Stirling PR graduate wins top European award

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A University of Stirling Public Relations graduate is celebrating after winning a top international award.

Iris Lopez Wyld was shortlisted by the European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA) in May, alongside three other Stirling students, in its annual Master Thesis Awards for Excellence. She was announced as the overall winner at EUPRERA’s annual congress, held this month at Universidad de Navarra in Pamplona, Spain.

Iris stands holding her framed certificate in front of her

Iris Lopez Wyld (centre) received her award at EUPRERA’s annual congress

The accolade honours those who make a significant professional or practical academic contribution to the field of public relations in Europe. It marks the second victory for the University of Stirling, having picked up the top prize for the first time in 2019.

Iris, now working as a Graduate Trainee at a leading communications agency in London, was recognised in the Theoretical Impact Award category, for her dissertation which looked at how PR was used by disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein to defend himself against accounts of sexual assault, and by his victims to speak out.

Dr Alenka Jelen, Programme Director, MSc Strategic Communications and Public Relations, which is a Joint Degree with Universitat Pompeu Fabra, said: “We would like to congratulate Iris for her outstanding work. The EUPRERA Master Thesis Theoretical Impact Award is a prestigious recognition of her creative intellectual contribution to the field of public relations. Gender-based violence is pertinent to public relations in terms of trends in practice and its promotional work, both addressed in Iris’s work.

“Academia and industry greatly benefit from having such passionate, driven and talented graduates to tackle this important issue.”

Iris said: “I’m proud that my work is being recognised and is reaching a wider audience – this was a subject I was very passionate about. It was challenging to write at home during lockdown, when I wasn’t able to go to the library, see classmates or meet my supervisor in person, but it also meant that I was very focused on the research, and it prepared me well for moving into remote work once I graduated.”

Kars van Weeren, Jeni Harvey and Michael Cassar, who also all studied MSc public relations programmes at Stirling, were shortlisted as finalists.

Find out more about the Public Relations courses available at the University of Stirling by visiting our course pages.