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For your final project in COMM 4363, you will analyze a Fortune 500 or Inc. 500 company from a public relations perspective. Your project is due on the last day of class, with progress reports due during the semester.

This project is worth a total of 350 points of the 1000 available; a rubric will be available in MyFire by the second week of the semester.

You will have the option of creating the written portion of the project as a traditional term paper or as a series of blog posts. Let your professor know your decision no later than Week Two.

If you choose to do this project as a traditional term paper:

  • Use APA style for formatting and source citations
  • Include a title page and table of contents
  • Submit your paper in MyFire.
  • NOTE: Another option is to write a traditional term paper of at least 10 pages, on any topic discussed in our textbook Reputation Management. I will write a separate blog post with more details on this option, if any of my students choose to write a traditional term paper.

If you choose to do this project as a series of blog posts:

  • Create one page (not post, but page) on your blog with hyperlinks to all the posts; list the posts on your page in the order below. Submit the URL of your page  in MyFire.
  • Cite your sources within the posts, and also provide hyperlinks to the each original source if the source is available online.

Required elements:

  • An overview of the company and what it does
  • A timeline of the company, using an interactive timeline creator such as DipityTimetoast or Timeline JS. The timeline needs to include at least ten milestones, with dates, images, descriptions, etc.
  • Based on Grunig & Hunt’s models of PR, which model is the company using? Provide examples.
  • Describe the publics, including customers, of the company (or one of its subsidiaries)
  • Top challenges facing the company (including the current financial market)
  • For at least one news release, compare how the news release appears in the company’s online newsroom to how the story appeared when it was published in the media
  • An analysis of how the company uses and benefits from (or could benefit from) social media. Provide links to all major social media accounts for the company, if available.
  • An overview and critique of the company’s online newsroom
  • Career opportunities in PR, corporate communication, marketing, etc., within the company
  • Based on your research of this company, are you now MORE or LESS likely to want to work for the company? Why? Provide at least two paragraphs of a rationale for your decision.

Also, choose two from the following if you are working alone on the project:

  • One crisis the company has faced and how it dealt with it
  • Describe how the company is involved in its communities
  • Awards and honors the company has garnered in the past 10 years & how the company is using the awards/honors for promotion
  • Interview (phone or e-mail) a public relations professional within the company
  • Create your resume and cover letter as though you are applying for an entry-level PR position within the company
  • Another section of your choice, as long as you clear it with your professor by Week Four

Important Dates

  • Week 2: Choose a company.
  • Week 3: Let me know your decision of whether you’ll do a traditional term paper or a series of blog posts.
  • Week 4: Last date to pitch an idea for a section in your paper to me (if there’s something you would like to write about your company that is not on the list above)
  • Week 8: Final project due


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