The Art of the Start-Up in the International Class

Intervenante référente au sein du programme International Global Communications, Elizabeth Albrycht revient en anglais sur la 1ère compétition professionnelle de sa classe, qui a travaillé pour une startup américaine spécialisée dans les logiciels...

Tous les mois, cette spécialiste du webmarketing et de la communication tient une chronique sur ce site sur les stratégies de marques internationales.

I often get questions from prospective students about the differences between the international class and the other Master's level programs at ISCOM, beyond the fact that it is conducted 100 % in English.
Generally, I respond that one of the major points of difference for this class is that students learn how to prepare presentations (particularly pitch presentations) in the Anglo-American fashion, which requires modifying the typical French presentation framework, turning it inside-out and upside-down, and injecting a healthy dose of storytelling. Added to this change of "form" is also a change of "fond" adapted to our foreign clients, each with different expectations and goals.

For example, we kicked off this year's professional competitions with an early-stage American software start-up. While many of our students have had the chance to work with large companies (and consequential budgets) during past exercises and internships, this was the first time many of them had to respond to a brief for a small company seeking to increase product visibility while respecting very tight budgetary constraints. An American client was also an added challenge, as the students had to undertake considerable research in order to understand both the media and regulatory landscapes across many states and the country as a whole. Furthermore, the brief was a business-to-business brief, which required students to think carefully about a wide variety of target audiences and adapt their digital strategies to the business environment (vs. more familiar consumer environments).

" The first brief was a real challenge for us: we had to present in the Anglo-Saxon way, which is really different than the method we were used to. The company was also a B to B company, and we may be more comfortable with B to C companies. But the fact to work for a real client, who is expecting our presentations from the other side of the Atlantic ocean, was a really absorbing challenge."
Fanny MOREL, student, international class.

" Everything was new in this first brief. We created an agency with people we had not previously worked with; we had to deal with a real brief from a real client; the language of our presentation was not our native language; and we targeted the USA. But we managed to face each obstacle and the satisfaction of achieving the goals was a worthy award for the stress of the challenge! "
Marie BLAISE, student international class.

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Video-conferencing the presentations added another exciting twist, requiring students to master a microphone and to convince a computer screen instead of a person or group of people.
Despite the challenge, I have to say that I was very impressed by the four teams presenting and how they managed the situation. Given how much business is conducted via videoconference today, mastering the skills needed to succeed in this environment is important!

 

Our client was very satisfied with the experience, and we all thanked him for participating in this great start to the 2013-2014 school term.

" Working with the ISCOM class to come up with business and marketing plans for my company was a great experience. The class asked lots of great questions during our meeting, and spent a lot of time researching the industry and competition." remarked Scott Trafton, co-founder of PoolShark H2O, our client." I was very impressed with the plans and presentations given by the teams at the end of the competition. Currently I am working to implement several of the ideas which were presented as a result of the competition."

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E_Albrycht_international_iscomElizabeth Albrycht has more than 20 years' experience in the practice of high technology public relations, with a special focus on digital communications and social media.
For the past seven years she has focused on the use of electronic networks for marketing and communications as an independent consultant for European and US-based clients.
Elizabeth is currently the professor in charge of the international class at the Institut Supérieur de Communication (ISCOM).