In our PR Writing classes (PRCA 3330 at Georgia Southern University and COMM 4333 at Southeastern University), we’ll all blog about the same general topic each week during the semester. Your TOWs of 300 words or longer should be posted by Saturday at noon at the end of each week.

Some weeks have more than one topic listed; choose one of the available topics on those weeks.

If you have a topic to suggest, please add it as a comment to this blog post.

If you are unsure how to get started writing these TOWs, many times you can use this three-pronged approach:

  1. What did you learn?
  2. What surprised you?
  3. What do you want to know more about?

WEEK ONE

No TOW required. But if you would like to go back and write one, write about which types of social media you currently participate in (such as blogging, podcasting, social networking, etc.), which platforms you use, and why.

WEEK TWO

  • Visit Mignon Fogarty’s Grammar Girl’s website. Either read one of her blog posts or listen to one of her podcasts on an area of grammar that is troublesome to you. Write about what you learned (using the three-pronged approach above.)

WEEK THREE

  • Why are comments such an integral part of blogs? What advice would you offer on writing effective blog comments?

WEEK FOUR

  • Last week, you took the NewsU Cleaning Your Copy course. There were four main topics in this course: Grammar, AP Style, Punctuation and Spelling. Using the three-pronged approach described above, describe your reactions to this course. Remember to include a  hyperlink to the course, too.

WEEK FIVE

  • Which Super Bowl ad was either your favorite OR least favorite? And in your discussion of the ad, be sure to discuss the publics that were targeted in the ad. (Be sure your readers can tell if you liked or disliked the ad.) If you missed the ads during the big game, no worries. I embedded them all in my blog.

WEEK SIX

  • What makes a story newsworthy?

WEEK SEVEN

WEEK EIGHT

  • Last week, you took the NewsU The Lead Lab course. Using the three-pronged approach described above, describe your reactions to this course. Remember to include a  hyperlink to the course, too.

WEEKS NINE & TEN

  • Create a profile at PR OpenMic, a social network developed by Auburn University’s Robert French. Connect with me there as a friend so that I know you have joined. Then for your topic of the week, describe what PR OpenMic has to offer to PR students and recent grads. Be sure to discuss at least three or four things you encounter at the site, and provide hyperlinks to the specific areas in the site for your readers.

WEEK ELEVEN

  • Address several of the following questions about infographics. What are they? How could one be useful in a story for your client? How do you go about creating one? Create one if you can, and embed it in your blog post this week.

WEEK 12

WEEK 13

  • Working either alone or in a group of no more than three, create a list of at least 10 ways that PR people can sometimes drive journalists crazy. After each item on the list, indicate what the PR person could/should do instead. Hyperlink to sources as needed. (If you are working with others, each of you should post to his/her own blog, and note where else it is crossposted and who the co-authors are.)

WEEK 14

  • During Week 14, you will take the Five Steps to MultiMedia Storytelling course at News University.  Using the three-pronged approach described above, describe your reactions to this course. Remember to include a  hyperlink to the course, too.

WEEK 15

  • Just what is a “Social Media News Release”? When should a PR practitioner use a SMNR rather than (or perhaps in addition to) a “regular” news release? Be sure to include links to at least three websites/blogs that discuss SMNRs.

WEEK 16

  • What advice would you offer PR students who are new to blogging? Come up with your own Top 10 list.



 

15 Responses to T.O.W. :: Topics of the Week [PRCA 3330 and COMM 4333]

  1. […] June 7, and will end at midnight on June 13. Your blog post about this experience count as your Topic of the Week for Week […]

  2. […] relations writing to write about. You will have seven of these before the end of the semester. See our TOW list (which will be updated […]

  3. […] Listening to podcasts such as those produced by Inside PR, Trafcom News, or Marketing Over Coffee can be very beneficial for students as well as PR […]

  4. […] Blog post should be 500-1000 words. (NOTE: This will be in much more depth than your Week 15 Topic of the Week.) […]

  5. brittany rollings says:

    I think that using the LeadLab was useful because it gave me a better understanding of writing a story. I never realized how much work was involved in sentences and paying attention to writing to make sure that I do not make a mistake. I feel kind of like a reporter when I scanning around the lab. One needs to be careful when he or she is writing because it is easy to fall into the false sense of being a good writer and thinking that you rarely make mistakes. I always believed that I was a good writer. Yet, when I had to look at sentences with the word “street” or “st” I was perplexed at which one I had to use for the sentence. I suppose I never really paid all that much attention to grammar when I got older because I felt like “well, I have taken all the English classes that I need to, I know what I am doing.” But the truth is no matter how skilled of a writer you think you are, there is no such thing as perfection. There is always room for improvement. I enjoyed the lab because it was like I was visiting a science of writing. I was experimenting with ways to learn how to write better and to not make simple mistakes.

  6. brittany rollings says:

    I think that what makes a story newsworthy is that it has to catch people’s attention. People do not want to hear about boring news. They want to know what exciting things or going on in the world whether good or bad. It is important to write a story which will get points across to people of maybe what problems are going on the community or what celebrations will be taking place. It is important to keep in mind guidelines when you write a story. Some people are in such a rush to get news out that they make a lot of mistakes. You must reread your story over and over again to make sure that it has everything that you want it to say. Also, ask yourself, what do you expect from your audience and what does your audience expect from you. You need to try to think like a reporter if you can. Try to be professional in your writing. Your writing will also depend on the type of audience you have. For example, writing to a group of teenagers is going to be a different language than writing to a group of senior citizens. Always check to make sure that you have said everything you want to say. You can always proofread or have someone proofread for you. It is a good idea to go back and double check your work.

  7. […] 9:02 pm } · { Topic of the Week! } For our topic of the week this week, our topic is “What makes a story newsworthy?”  This week, our topic of conversation was about this topic. (You can read a little more […]

  8. […] 15, and will end at midnight on February 22. Your blog post about this experience count as your Topic of the Week for Week […]

  9. I noticed comment # 4 is a link to my blog. How did I do that? It was an accident but I am interested in what it is…

    (-Newbie blogger)

  10. […] Comment! [When you see TOW's or Topics of the Week, it is required for my PR Writing course (Professor Barbara Nixon) http://publicrelationsmatters.com/2010/01/20/t-o-w-topics-of-the-week-prca-3330-and-comm-4333/%5D […]

  11. Some suggestions for future TOW’s:

    * We could search through blogs and find one that interests us most (or choose our current most favorite blog) and write about what caught our interest, what impacts the blogger has on the blogosphere, what ideas/tips we can take from them, etc.), basically a blog analysis

    * Twitter (do’s and dont’s as communication/PR majors, our thoughts on the rapid growth of the popularity of the site, tweeting tips, suggestions for good tweeters to follow, etc.)

    I tried brainstorming but it is getting late. I will post more as I think of them! :)

  12. Rebecca says:

    How do I know if I’m doing all of this the right way? I’m trying to play around with it to become more familiar but I’m having a hard time figuring out if I’m doing this stuff correctly?

  13. Matt Cook says:

    mey mrs. nixon…I was just wondering if you recieved my blogging address…i sent it but I just wanna make sure…

  14. […] each week for you to write about. You should have 15 of these before the end of the semester. See our TOW list (which will be updated […]

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