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Professor: Office: Office Hours: Phone: Blog: Twitter: E-mail: Barbara B. Nixon, Ph.D. (ABD) MOD 6 at Southeastern University Mondays & Wednesdays 9:30-2:30 or by appointment 863-667-5052 or barbara.b.nixon on Skype http://publicrelationsmatters.com BarbaraNixon email@example.com
F2F Meetings: Mondays (& occasional Wednesdays) from 3:15-5:00 p.m. in Chatlos 101 (Computer Lab)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Public Relations Topics, SPC 4400, is designed to provide students with an advanced curriculum in a specific area of public relations theory or practice. In this course, we will explore emerging social media technologies and study their ethical application in contemporary PR practice. Topics we will cover include: social media and Web 2.0, blogs, wikis, podcasts, RSS feeds, viral video, social bookmarking, social media news releases, and other emerging web technologies. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to: Demonstrate knowledge of social technologies from a theoretical perspective Use and author content for online PR tools Analyze case studies and identify common social media problems and opportunities Create a social media strategy for a client ENGAGED LEARNING STATEMENT: See my Teaching and Learning Philosophy on page 7 STATEMENT ON INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY: Because of the nature of this course, we will rely heavily on mobile, desktop and laptop computers to achieve our objectives. Students will use WordPress as their blogging platform and other (free) online tools and services to create their deliverables. While some computer lab time will be provided, students will complete a majority of their assignments outside of class time. PREREQUISITIES: Fundamentals of Speech, Desktop Publishing, Principles of PR & Advertising, and PR Writing
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REQUIRED TEXTS: Hay, D. (2009). A survival guide to social media and web 2.0 optimization: Strategies, tactics, and tools for succeeding in the social web. Dalton Publishing: Austin, TX. Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2008). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, MA: Forrester Research, Inc. One additional trade book on social media (a list will be provided; choose one from the list). See our class blog for additional readings & podcasts. REQUIRED EQUIPMENT: Reliable Internet access Access to a video camera capable of shooting short, informal videos, such as a Flip (for uploading to YouTube) – for one project at the end of the semester An e-mail subscription to Ragan Communications’ PR Daily. EVALUATION: 300 points 100 points 50 points 100 points 100 points 150 points 200 points OR 300 points 100 points 100 points 500 points Blog Trade Book Review Social Media Monitoring Report (for your client) Social Media Strategy & Mini-Campaign
Blog Social Media Monitoring Report SEO News Release Trade Book Review Podcast “Viral” Video (team project) OR Paper (individual) Social Media Resume (for yourself)
OPTION A: NO CLIENT
OPTION B: CLIENT
Total possible points Assignment Brief Descriptions
Blog (Options A & B) 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. Blog posts that are posted after their due dates may not be graded or earn credit. There will be at least two graded Blog Checkpoints, plus a final assessment of the blog. Citing sources in your blog is just as important as it is in any SPC 4400 Spring 2011, p. 2
academic paper you write; plagiarism is not tolerated. Specifics about the content of your blog will be shared during the first month of class. Social Media Monitoring Report (Options A & B) This assignment gives you an opportunity to learn how to monitor blog and other social media content in a way that provides similar insight offered by more traditional environmental scanning methods. Trade Book Review (Options A & B) After reading a trade book on public relations, new media, social media or the like, you will create a well-designed PowerPoint, and then post the review to your blog, in addition to presenting the information in class. (NOTE: Since part of the rationale for including a trade book review in this class is so that you stay current on trends and issues in PR, you may not use a trade book that you reviewed for another class.) SEO News Release (Option A only) Using either a traditional news release you wrote previously (either for a “real” client or a class) or one you write specifically for this class, you will adapt the news release using keywords and other strategies so that the release will be more easily discoverable via Google and other search engines. Podcast (Option A only) Either individually or in self-selected small teams, you will create a short (~10 minute) podcast on a topic related to this course. These podcasts will be due on varying dates; you will know your podcast due date in early February. “Viral” Video OR Paper (Option A only) Video Option: In self-selected small teams, design, create and publish a short video with the intent/hopes that the video will go viral. Your client and other details will be shared at my blog before Spring Break. Paper Option: Research and write a 5-7 page position paper where you will discuss a topic related to this course. Topics will be discussed in class and must be approved in advance. Social Media Resume (Option A only) Create a Social Media Resume (online portfolio) for yourself. Details will be shared by the end of January. Social Media Strategy & Mini-Campaign (Option B only) As part of a team, create a Social Media Strategy and design & implement a minicampaign for a Lakeland-area client. Client choices and other details will be shared by the end of January.
