After around three hours on the Eurostar we arrived at London’s St. Pancras train station. Our tour bus took us back to the Royal National Hotel where we had dinner at Blooms and took the Tube to the Apollo Theatre in Victoria to see Wicked, a musical loosely based on the Wizard of Oz. After the show we were exhausted and went back to the hotel to settle in and prepare for the upcoming day.
Thursday, May 31
We started off our busy morning with a quick breakfast and then met our guide in the lobby for a walking tour. We took the Tube to the Tower of London where we walked along the River Thames and had an excellent view of Tower Bridge. From across the river we saw the building that is the tallest in the European Union, the Shard. After touring the grounds and taking pictures with the sentries, we went into the Jewel House where we saw the beautiful Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. This was especially exciting considering that this weekend London would be celebrating the queen’s Diamond Jubilee, marking her 60th year on the throne.
Next we took the Underground to the South Bank where we rode on the London Eye, the tallest ferris wheel in Europe. This observation wheel is the most popular in the UK; over three million people visit per year. From the top we had a spectacular view of Westminster Palace, Charring Cross, Cleopatra’s needle, and more. After the 30 minute ride we went to lunch at an authentic pub, then made our way to Edelman.
At Edelman, we were briefed on the company’s different practices and their global influence. Then we were shown case studies that demonstrated the importance of developing a strong connection between the brand and the consumer. We were encouraged to always have a broad range of knowledge, and to stay updated on current events.
Our last professional briefing was at APCO Worldwide where we met with Lionel Zetter, a lobbyist and published author of a book on the power of political persuasion. Lionel educated us on the global and ethical issue of public relations firms and taught us that lobbying is a basic function of life. It was nice to have many of the issues that we discussed in different countries come full circle because it allowed us to truly see how much we had learned throughout our travels.
Finally we took the Tube back to the hotel where we quickly changed and met with Aimee Bateas to have dinner and explore Covent Garden. When we parted ways that night, we were all sad that our trip was over but excited to go home and share our amazing experiences with our family and friends.