners by providing the students with the opportunity to receive feedback on their practical work by a judging panel of representative public relations practitioners

  • Provide valuable assistance to organisations. (This assistance will be on a voluntary basis and not involve remuneration).


The competition is aimed at students in their final year of a tertiary course at a Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) accredited university. The eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • A student team of up to four participants who are enrolled as undergraduates majoring in public relations in a communication program that is currently accredited by the PRIA

  • Students who are employed full-time in the communications industry will not be eligible to enter

  • Some universities will allow multiple teams to complete the challenge and others will only allow one team. In any case, only ONE team will be chosen by each university to compete in the final competition


Each tertiary institution will submit one finalist student team to present at the 2019 “Pitch This!” competition showcase at Western Sydney University, Parramatta City campus. Judging at this event will result in a Winning team and Commended teams receiving recognition and awards.

  • All finalists will present at the 2019 “Pitch This!” competition showcase at 6pm on 4 October 2019

  • Winners will be chosen and awards will be presented at the 2019 “Pitch This!” competition showcase

  • The winning teams will receive a certificate of recognition and a prize

  • All teams who complete the challenge will receive a certificate.

Each team will be provided with a mentor to assist the team to work with the client in executing the task. The mentor may also be the student’s tutor or may be a PR practitioner. Mentors will help teams in a way that provides instructive, but reasonable feedback – so that the concepts and work is done by the students.


  • Your application for the competition must be submitted by COB Tuesday 30 July 2019

  • Wednesday 31 July 2019 - your team will attend an Online Briefing Meeting where you will be provided with the client brief

  • In August, commence work by establishing your client’s needs. Your mentor/tutor can assist with first steps and clarifying the brief

  • Wednesday 14 August 2019 - your team will attend a follow-up to the Online Briefing Meeting where you will have the opportunity to ask additional questions of the client

  • A full draft of the campaign strategy is to be completed by Friday 13 September 2019 and submitted in an electronic copy in MS Word format, to your tutor

  • On Monday 23 September 2019 the Finalist team from each tertiary institution will be notified of their success and commence preparing for their presentation

  • Week commencing Monday 30 September 2019, the Finalist for each tertiary institution must work with their tutor to rehearse their presentation

  • Friday 4 October 2019 at 6pm, one Finalist team from each tertiary institution required to prepare and give a 10 minute presentation of their campaign strategy to the judging panel at the 2019 “Pitch This!” competition showcase at Western Sydney University, Parramatta City campus


Step 1: Indicate your interest in participating by nominating yourself and two to three other students, using the form attached. The form should be returned to your unit coordinator by COB Tuesday 30 July 2019.

Step 2: You must attend the Online Briefing Meeting on Wednesday 31 July via Zoom and follow-up Online Briefing Meeting on Wednesday 14 August via Zoom.

Step 3: After you have attended the briefing sessions to assess the communication/PR needs of the client organisation, map out your work program, which might include working with your tutor to:

  • Evaluating the issues, needs, opportunities and aims and objectives of the organisation

  • Researching the brief, issues and developing possible solutions

  • Discussing your proposed strategy and implementation plan with your tutor, including realistic resourcing and costing issues

  • Finalising elements of the strategy and implementation plan

Step 4: By Friday 13 September 2019, prepare and electronically submit a full draft of the campaign strategy to your tutor.

Step 5: Week commencing 30 September 2019 work with your tutor to rehearse your presentation. The presentation must be of a professional standard with Powerpoint slides.

Step 6: Friday 4 October 2019 at 6pm give a 10 minute presentation to the judging panel at the 2019 “Pitch This!” competition showcase at Western Sydney University, Parramatta City campus (N.B. the client organisation, other finalists, academics and guests will also be present).

Step 7: Winning team and Commended team awards will be announced at the conclusion of the presentations at the 2019 “Pitch This!” competition showcase.


Each student team will submit their proposed strategy and implementation plan for judging.

Individual guidelines will apply for those universities where multiple teams are competing for a place at the national competition.

The written entry should be no longer than 5,000 words (PLUS an additional 20 pages of Appendices are permitted).

The content should demonstrate the following:

  • Situation Analysis: The team clearly evaluated the issues and the needs of the organisation and any opportunities

  • Goals and Objectives: The team assessed the goals of the organisation and proposed objectives, which are measurable and relevant to the desired result of the project or campaign

  • Research: Shows that the campaign strategy was based on research and explains how this research was used to develop the campaign/project plan

  • Communication Strategy: Explains the strategy including how any creative solutions, and methods (tools and tactics) are to be used to achieve the desired results

  • Budget: Shows an estimate of the resources that would be needed to implement the plan - including, staff time/cost implications, the relative cost of specific activities and reasons behind the allocations

  • Results: Recommended ways to evaluate the campaign

Each university should have ONE student team submit their final strategy and implementation plan for judging by emailing a final copy of their presentation (PPTX format) and report (PDF) to Nicole Bridges at n.bridges@westernsydney.edu.au by COB Thursday 3 October 2019.

All students competing in the competition must ensure they bring their presentation on a USB stick PLUS paper copy in case of technical issues.

Please note: all student work created for the purposes of this competition is copyright to the competition and the client.


Student entries will be judged by a panel of public relations academics and industry professionals on the aspects of the students’ entry, including:

  • The analysis of the client’s need

  • How well the objectives have been defined

  • The analysis of the targets of the communication and how they might be reached

  • The approach to research and evaluation

  • The proposed solution: the communication strategy

  • The plan and execution – tactics, communication vehicles, message and positioning

  • A realistic and detailed budget for implementation

Please note the following:

  • The word limit for the strategy document is 5,000 words and additional appendices are restricted to less than 20 pages

  • Points will be deducted if you go over the set limits

  • Points will be given for both the written and oral presentation

  • The tutor’s assessment and client feedback will also be taken into account

2019 Pitch This! Host



2019 Client

2019 Major Sponsor



Participating Universities