Last summer at the Cannes Lions, PHD U.S. CEO Andrew McLean was talking with Tom Reichert, department head of the University of Georgia’s advertising and public relations program, about the difficulty of recruiting talent.
The two men hatched a plan to fix that. PHD selected five seniors at Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication to participate in a “creative collective” in which the students undertake media research projects assigned by PHD. In May, the students—aka “The Grady Bunch”—will travel to New York and present their findings to PHD staffers. “[The 2012] graduating class is the first class that has pretty much grown up in a 100 percent broadband world,” said McLean. ”We’re trying to get … a different context to supplement some of the work we see from our own researchers.”
Ultimately the goal of the program is to offer its students positions at PHD after graduation. McLean believes the program will give students, and PHD, an advantage. When they start in the fall, the agency will have saved valuable recruiting time.
“They’re already battle ready,” said McLean. “They’ve already done their basic training.”