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Professor: Office: Office Hours: Phone: Blog: Twitter: E-mail: Barbara B. Nixon, Ph.D. (ABD) Lakeland, FL TBA 901-BNIXON4 (Google Voice, for text or voice mail) or barbara.b.nixon on Skype http://publicrelationsmatters.com BarbaraNixon email@example.com
UNIVERSITY MISSION STATEMENT: Southeastern, a dynamic, Christ-centered university, fosters student success by integrating personal faith and higher learning. Within our loving Pentecostal community, we challenge students to a lifetime of good work and of preparing professionally so they can creatively serve their generation in the Spirit of Christ. COURSE DESCRIPTION: A course designed to give practical experience in producing public relations and advertising campaigns including press kits, press releases, ad design, copy, newsletters and basic marketing. COURSE OBJECTIVE: This course is intended to help students understand the various techniques employed in managing a public relations communications program. Students completing this course should be able to apply the various decision-making, writing, editing and design techniques necessary to create a media program including communications ranging from personal to mass, and from controlled to uncontrolled. REQUIRED TEXT: Wilcox, D. (2009). Public relations writing and media techniques (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education. A recent Associated Press Style Book, preferably 43rd edition (red cover) REQUIRED EQUIPMENT: At least one USB drive (minimum 1G) Pack of multi-color markers See Tentative WEEKLY SCHEDULE (p.7)
COMM 4333, Spring 2010, p. 1
GRADING: 350 points 200 points 200 points 150 points 100 points
Written Assignments Blog / Engagement & Participation Readiness Assessment Tests (AKA RATS) Social Media News Release / Final Project Final Exam (There will be a comprehensive, BlackBoard-based, final exam.) 1000
Total possible points
WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS: The following writing assignments will be accomplished during the course of the semester. Assignments may include: several news releases, personality profile, PSA (15-30-60), fact sheet, photos with captions, media contact list, pitch letter, promotional item, feature story and media advisory. Assignment point values and specific guidelines will be further explained as the time approaches. Rubrics for each assignment will be made available. BLOG / ENGAGEMENT & PARTICIPATION: Starting early in the semester, you will create original content for your blog; it will be through this method that I will be able to assess your engagement and participation in this course. You will add new content to your blog, including comments you post to others’ blogs, weekly. Specifics about the content of your blog will be shared during the first month of class. RATS: Expect one Readiness Assessment Test every week in this course; these are conducted via the Assessments area in BlackBoard. Most RATS will be based on material from your textbook, but there may also be AP Style and current events questions on RATS. Unless stated otherwise, you will work individually and have one hour to complete each open-book quiz. You can take each of the RATS twice, and the higher of the two scores count. FINAL PROJECT: Your final project will consist of a social media news release for your client, including text, audio, photo(s) and perhaps video. Details on this assignment will be shared before Spring Break. FINAL EXAM: There will be a comprehensive, BlackBoard-based, final exam.
COURSE POLICIES: 1. Responsibilities of Students: Each student is expected to commit to the following guidelines: a. Preparation—the class discussion will mean little if text material is not read and the assignments are not prepared in advance. b. Presence—unique thoughts and insights cannot be contributed to group discussions, or to student learning, if you are not present. The SEU attendance policy should be your guide and is a minimum attendance policy. COMM 4333, Spring 2010, p. 2
c. Promptness—late arrivals disrupt the class and adversely impact the decorum of the process. This is unprofessional. Note: Three times late equals one absence for evaluation purposes. d. Participation—as part owner of the discussion, it is each student’s responsibility to share in the advancement of the group’s collective skills and knowledge e. Academic Honesty—Any instance of academic dishonesty, including plagiarism, will be handled in accordance with the Student Handbook. f. Specific Policies—If you cannot be present for a class, you are responsible for contacting a fellow student by using email in order to find out what was covered in class the day you were absent and what will be covered in the next class. 2. Material will be covered in class that is not presented in the textbook. This material may include information included in lectures, additional readings, and in-class exercises. Exams will include this material as well as material assigned in the textbook. 3. Material not turned in when due will NOT be accepted and will earn a grade of zero. Unless otherwise specified, all assignments must be submitted using either a Microsoft Office product (Word, PowerPoint, etc.) or Adobe PDF; if I cannot open an assignment or the file is corrupt, you cannot earn credit on the assignment. 4. Attendance is important. Any absences in excess of what is allowed by the SEU policy set forth above will result in an appropriate grade reduction. It is your job to keep track of your total absences; I am not responsible for reminding you about your total absences. On speech days, if you are tardy you must wait to enter the class until the speaker has completed her or his speech; you will be able to tell when speeches end by listening for the applause. Under no circumstances should you enter the class during a student speech. This is distracting to the speaker and is considered a violation of violation of the statements regarding classroom decorum and speech day behavior found below. 5. Failure to take a exam or quiz on the assigned date will result in a ZERO for that exam unless the absence is approved in advance by the instructor or is an emergency that is excused by the Dean of the College of Fine Arts. If you travel with an athletic team or are a member of another SEU approved club or group, you are responsible for submitting assigned material prior to your departure or via email while traveling. 6. Cell Phones and Electronic Devices: Because your friends and family may not know your class schedule, turn off your cell phones in class. Ringing cell phones are annoying and disruptive, especially during speeches. Furthermore, because of the advance technology of text messaging and digital imaging, the use of any personal electronic devices (cell phones, PDAs, iPods, headphones, etc) is prohibited during examinations. The use of any such item during an examination will result in immediate dismissal from the classroom and the examination.
