Image Credit: "Scania R500 Wrecker" by RiceCracker

Spring 2011

In our PR Applications classes (COMM 2322 at Southeastern University), we’ll all blog about the same general topic each week during the semester. Your TOWs of 300 words or longershould be posted by Saturday at midnight at the end of each week, unless otherwise notified in class. (Posts that appear past the deadline may not earn any credit, so be sure to stay on top of your blogging deadlines.)

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

  • Using the three-pronged approach (above), what are your reactions to the NewsU Course you took on Understanding Media: Processes and Principles? (NOTE: You can post this week’s entry as late as Week Three, as you will not be creating your blogs until that time.)

WEEK TWO

  • What is a “public”? Which publics are you a member of? How did you choose to become a member of those publics? (Choose and discuss at least three.) (NOTE: You can post this week’s entry as late as Week Three, as you will not be creating your blogs until that time.)

WEEK THREE

WEEK FOUR

  • If you could work in an era of PR history (from a time before you were born), which one would it be? What interests you most about this era and why?

WEEK FIVE

  • Complete NewsU course of your choice (other than the three that are required) that you think would be beneficial for a public relations practitioner. What are your reactions to this course? Would you recommend it to other Journalism/PR students at Southeastern University? Why or why not? (Remember to name and link to the specific course you took. Also, submit your Course Report for the course.)

WEEK SIX

  • Based on what you read in Chapter 4 of your Public Relations Strategies & Tactics book, do you think it’s more beneficial for a new PR practitioner to begin his/her career in a PR department or in a PR firm? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

WEEK SEVEN

  • What advice would you offer to a student who is working on a resume or preparing for a job interview? Be sure to share links to three or more sites / blog posts that would be helpful for a PR student.

WEEK EIGHT

WEEK NINE

  • This week’s topic was inspired by Adam Vincenzini’s Be My Guest month: post something by a guest blogger. Connect with another blogger (it can, but doesn’t have to, be someone in your class) and exchange blog posts for the week. (You don’t have to write something new for the other blogger . . . share your favorite post you’ve written this semester.) In your own blog, make it really clear that the post is written by another person, and link to your guest’s blog.

WEEK TEN

OR

WEEK ELEVEN

  • TBA

WEEK 12

  • Write a post about the aspect of public relations that you have chosen for your presentation this semester. If you have created a PowerPoint or Prezi, embed it into your post.

WEEK 13

  • Create a list of the top ten things you have learned about public relations this semester. (Remember that the post still needs to be 300 words minimum, so you will need to elaborate on your choices for the list.)
 
Old Ford Tow Truck 1 by Cramit.

Image Credit: "Old Ford Tow Truck 1" by Cramit

Spring 2011

In our PR Writing class, 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 midnight at the end of each week, unless otherwise notified in class. (Posts that appear past the deadline may not earn any credit, so be sure to stay on top of your blogging deadlines.)

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

  • Which types of social media do you currently participate in (such as blogging, podcasting, social networking, etc.), which platforms you use, and why? [NOTE: Since you are creating your blog after after Week One, you will go back and add this post in.]

WEEK TWO

  • Visit Mignon Fogarty’s Grammar Girl’s website. Either read three of her blog posts or listen to three of her podcasts on areas of grammar that are troublesome to you. Write about what you learned (using the three-pronged approach above.) Remember to link back to Grammar Girl’s site.

WEEK THREE

  • Why are comments such an integral part of blogs? What advice would you offer on writing effective blog comments? Be sure to link to at least three sources.

WEEK FOUR

  • What is Associated Press Style and why is it so important for public relations writers? Also, what are some of the trickier parts of using AP Style for you?

WEEK FIVE

  • Imagine you are working in public relations for an organization, and you discover that someone has scraped/copied content from your organization’s blog. What approach would you take to remedy this situation?

WEEK SIX

  • In our class, we use News University courses from Poynter quite frequently. But NewsU is not all that the Poynter Institute has to offer public relations practitioners and journalists. How can Poynter’s resources aid you as you begin your career? Describe and link to at least three beneficial areas in the Poynter website.

WEEK SEVEN

WEEK EIGHT

  • Using the three-pronged approach described above, describe your reactions to one of the News University courses you have completed. Remember to include a  hyperlink to the course, too.

