MWF @ 12 - 12:50 p.m.
A. COURSE DESCRIPTION & OBJECTIVES:
Through discussions, exercises and homework assignments, this course is designed to:
1. Provide you with an understanding of the importance of planning and developing public relations messages.
2. Help you learn to make effective decisions in planning public relations messages.
3. Provide the skills for developing and writing effective public relations messages.
4. Integrate public relations theory with the skills you need to be an effective public relations writer.
Upon successful completion of this course you should be able to:
Since there’s no text for this course, information will be provided through lectures and materials from outside sources. Therefore, class attendance is critical. Research and planning that are required in developing PR writing skills will be emphasized. Discussions and in-class exercises will focus on recognizing an organization’s PR opportunities and how to communicate effectively with an organization’s audiences.
B. COURSE ACTIVITIES & ASSIGNMENTS
Exercise Assignment Date
Pitch Letter Oct. 7
News Idea Oct. 14
Memo Nov. 11
Email Nov. 18
Blog Nov. 30
Assignment # of Possible Pts.
Client Selection – Due Sept. 16 50
Fact Sheet – Due Sept. 30 25
News Advisory – Due Oct. 21 50
News Release – Due Nov. 4 100
Newsletter Plan/Mock-up – Due Nov. 21 100
Newsletter – Due Dec. 7 by 5:30 p.m. 200
C. COURSE GRADES
A = 90% -100% of the total possible points
B = 80% - 89% of the total possible points
C = 70% - 79% of the total possible points
D = 60% - 69% of the total possible points
F = Less than 60% of the total possible points
**NOTE: The instructor reserves the right to adjust or cancel assignments as the course progresses. If for some reason assignments total somewhat more or fewer than the original number set for the course, the method of calculating the final grade will remain the same: the total points a student achieves for all submitted assignments will be divided by the total possible points for all the assignments to obtain a percentage, and a grade will be assigned according to the percentage scale outlined on page two.
7. ASSIGNMENT GRADING CRITERIA:
a. DEADLINES: All deadlines for the homework assignments have been made to insure reasonable completion times. You should plan accordingly. Students will be given ample notice of any changes in deadlines. SINCE THE PR PROFESSION IS CALENDAR-DRIVEN AND DEADLINES ARE IMPORTANT, NO ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER THE CLASS PERIODS IN WHICH THEY ARE DUE.
b. QUALITY: Your homework assignments should be as nearly professional in quality as possible. Basic grading criteria include, but are not limited to:
(i) Neatness; use of correct materials and logical format
(ii) Correct grammar, spelling and punctuation
(iii) Meeting deadlines
(iv) Writing accuracy, clarity/readability, appropriate to audience
(v) Content - complete and based on research information
Late work will not be accepted.
Attendance: Students are expected to attend, be on time for and participate in class. The instructor reserves the right to drop any student who misses more than three class periods. Students who miss more than three class periods without verifiably good reasons will be dropped from this course.
Plagiarism and cheating: The MSU Student Honor Creed, found in both your student handbook and the university catalog, includes the statement: “As an MSU student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else to do so.” Plagiarism, lying and cheating include, but are not limited to: fabricating information and sources, copying material from publications without crediting the author, turning in another student’s work as your own, and copying quiz/exam answers from another person. STUDENTS FOUND CHEATING, PLAGIARIZING OR MAKING UP INFORMATION WILL RECEIVE AN “F” FOR THIS COURSE.
7. Senior Portfolio: Please note that all mass communication majors are required to submit a senior portfolio before registering for the mass communication capstone course, Senior Production (October 1 for spring semester registration and March 1 for fall semester registration). This requirement is a part of MSU’s reaccreditation with the Southern Assoc. of Colleges and Schools and is non-negotiable. Students are required to demonstrate communication competence through the written word, the spoken word and visual communication; two examples of each competency are required. Students will not be admitted to Senior Production until the department chair certifies that they have satisfied the portfolio requirement.
As you go through this and other classes, you are responsible for saving course work that could be included in your senior portfolio.
Please see your instructor, adviser, the department chair or any mass communication faculty member for handouts with more information (“Mass Communication Senior Portfolio Competencies” and “Mass Communication Senior Portfolio FAQ”).
More information is available at:
8. Other: You may be asked to provide your assignments on a portable computer medium
(e.g., jump/thumb drive) or by email.
BE AWARE THAT the instructor reserves the right to change any part of this syllabus for any reason, and will give sufficient notice if changes are necessary.