McCorkindale – PR for Nonprofits

CDAE 195: Public Relations for NonProfits University of Vermont Summer 2009 – CRN: 60160 Professor: Dr. Tina McCorkindale, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Communication, Cal Poly Pomona University Office Hours: By appointment E-mail: Webpage: (includes some course documents) Welcome to Public Relations for Nonprofits! While this class will be challenging, you will learn a great deal about the role of public relations in nonprofits. Please feel free to talk to me if you have any issues throughout the course. Course description: Discussion of current public relations practices in nonprofit organizations. This course offers a culminating experience in nonprofit public relations program planning and preparation. We will develop conceptual insight and understanding of how communication programs can be used to attain nonprofit objectives that are associated with a change in the informational, attitudinal, or behavioral traits of select audiences. The course will also focus on two important aspects of nonprofits: fundraising and volunteer recruitment. Course Objectives: Upon completion of this course, you will have developed the following skills and knowledge: • Learn to recognize the fundamental steps in nonprofit public relations program design/execution, in both abstract and concrete dimensions • Understand how program performance in nonprofits can be measured quantitatively and qualitatively • Be able to relate communication objectives to the attainment of specific nonprofit operational objectives • Develop the ability to address issues and problems in nonprofit organizations • Understand the fundraising and volunteer functions of nonprofits • Be able to conceptualize and plan a basic nonprofit public relations program from a case study perspective Required text: Feinglass, Art. (2005). The public relations handbook for nonprofits: A comprehensive and practical guide. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Supplementary articles provided online: Dyer, S., Buell, T., Harrison, M., & Weber, s. (2002). Managing public relations in non-profit organizations. Public Relations Quarterly, 47, 13-17. Frumkin, P., & Andre-Clark, A. (2000). When missions, markets, and politics collide: Values and strategy in the nonprofit human services. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 29(1), 141-163.


McCorkindale – PR for Nonprofits Herman, R., & Renz, D. (2000). Board practices of especially effective and less effective local nonprofit organizations. American Review of Public Administration, 30, 146-160. Tyminksi, R. (1998). Reducing funding risk and implementing a fundraising plan: A case study. Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 8, 275-286. I may provide other readings throughout the course which will be provided online. Recommended text: Associated Press. (2005). Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual. Students must have knowledge of the external environment and current events, especially in public relations. While the print version is preferred, I highly suggest you maintain a subscription to the online version of the NY Times. I will provide you with PR sites where you should subscribe to their online service and samples of trade publications. If you are too busy to read the newspaper, listen to NPR. If I feel you are not staying abreast of current events, a pop quiz may be given. Conduct of the course: Classroom time will consist of lectures, video clips, discussion, in-class and out-of-class assignments, and small group projects. Readings, in addition to the textbook, will also be distributed during the course. Students should feel free to participate and contribute to class discussion, since participation is part of your grade. In addition, material discussed is not necessarily found in the textbook; therefore, you must attend class to receive the lecture materials. Course materials when necessary will be posted online and should be downloaded before the start of the class. Courtesy applies in the classroom. When you are in class, I expect you to pay attention. It is inappropriate to text, instant message, or use the computer for any other use besides class. If you are disinterested, please do not come to class. Please turn off all cell phones and pagers before coming into class. Also, please respect the opinions of your fellow students. All readings are expected to be completed PRIOR to coming to class. Lack of preparation for class lectures or a lack of courtesy may be reflected in your participation grade. Email is the best form of communication. I send notices, assignment updates, etc., through email so please make sure you check your email address daily. In addition, feel free to email me with any brief questions you may have. However, assignments must be hand-delivered – no e-mail assignments will be accepted. Attendance and Professionalism: This course is different than many of your other university courses in the sense of hard deadlines. If you are absent from work in the PR profession, you may miss assignments and opportunities. Public relations is a deadline business. If you are late with a project, your reputation and credibility are affected. You wouldn’t miss a meeting with the CEO or the Board of Directors because you overslept. Practice good work ethic now. Since


McCorkindale – PR for Nonprofits class discussions and participation are part of your final grade, your attendance is essential to your success in the course. Attendance will be taken during each class meeting. If any circumstances affect you from coming to class, please contact me PRIOR to the class meeting. This means that if you miss class and fail to notify me before the start of class, it will count as an unexcused absence regardless of circumstances. It is your responsibility to contact another student for materials and information missed during class and not the instructor. Please do not email me asking what you missed in class. You will receive one-half day for excused or unexcused absences without any penalty to your final grade. For each additional “absence”, your final course grade will be reduced by 5%. I would not recommend missing class for unexcused reasons when a legitimate reason could surface later. Also, please be prompt and on time to class. If you are persistently late to class, your participation will be affected. In addition, if you are discourteous (see conduct of the classroom), you will be similarly penalized. Work should be camera ready and free of grammar, spelling, and format errors. Assignments should be proofread carefully. No handwritten work will be accepted. Also, anticipate computer difficulties or printer issues when meeting deadlines. Late work: All assignments and exams must be completed as scheduled especially in the context of this course. Late or make-up work will NOT be accepted unless I have approved it before the due date at my discretion, generally for extraordinary or documented circumstances. Late or make-up work will NOT be accepted for unexcused absences. If I decide to accept your late work, you will be assessed a penalty. In addition, assignments must be hand-delivered – no e-mail assignments will be accepted. Please keep copies of your work I return in case there is any issue at the end of the course. Also, anticipate computer problems, disk errors, or printing errors when preparing your assignments for deadline. Special Assistance: It is my hope that you succeed in this class. If you have any special needs that you feel I should be aware of to assist you in your learning process, please feel free to set up a conference with me during my office hours or at some other time. Academic Dishonesty: Academic dishonesty is a serious offense that not only comprises your personal integrity, but the integrity of the university and your fellow classmates. Academic dishonesty includes plagiarism, copyright violations, cheating during exams, use of unauthorized study aids, and falsifying any university document. Any offense will be taken extremely seriously. The academic dishonesty policy can be found in the university catalog. One of the most common violations is plagiarism, defined by the university as:
“Plagiarism is intentionally or knowingly presenting words, ideas or work of others as one's own work. Plagiarism includes copying homework, copying lab reports, copying computer programs,


McCorkindale – PR for Nonprofits
using a work or portion of a work written or created by another but not crediting the source, using one's own work completed in a previous class for credit in another class without permission, paraphrasing another's work without giving credit, and borrowing or using ideas without giving credit.”