COMM 4333, Spring 2010, p. 3
7. Agreement with Syllabus Content: This syllabus is an agreement between the professor and the student, between me and you, to respectively provide and complete a worthy learning experience. By remaining a registered student in this course, you have identified your understanding of and agreement to the obligations set forth in this syllabus for satisfactory completion of this course, including the course policies as well as the assignments. The professor reserves the right to modify this syllabus during the term. All other academic policies are described in the Student Handbook. IMPORTANT SEU POLICIES Students with Disabilities Southeastern University is committed to the provision of reasonable accommodations for students with learning and or physical disabilities, as defined in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act 1973. If you think you may qualify for these accommodations, notify your instructor. You will then be directed to contact the Director of Academic Success at 863-6675157. Testing Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: Tests are administered for each department at the request of each professor to provide special accommodations for those affected by learning disabilities, vision and physical impairments, attention deficit disorder, and testing anxiety/phobias. These accommodations are provided on a daily basis for the student and professors. Class Attendance Policy Students are both expected and encouraged to attend classes regularly. The lack of attendance may affect a student’s grade. For traditional fall and spring semesters, a student may miss a class without penalty equal to the number of times a class meets per week as follows: If the class meets once a week a student may miss one class. If the class meets two times a week a student may miss two classes. If the class meets three times a week a student may miss three classes. If a student’s absences exceed the number of times a class meets per week, a professor may: Subject the student to a penalty of not more than one letter grade based on attendance alone. Recommend to the Vice President for Academic Affairs that a student with excessive absences be withdrawn from the course. For a summer term, a student may miss two days without penalty. A professor may take the same actions described above if a student misses more than two days in a summer term.
COMM 4333, Spring 2010, p. 4
Program directors must provide lists of students participating in authorized university activities or field trips to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Once approved, program directors must provide copies of the lists to the participating students for submission to the students’ instructors. Faculty must take this information into account as they log attendance and not consider it an absence. Working within the framework of the above guidelines, faculty will clearly articulate their attendance policy in the course syllabus. Prolonged and/or unusual absences not covered by the policy may be appealed to the Vice President of Academic Affairs by either the professor or the student. Appeals must be submitted in writing. Final Exam Every professor is obligated to administer a final exam or hold an appropriate class during the regularly scheduled exam period. Every student is obligated to take the final exam or attend that appropriate class during the regularly scheduled exam period. Please plan accordingly and carefully for final exams. You must not plan vacations, ministry appointments, weddings, airline flights, or any other similar activity or engagement that will conflict with the final exam schedule. Also, do not schedule any of these activities so close to your final exam that the commute to the activity conflicts with the final exam schedule. Final exams will be administered in the room where the class normally meets. Students with more than 3 exams scheduled on one day can petition the instructor and department chair/college dean to take one of the exams another day.
Communication Statement Southeastern University requires all faculty, staff and students to use their Southeastern email address for official university communication. Students are required to check Southeastern email daily as they will be held accountable for all communications sent through this medium. Course Evaluations In order to help us to assess the effectiveness of our courses and instructors, if you receive a course evaluation for this course, you are required to complete it.
COMM 4333, Spring 2010, p. 5
BARBARA B. NIXON’S TEACHING & LEARNING PHILOSOPHY
Several years ago, a colleague shared with me this quotation by longshoreman and philosopher Eric Hoffer: “In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” This quotation struck a chord with me. Put simply, my overarching goal in teaching is to ensure that our world has more learners than learned. I am fortunate to be in a role in life where I can have an impact on our future world leaders. What do I expect from my students? Students should be fully read on all of the chapters (or other reading assignments) and to be ready to discuss any part of the readings. Students should raise questions when they are uncertain of the material we are discussing, including questions that I will have no easy (“pat”) answer for. Students should make every effort to gain the most value that they can from the class. They should want to become independent learners. Students should become aware of not only how what happens in the world (current events) impacts them, but also how what they do impacts the world. Campus is not a cocoon.