WEEK NINE

  • This week’s topic was inspired by Adam Vincenzini’s Be My Guest month: post something by a guest blogger. Connect with another blogger (it can, but doesn’t have to, be someone in your class) and exchange blog posts for the week. (You don’t have to write something new for the other blogger . . . share your favorite post you’ve written this semester.) In your own blog, make it really clear that the post is written by another person, and link to your guest’s blog.

WEEK TEN

  • Peter Shankman started a service called HARO: Help A Reporter Out. Briefly describe (and link) to this service. As a PR practitioner, how can you and your client(s) benefit from HARO?

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

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

Image Credit: "WordPress Swag" by Elea Chang

Public relations practitioners are increasingly called upon to be well-versed in social media. This semester, you will blog as a part of your grade in our class. (See your syllabus for the specific percentage.) You will add content to your blog weekly throughout the semester. Feel free to continue to use an existing blog of yours, unless you feel compelled to start fresh with a new blog for this course.

My WordPress 101 post will help you get started with your blog.

To make it easier for your readers to find what they are seeking at your blog, it’s important to  use Categories. Please add a category for each type (listed below), and make sure each post is categorized appropriately. Each post for this class must have the category of “COMM 2322″ or “COMM 4333″ along with at least one additional category.

1. TOW: Topic of the Week – Each week this semester, we will have a specific topic that all students will blog about. You should have at least 13 of these before the end of the semester. At times, you will watch a video, listen to a podcast, or read a specific blog post, and provide your thoughtful reactions. These posts must be a minimum of 300 words. We’ll keep our running list of TOWs for your class here at my blog (TOWs for PR Apps & TOWs for Writing for PR & Advertising).

2. PR Connections – Provide commentary, reflections and opinions about PR issues/examples that were not addressed in class. These can be responses to other PR blogs you read, links to interesting posts or articles, embedded YouTube videos, etc. Some students like to choose a theme (such as entertainment or sports PR) and have each PR Connection be related to the theme. Though these don’t have a minimum word length, you will need to adequately discuss your subject in the post. You should write at least 10 of these during the semester.

3. Blog comments – whenever you comment on someone’s PR blog (whether it’s a PR professional or a PR student), add the comment to ONE post that you update throughout the semester so I can assess your online participation. Do this only for PR-related blogs. You should have a minimum of 10 comments by your Blog Checkpoint #2 and at least 20 (total) before the end of the semester. See Tracking Your Blog Comments for Nixon’s Classes for more information.

You may add other categories and sub-categories of your choice. Please keep in mind that when I evaluate your blog I will pay special attention to the categories listed above, but I will not ignore other posts. I will perform a holistic evaluation of your blog, looking for:

  • professionalism: Clear, correct, thoughtful writing
  • frequency: Sufficient posts in categories 1-3, posted throughout the semester. There will be at least four blog checkpoints during the semester, including a graded checkpoint at near mid-semester. (See your syllabus for the specific Blog Checkpoint dates.)
  • linking: Identify other PR blogs (use PR Open Mic or my blogroll in my Diigo bookmarks as starting points) and link to them. Respond to others’ posts. Become a part of the blogosphere. Blogging should not be lonely.
  • readability: brief & concise writing style, use of white space, bold characters, images, bullet points
  • proper credit and use of images in all Topics of the Week and PR Connections. (Use Compfight to find your images; be sure they are licensed for Creative Commons use. I’ll show you how to do this in class.)

SUPER-IMPORTANT: In order for you to get credit for your blog, I need to know where it is. Tell me your blog address by completing this Google Form; do this no later than the end of January.

Questions? Just let me know.

barbara_is_listening

NOTE: Many thanks to Dr. Mihaela Vorvoreanu at Purdue University, who allowed me to use her blogging guidelines from her PRinciples class. They were so well-written that I made just a few tweaks for my own class. Dr. V knows that Blogs Matter.

 

Image Credit: "Rome visit, June 2008 - 79" by Ed Yourdon

In addition to writing your own blog posts, you will also comment on others’ blogs; these comments will count as 25% of your grade on your blog. Aim to comment on two blog posts each week; you will need 20 comments before the end of the semester .

We’ll discuss writing effective blog comments in class. Kipp Bodnar provides tips for How to Be an Awesome Blog Commenter; read these.

Aim to include a variety of blogs that you comment on, ranging from your classmates’ blogs to those of PR professionals. (For a great way to find new and interesting PR blog posts to comment on, subscribe to Ragan’s PR Daily. Or, visit my social bookmarks for PR blogs.)