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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. 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: Students are expected to attend all classes on time and may be absent only for unavoidable documented reasons. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the faculty member of an unavoidable absence and complete all course work missed due to absence. All missed class activities will be made up in accordance with the policies in the course syllabus. A student may be withdrawn from a class at the discretion of the professor. Reasons for withdrawal may include, but are not limited to, lack of attendance or inappropriate classroom behavior. For further information see the College Catalog. Unexcused absences on presentation, quiz, and exam days are not acceptable and will result in a zero on the missed assignment. 5. Failure to take an 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.
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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. 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.
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Academic Honesty: As an academic community, Florida Southern College is firmly committed to honor and integrity in the pursuit of knowledge. Therefore, as a member of this academic community, each student acknowledges responsibility for his or her actions and commits to the highest standards of integrity. In doing so through this Honor Code, each student makes a covenant with the college not to engage in any form of academic dishonesty, fraud, cheating, or theft. Further information on the Honor Code is available in the current Catalog. The Department of Communication does not tolerate academic dishonesty. Students are expected to adhere to the standards of ethical and honest behavior in all academic endeavors. Should a student violate these standards, the following actions will occur: First offense: The student receives an F on the assignment. The instructor has the discretion to fail the student for the semester. The student reports to the department chair, who reports the offense to the dean. Second offense: The student receives an F in the course. The student reports to the dean, who has the discretion to suspend or expel the student.
Students with Disabilities: ACCOMMODATIONS STATEMENT: Florida Southern College does not have a special program for students with learning disabilities; however, reasonable accommodations may be requested in this course by students who have documentation of a disability on file in the ACADEMIC SUPPORT OFFICE located in the Thrift Building (Main Floor) - 863/680-4196. “It is the responsibility of the student to make his or her condition known to the college, to take the initiative in requesting desired appropriate accommodations, and to have the pertinent diagnostic tests or other professional evaluations to verify the need for academic accommodations.” A release statement signed by the student is required each semester before documentation and recommended accommodations can be shared with a student’s instructors. It is the student’s responsibility to meet with the instructor to determine which of the recommended accommodations can be made in each class. If there are questions about the accommodations, students may request a review by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College – 863/680-4124.
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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.
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SOCIAL MEDIA FOR PR · SPC 4400 · SPRING 2011
TENTATIVE DAILY SCHEDULE (as of 7 January 2011)
1 2 3 4 5 6 CLASS DATE January 10 January 19 January 24 January 31 February 7 February 14
Course Welcome & Overview Introduction Jan 17: Martin Luther King Holiday (no class) Jan 19: Building a WordPress-Powered Website Understanding the Groundswell Tapping the Groundswell Tapping the Groundswell, cont’d Blog Checkpoint #1 & Editorial Calendar Due (Thurs) The Groundswell Transforms Social Media Monitoring Report Due (Thurs) Class on Wednesday only Creating Your Social Media Strategy Preparation SEO News Release Due (Thurs) No Class – Spring Break! Podcasting, Vidcasting & Webcasting RSS Feeds & Blogs Social Networking & Micro-Blogging Trade Book Review Due (presented in class) Blog Checkpoint #2 (Thurs) Social Bookmarking & Crowd-Sourcing Media Communities Widgets & Badges Social Media Newsrooms Podcast Due (Thurs) More Social Tools Pulling it all Together Measuring Your Success Looking to the Future “Viral” Video OR Paper Due (Thurs) Course Wrap-Up Social Media Resume OR Social Media MiniCampaign & Strategy Due (presented in class) Blog Due (Thurs)
Survival Guide, pp. 15-22, and Ch. 4 Groundswell, Ch. 1-3 Groundswell, Ch. 4-9 Groundswell , Ch. 4-9 Groundswell, Ch. 10-12
7 8 9 10 11 12
February 23 February 28 March 7 March 14 & 16 March 21 March 28
Survival Guide, Ch. 1-2
Survival Guide, Ch. 3, 5 & 6 Survival Guide, Ch. 6 Survival Guide, Ch. 7 Survival Guide, Ch. 8-10
April 4 April 11
Survival Guide, Ch. 11-12 Survival Guide, Ch. 13-14
April 18 & 20
Complete the “Final Exam” (in the form of a final blog post) before [TBA]
We will meet in person on Mondays and OCCASIONAL Wednesdays, as needed. See my blog for specific details on assignments. Assignments will be due on Thursdays by 11:59 PM unless otherwise noted. Caveat: The above schedule and procedures are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances. When possible, you will be provided at least two (2) class days of advance notice of any changes. It’s always wise to check Twitter & your e-mail prior to class.
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