And what can my students expect from me? Because I am aware that students learn in many different ways, I will not lecture at my students daily from behind a raised podium. Instead, I will provide instruction to them in an interactive manner, even in online courses. In a typical week, students will experience partner discussions, small group discussions, Internet scavenger hunts, and even crossword puzzles, in addition to short (less than 20 minute) lecturettes. “Death by PowerPoint” will not happen in my class. I will provide them with the most current information I have available. I stay current on topics and trends in the industry. I will stay abreast of current technology and apply it in the classroom whenever it adds to the learning experience. (Examples include current software, podcasts and blogging, to name a few.) I will make every effort to help guide students through the issues that they raise, and we will seek resolution together. I will make every effort I can to make sure that students understand the issues and concepts my courses present. When I have positive feedback to share, I will share it openly in the classroom and call attention to students by name in the process. My goal in this is to enhance or maintain the students’ selfesteem, not to break it down. There are plenty of other places in the world where their selfesteem may be diminished. Constructive criticism will still be provided to students, but not by name in front of a whole class. I expect for us to have fun in class. Laughter and learning go hand in hand in my book. If we are not enjoying ourselves in class, there’s something amiss. And perhaps most importantly, I will listen to my students so that I can learn from them, too.
COMM 4333, Spring 2010, p. 6
PUBLIC RELATIONS, MEDIA ADVERTISING & WRITING :: COMM 4333 :: SPRING 2010
TENTATIVE DAILY SCHEDULE (as of 13 January 2010)
Week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 9 11 WEEK OF January 11, 2010 January 18, 2010 January 25, 2010 February 1, 2010 February 8, 2010 February 15, 2010 February 22, 2010 March 1, 2010 March 8, 2010 March 15, 2010 March 22, 2010 TOPIC/ASSIGNMENT Course Overview Getting Organized for Writing Social Media 101 (incl. blogging & microblogging) Becoming a Persuasive Writer AP Style Bootcamp Avoiding Legal Hassles Finding & Making News Writing the News Release News Release #1 Due (Fri) Preparing Fact Sheets, Advisories, Media Kits & Pitches News Release #2 Due (Fri) No Class – Spring Break! Creating News Features & Op-Eds Fact Sheet Due (Fri) Selecting Publicity Photos & Graphics Personality Profile Due (Fri) Writing for TV and Radio Photo & Caption Due (Fri) Distributing News to the Media Getting Along with Journalists PSA Due (Tues) Tapping the Web and New Media Media Contact List Due (Fri) Ch. 7 Ch. 8 Also, The Language of the Image (NewsU) Ch. 9 Also, Writing for the Ear (NewsU) Ch. 10-11 Ch. 12 Also, Five Steps to MultiMedia Storytelling (NewsU) Ch. 1 Ch. 2
Also, Cleaning Your Copy (NewsU)
Ch. 3 Ch. 4 Ch. 5 Also, The Lead Lab (NewsU) Ch. 6
March 29, 2010
April 5, 2010
April 12, 2010
April 19, 2010 April 26, 2010 FINAL EXAM
Writing E-mail, Memos & Proposals Ch. 14 Pitch Letter Due (Tues) SMNR/Final Project Due (Fri) Course Wrap Up Blog Due (Fri) Complete the Final Exam in BlackBoard before Tuesday, May 4, at 1:50 pm
NOTE: For dates of quizzes, see BlackBoard. Typically, quizzes are due on Mondays by midnight, and they will cover the upcoming week’s readings from the textbook. NOTE: The above schedule and procedures are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances. When possible, you will be provided at least one class day of advance notice of any changes. It’s always smart to check your e-mail before coming to class each day.
COMM 4333, Spring 2010, p. 7
Consent to Comply
I ______________________________________________ Student’s Name (print)
have read, understand, and will keep in my possession the Course Syllabus for COMM 4333, Southeastern University, 2009/2010. I understand that in compliance with the syllabus and the Student Handbook, for both instructional and evaluation purposes, I may be responsible for electronically submitting my written work to Turnitin®. With the affixing of my signature below, I agree to comply to the terms therein. _____________________________________________ My Signature ______________________________________________ Date
COMM 4333, Spring 2010, p. 8