To track your comments so that I can easily find them, create (and keep adding to) two blog posts that you will title “Blog Comments: Peer” and “Blog Comments: Professional.” In each post you will include:

  • Comment # (keep a running list)
  • Title of blog post you commented on, followed by the author’s name
  • Hyperlink to the blog post
  • Date of your comment
  • Your complete comment (copy and paste)

See Amber Sakis’ blog and Rachel LaFlam’s blog for some great examples of how to track your comments. (NOTE: For this semester, it’s important to divide up the peer and professional comments for easy tracking; in previous semesters, comments were blended.)

NOTE 1: In order for the comment to “count” as part of your grade for this course, it needs to be a minimum of 50 words long — a few sentences. Comments such as “I totally agree” or “Thank you for sharing your thoughts” are nice, but they do not count for credit in this class. You are welcome (and even encouraged) to write comments of varying lengths, but for class credit, 50 words is the shortest I’ll accept.

NOTE 2: Do not post each of your blog comments as separate blog entries; make two pages and keep editing/adding to them.

And whatever you do, make sure your blog comments aren’t whack.

 

Image Credit: "Rojo," by Kaleenxian

For my Social Media for PR Classes (COMM 4633 & SPC 4350):

Since our course is called Social Media for PR, it’s only natural that writing and maintaining your own blog is a vital part of the course; your blog will be 30% of your grade in the class. You will add content to your blog weekly throughout the semester. Feel free to continue to use an existing blog of yours, unless you feel compelled to start fresh with a new blog for this course.

To make it easier for your readers to find what they are seeking at your blog, it’s important to  use Categories. Please add a category for each type (listed below), and make sure each post is categorized appropriately. Each post for this class must have the category of “COMM 4633″ or “SPC 4350″ along with at least one additional category.

1. TOW: Topic of the Week – Each week this semester, we will have a specific topic that all students will blog about. You should have at least 13 of these before the end of the semester. At times, you will watch a video, listen to a podcast, or read a specific blog post, and provide your thoughtful reactions. These posts must be a minimum of 300 words. We’ll keep our running list of TOWs for your Social Media for PR class here at my blog.

2. PR Connections – Provide commentary, reflections and opinions about PR issues/examples that were not addressed in class. These can be responses to other PR blogs you read, links to interesting posts or articles, embedded YouTube videos, etc. Some students like to choose a theme (such as entertainment or sports PR) and have each PR Connection be related to the theme. Though these don’t have a minimum word length, you will need to adequately discuss your subject in the post. You should write at least 10 of these during the semester.

3. Blog comments – whenever you comment on someone’s PR blog (whether it’s a PR professional or a PR student), add the comment to ONE post that you update throughout the semester so I can assess your online participation. Do this only for PR-related blogs. You should have a minimum of 10 comments by your Blog Checkpoint #2 and at least 25 (total) before the end of the semester. See Tracking Your Blog Comments for Nixon’s Classes for more information.

You may add other categories and sub-categories of your choice. Please keep in mind that when I evaluate your blog I will pay special attention to the categories listed above, but I will not ignore other posts. I will perform a holistic evaluation of your blog, looking for:

  • professionalism: Clear, correct, thoughtful writing
  • frequency: Sufficient posts in categories 1-3, posted throughout the semester. There will be at least four blog checkpoints during the semester, including a graded checkpoint at near mid-semester. (See your syllabus for the specific Blog Checkpoint dates.)
  • linking: Identify other PR blogs (use PR Open Mic or my blogroll in my Diigo bookmarks as starting points) and link to them. Respond to others’ posts. Become a part of the blogosphere. Blogging should not be lonely.
  • readability: brief & concise writing style, use of white space, bold characters, images, bullet points
  • proper credit and use of images in all Topics of the Week and PR Connections. (Use Compfight to find your images; be sure they are licensed for Creative Commons use. I’ll show you how to do this in class.)

SUPER-IMPORTANT: In order for you to get credit for your blog, I need to know where it is. Tell me your blog address by completing this Google Form; do this no later than the end of January.

Questions? Just let me know.

barbara_is_listening

NOTE: Many thanks to Dr. Mihaela Vorvoreanu at Purdue University, who allowed me to use her blogging guidelines from her PRinciples class. They were so well-written that I made just a few tweaks for my own class. Dr. V knows that Blogs Matter.