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NGOs benefit from real world learning

29 Aug 2019

Christchurch is the home base for many non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which contribute to the city life with innovative ideas, creativity and thinking outside the box.

Ara’s second year New Zealand Broadcasting School (NZBS) students were given the opportunity to work with eight prominent Christchurch organisations to develop a digital campaign for them to raise awareness of the work they are doing and to enhance the brand.

The students worked with NGOs like Endometriosis NZ, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, The Plainsmen, SPELD NZ, Hohepa Canterbury and Gap Filler and small business Daveles as well as law firm Cavell Leitch.

For this project students were split up into groups of nine with each consisting of three radio, three TV and screen and three journalism students.

Journalism student Emma Turton, who was part of the group working with Gap Filler, said they had five weeks to develop a strategy and work with their client.

“After we learned about marketing and how to pitch our ideas, we started to develop our content. As part of our digital marketing strategy, my group created five short and entertaining social media videos, two documentary style videos and three podcasts which we named ‘Hammock Hangout’ after Gap Filler’s ‘Hammock Forest’ on Manchester Street.

“We also came up with the idea of creating an interactive map that people can use to plan their trip around the central city and that shows all of Gap Filler’s projects. This tool allows people to either plan ahead while they are still at home or use it on their phone to find out what is close to them when they are already in town.”

For some of the students it was the first time they worked with a paying client said Digital Media Tutor Alice Rae-Flick.


The NZBS students who worked with Gap Filler listened to the constructive feedback from the judging panel.

To make the project as real world as possible students were required to submit a brief and proposal which were signed off by the client before launching into the creation of the content. Their content was assessed on quality, how engaging it is for the target audience, how the content answers the client objectives as well the effectiveness of the digital strategy. On top of that their presentation skills will be assessed too.

Jane Wrightson from NZ on Air and Chris Stephens from TVNZ agreed to be part of the judging panel and both challenged the students on the work they created. Also present were NZBS staff and some members of the NGOs came along to watch and give their feedback.

“I will keep an eye out over the next few months to find out what content the clients have decided to use. All the clients were incredibly happy with what our students created, but our clients tend to be time poor so implementing all of the marketing ideas can be a bit tricky for them,” said Rae-Flick.

In the meantime, Gap Filler continues “shifting the identity of our conservative Garden City to a city where anything is possible”.