Carr Communications – Student Placements through Transnational Partnerships

Carr Communications
http://www.carrcommunications.ie/

Who was involved?
A UK – Irish Exchange

A student from Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC), Lancaster University carried out their Undergraduate dissertation with Carr Communications, an Irish SME based in Dublin. Business development managers (BDM) in LEC and University College Dublin, introduced Michael Dennison from Lancaster University to Carr Communications. The BDM’s helped develop the initial scope of the project and supported Michael during his collaboration with Carr Communications.

Who are Carr Communications?
What did the Student do?

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Carr Communications are one of Ireland’s leading communications companies, dealing in an array of communication needs such as through the media, public relations and business and management training. In terms of public relations, Carr Communications develop public affairs and public awareness campaigns to bring about positive change in Ireland, for example by reducing road deaths and various environmental campaigns.  For this student partnership, Carr Communications, along with the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), wanted to investigate the registration compliance of Domestic Wastewater Treatments Systems (DWWTS’s) in County Kerry, Ireland. Given the majority of drinking water in Ireland comes from surface water, protecting this resource from pollution is essential for public health, especially as most rural communities source their water from private wells.

Many Irish communities are not connected to the main waste water system and rely on domestic waste water treatment systems, which have been identified as a significant cause of diffuse pollution acting on water bodies. Therefore, understanding the compliance rate and motivations behind this compliance become important for future campaigns in this area that need to comply with the European Union’s Water Framework Directive, and as such became the aims of the study undertaken by Michael.

Impact & Outcomes

Using the initial connections provided by Carr and the EPA, Michael carried out the field work for this study in County Kerry carrying out interviews and focus groups with members of the public in that region.  Michael’s research reported results regarding awareness and ability to comply with this legislation gaining insights into users’ perceptions of the importance of the registration procedure. Michael also makes suggestions and recommendations for how evidence from this campaign could be used in the future for other EU Water Framework Directive initiatives that involve compliance measures.

Overall Michael found completing his dissertation with a transnational company a very positive experience “This has been a very interesting and enlightening process, I feel the research reflects and the aims of the study very well, and that there are constructive recommendations that can be used by Carr and the EPA, which has improved my professional development for the future. The process has also made me more critical and analytical of research. Overall I have gained new skills and learnt much more about environmental management than I could have done in a desk based study. I highly recommend students to conduct a research project with a company”.

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