In addition, I will post a copy of University of Vermont’s Code of Academic Integrity which we will review on the first day and for which you will be responsible. If you are not sure if something constitutes violation of academic dishonesty, please ask me. If you don’t, I assume you understand what academic dishonesty is. I will not tolerate any form of plagiarism. I reserve the right to challenge you or require proof for any material you have submitted for this course. If you plagiarize, you will receive a zero for the assignment, you may receive a letter grade course reduction, or you may receive a zero for the entire course. In addition, you will be turned in to judicial affairs. is a service that helps guard against plagiarism in papers. The subscription database allows instructors to submit papers to be compared to internet sites and databases for originality. I will provide you with procedures to submit the materials in class. Grading: Be responsible for the grade you earn in this class. Feel free to talk to me anytime if you want to discuss your progress in this class. The grading is as follows: Nonprofit Case Study Assignments Strategic Communication Plan Exam I Attendance/participation/pop quizzes (10%) (25%) (30%) (30%) ( 5%) (100%)

All assignments must be typed. Handwritten work will not be accepted. Nonprofit Case Study (10%): In a group of no more than THREE, you will present an already completed assigned case study and give an analysis. Your evaluation will be based on your professor’s evaluation as well as your group members’ evaluation (which will remain confidential). Assignments (25%): Some of the assignments will be in-class, some will be outside of class. If you are absent for a class where an out-of-class assignment was assigned, you still must turn in the assignment the day it is due! As a PR professional, deadlines are of the utmost importance. Therefore, if there is an in-class assignment due and you are absent, it may NOT be accepted. It is not fair to other students who attend class if you receive extra time to complete assignments when you are absent. All written work submitted for this course must be coherent, logical, and carefully edited. In a PR setting, any work that does not meet this standard is considered unacceptable and may even cost you your job. In addition, misspellings, syntax and grammar errors, and


McCorkindale – PR for Nonprofits other writing problems are unacceptable in upper-division college writing, especially in work by public relations students. Severe points will be deducted for these errors! Since you should have some background in reporting, your assignments must submitted using proper format and Associated Press (AP) style. While this text is not required, it is highly recommended. Strategic Communication Plan (30%). You will do a strategic communication plan for an organization of your choice or a case study from the book. You must include a thorough plan adhering to a public relations/communication model. Throughout the course, portions of the campaign will be due. The final campaign plan will be turned in and presented on July 24, 2009. You will be assigned a group of three to four individuals to work with and your evaluation will depend not only on the final product, but a confidential evaluation from group members. Your group will form an agency who will work AS A GROUP to develop a cohesive product. Even though group work may create issues, group work is a fact of not only the PR world, but the business world. You may have to work with people you don’t like. You will receive a supplementary sheet with more detailed instructions and class time to work on the project Exams (30%): There will be one exam on July 23, 2009 which will be a combination of multiple choice, short answer, and a case study analysis. A study guide will be provided before the exam. Attendance/participation/pop quizzes (5%): This is a communication class, and communication classes require interaction. You must be present to do so. Therefore, attendance is required and is taken daily; participation accounts for 5 percent of the final grade. Pop quizzes may also be given during the course. Additional points may be deducted (see attendance policy). Additional resources: There are a variety of other resources which would be beneficial for this course which I will post on the website. Any PowerPoint lectures will be available for download on blackboard before the start of the class. Additional assignments will also be posted on blackboard. Also, if you want to be a good writer, you should be a good reader! I encourage you to read and then read some more any books that you enjoy! Additional Information: One of the most significant criterion for success in a course is the ability to follow directions. Therefore, if you fail to follow directions or instructions, such as word length, assignment, etc., you will be penalized accordingly. Occasionally, it may be necessary to revise the schedule to meet student needs. I reserve the right to revise this schedule if the need arises (especially with guest speakers).


McCorkindale – PR for Nonprofits Tentative Schedule: The Day of: July 6 Introduction Review of public relations ROPE/RACE Introduction to nonprofits July 7 Details of project Ethics/Law Governance Ethics code Professionalism Nonprofit Theory Foundations Leads, News Releases Importance of Planning Publics Situation Analyses/Objectives Objectives Fact Sheets Research, Measurement, Evaluation Fundraising Due: Client briefing memorandum Volunteerism & Empowerment Strategies Message Strategies/Budgets Pitch letters Social media Blogs, Social Media Release Case Study Analysis Presentation Media content analysis Groupwork – meet with professor Exam Final campaigns due and presentation

Chapters 1

PRSA Code of Ethics, Dyer et. al article

July 8

2, 4

July 9

6, 17, 18

July 13

3, 9, & AndreClark article, Tyminski article

July 14

Frumkin article 12, 13

July 15

July 16 July 20 July 21 July 22 July 23

Herman and Renz article

McCorkindale – PR for Nonprofits


Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful