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Online classes

Effective: Early Spring 8-Week 2017/2018

MKTG 460: Public Relations Campaigns

Course Description

This is the capstone course for the Public Relations (PR) major. Students synthesize all that has been learned in prior marketing and public relations courses to develop a PR campaign for an actual client. This course is designed to help develop and refine critical thinking on the part of the student in selecting, creating and applying tools, techniques, and principles of public relations to a variety of managerial cases and problem situations. Use of real-life cases studies, tracking of current public relations issues, and creation of a full-scale public relations plan for an actual "client" are planned. This course is for those students close to graduation, who have mastered most or all of the skills courses and are ready to apply themselves to a genuine public relations problem.

Prerequisite: MKTG 332

Proctored Exams: None



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • Aronson, M., Spetner, D., & Amos, C. The Public Relations Writer's Handbook: The Digital Age. 2nd ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2007.
    • ISBN-978-0-7879-8631-5
      • Note: Required reading in the Content area of the course.
  • Bobbit, W.R., & Sullivan, R. Developing the Public Relations Campaign: A Team-Based Approach. 3rd ed. Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon, 2005.
    • ISBN-978-0-205-06672-8

Recommended

  • Christian, D., Jacobsen, S.A., & Minthorn, D. Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law 2016. New York: Associated Press, 2016.
    • ISBN-978-0-917360-63-3

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.


Course Overview

This course is meant to serve as a cumulative experience, whereby you will have an opportunity to take on a client and provide public relations services, ranging from consulting, to providing deliverables the client can begin utilizing/implementing immediately. You will work in a team environment, designating roles such as:

  • Account services representative/client manager

  • Writer (many times a person is tasks to write ad copy, brochure copy, web copy and speeches. This person can serve in a multitude of roles or the tasks can be divided among team members)

  • Social media strategist/coordinator

  • Creative strategist

  • Media relations person

  • Speech writer (if one of the tactics utilized)

  • Event planner (if one of the tactics utilized)



Technology Requirements

  • A computer running Windows (7, 8, or 10)
  • Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium Academic 2013 (Office 2013) with Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint (Active Columbia College students have access to a free version of Office)
  • Reliable Internet access
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader (download: http://get.adobe.com/reader/)
  • Adobe Flash Player (download: http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/)

Additional Technology Requirements

  • Microphone or headset
  • Web cam
  • Video conferencing (i.e. Skype or Google Hangouts )
  • Simple photo editing software (i.e. Gimp, Photoshop, etc.)
  • Simple design software ( i.e. Canva, etc)
  • Simple video editing software or social media apps such as Vine, Instagram, Pinterest or YouTube. 

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.


Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate higher-order thinking skills through primary and secondary PR research.
  2. Use critical analysis and use of research to develop a PR campaign budget, timeline, and evaluation plan for a real client.
  3. Demonstrate client negotiation and counseling skills.
  4. Complete a deliverable PR plan for a client at the end of the class.

Grading

Grading Scale
Grade Points Percent
A 900-1000 90-100%
B 800-899 80-89%
C 700-799 70-79%
D 600-699 60-69%
F 0-599 0-59%
Grade Weights
Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions 250 25%
Campaign Status Reports 150 15%
PR Campaign Project Pitch 250 25%
PR Campaign Project Final PR Plan 175 18%
PR Campaign Project 5 Deliverables 175 18%
Total 1000 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Introductions 0 Sunday
Discussion 1 25 Wednesday/Sunday
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 2 25 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 3 25
PR Campaign Status Report 1 25 Sunday
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 25 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 5 25
PR Campaign Status Report 2 25 Sunday
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 25 Wednesday/Sunday
PR Campaign Project Pitch 250 Wednesday
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 25 Wednesday/Sunday
PR Campaign Status Report 3 25 Sunday
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 25 Wednesday/Sunday
PR Campaign Status Report 4 25 Sunday
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 9 25 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 10 25
PR Campaign Status Report 5 25 Sunday
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Final PR Campaign Plan 175 Wednesday
Final PR Campaign Deliverables 175
PR Campaign Status Report 6 25 Saturday
Total Points 1000

Assignment Overview

Discussions

There will be discussions in Weeks 1-7 (each worth 25 points). Discussion assignments are designed to enrich your learning by recognizing in-context application of the material and sharing personal applications. As such, the questions and prompts being presented in the activities in this class should be largely your thoughts and experiences but be anchored with logic from the assigned material or cited sources. Discussions will consist of questions related to the material covered during the week and integrate material being covered. I encourage you to also introduce relevant points of view and engage in the dialogue wherever possible. Participation will be graded as described in the discussion rubric that can be found in the Content area of the course.

You must actively participate in each discussion topic to receive credit. Active participation includes posting your initial post (or answer to the question/prompt), reading your classmates’ postings, and responding to their posts and comments to yours. The qualitative component of the discussion grading is that you will respond to each topic by posting a minimum of at least one (1) initial and two (2) response messages each week with all postings not being made on the same day.

Your initial posting must be original, well-written, substantial (100 words or more), and relevant to the question/term posted. For full participation credit, you must also respond to at least two of your classmates in each discussion. Your interactive postings may be less substantial than your initial post (50 words or more), but should be just as informative.

Initial posts will be due by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday with responses to classmates due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.


PR Campaign Project

The central project for this course will be a full-service public relations campaign for a real client (chosen by the instructor), a collaboratively written and produced body of work completed by a ‘virtual team’ you and your classmates will be a part of that is tailored to a real need expressed by the client. The primary goal of this project is for you and your team to deliver a public relations plan. This plan should include five deliverables and a plan highlighting the PIE process for a PR plan (Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation). This information, after grading for the class, will be delivered to the client who can then utilize your plan for their business. These objectives will be met when you develop and deliver your final PR Campaign Plan and at least 5 deliverables.

Think of yourselves as part of a PR team assigned to devise and create a plan for a contracted client. Your team will be responsible for determining their needs and completing a full design and implementation plan for a public relations campaign.  

Project Timeline

Week 1: Planning and research

Complete the discussion activities for the week which will guide the group selection process.

Week 2: Client meetings

Groups and Clients will be assigned via the Groups tab in D2L by Sunday of Week 1 and client and group meetings will begin during Week 2. Your completed PR Campaign Status Report 1 is due to the appropriate dropbox by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Week 3: Planning

Continue work toward constructing the first draft of your plan, and complete PR Campaign Status Report 2 and submit it to the appropriate dropbox by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Week 4: Pitching ideas; getting buy-in

This week you will submit a preliminary pitch to your client (via dropbox) by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday. Pitch expectations and requirements are available in the Content area. There will be no PR Campaign Status Report due this week.

Week 5: Revising the plan; Implementation

This week you will work toward implementing feedback received from your pitch. Complete PR Campaign Status Report 3 and submit to the appropriate dropbox by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Week 6: Implementation

This is a working week to address both your revised PR Plan and the deliverables required for final submission. Complete PR Campaign Status Report 4 and submit to the appropriate dropbox by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Week 7: Implementation

This is a working week to address both your revised PR Plan and the deliverables required for final submission. Complete PR Campaign Status Report 5 and submit to the appropriate dropbox by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Week 8: Submission and evaluation

Final submission of your final PR Plan and at least 5 deliverables to the dropbox by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday. Complete the final PR Campaign Status Report 6 and submit it to the dropbox by 11:59 pm CT Saturday.

Group Selection/Communication

Your groups will be chosen/assigned by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 1.

Team meetings should be held at least once a week – more if needed. These should be conducted through the team’s assigned Discussion area or by conference call/Skype. When conducting your team meetings by 3rd party means (such as Google Hangout/Skype) a video of the conversation must be included/linked to in your weekly campaign status report. Although there are means to share materials through the course environment, you may find Google Drive useful in document sharing. Resources on these 3rd party resources can be found in the Content area.

PR Campaign Project Weekly Status Reports

Each week (except Weeks 1 and 4), your project group will be responsible for collectively compiling, refining, and submitting a status report to the appropriate dropbox. These reports should detail work that has been completed that week, future project milestones and assignments, and minutes from team meetings that took place during the week.

Along with the Weekly status report, every group member will also individually submit a report documenting both the successes and challenges of the past week, including any challenges within your team. I will provide feedback or suggestions for how to approach solutions to these challenges.

The Campaign Status Report for Week 8 will be an evaluation of your experience in the class, how your group has worked together, and what areas you see as being important for the success of your client in the future. This should also be an evaluation of the areas in which your team excelled, and how your experience in this class can benefit you and your peers in future endeavors.

Campaign status reports for your PR Campaign Project will be due at 11:59 pm CT Sunday of each week, except in Week 8 where it will be due at 11:59 pm CT Saturday.

Final PR Campaign Plan and Five Deliverables

Your final submission will include a finalized Public Relations Plan and at least five completed deliverables that your group will choose to produce from given categories based on your determination of client need. Your plan must adequately address the PIE process – highlighting all elements related to planning, implementation, and evaluation of your PR campaign. The format may vary, but should be clean, concise, well-written, and organized.

The deliverables your team provides will be based on your proposed plan for the client. You must provide at least five deliverable pieces from at least two of the following categories:

  • Print media
  • Digital media
  • Media relations
  • Event planning
  • Partnerships and Relationship Management

Specific examples of each category are outlined in the Content area of the course. Each deliverable should include at least one image, a written copy explaining why something is important, and a call to action.

Your final PR Plan and Deliverables will be due at 11:59 pm CT Wednesday of Week 8.



Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

Week 1: Planning and Research
Readings

Bobbitt & Sullivan: Chapters 1-4; pp 1-66.

Introductions

Introduce yourself to the class. Please give us more than your name. Include your profession or job, hobbies, interest in PR, and any other information that will help us get to know you. Explain why you are taking the class (Is it a requirement? Are you interested in the topic? Do you currently work in PR?) What interests you about the field of PR?

Use this discussion to make initial contacts with your fellow students and begin to discuss forming a group for the group project. You are expected to post to the thread answering the prompts and interact with a minimum of two of your classmates.

Discussion 1

By Monday of Week 2, your groups will be formed. Now’s the time to let your skills and experience shine! Explain your previous work experience and goals, as they relate to public relations. Based on that information, which of the following roles do you feel most comfortable with? Keep in mind that sometimes a PR person wears many hats, so it’s definitely possible that you feel competent in two or three roles and could wear these hats in order to create your final project.

  • Account services representative/client manager
  • Project manager
  • Writer (many times a person is tasked to write ad copy, brochure copy, web copy and speeches. This person can serve in a multitude of roles or the tasks can be divided among team members)
  • Social media strategist/coordinator
  • Creative strategist
  • Media relations person
  • Speech writer
  • Event planner
Week 2: Client Meetings (and more research)
Readings

Bobbitt & Sullivan: Chapters 1-4; pp 1-66.

Discussion 2

In Discussion 1 you put together a brief summary of the roles you were comfortable with based on your skills and experience. Going into the initial client meeting, it’s important to view their needs through the lens of what your key role(s) are. Based on your initial client meeting, identify 3-5 preliminary ways you believe your skills and experiences will be an asset to your client. Use this discussion to start forming your group’s plan of approach to your client’s needs.

Discussion 3
Research is a crucial part of the planning process. At least some background research is required prior to meeting with your client. Based on the information provided in your client’s overview video, what research do you think would be beneficial between now and the initial meeting with the client? There are many online data resources that can be helpful as you collect information prior to your client meeting. Take a look at sites such as pew.org and census.gov. What type of demographic and/or psychographic information can you gather that might be helpful in your initial meeting?
PR Campaign Status Report 1

Complete the assigned prompts in the PR Campaign Status Report template provided in the course. For each of these areas, be sure to use examples and cite your sources wherever possible to bolster your position.

Remember with these reports that it’s important to keep track of your time, but also set realistic goals for your PR plan. Letting a week slip by can have serious ramifications. Make sure you are creating tangible assignments in your weekly meetings, and everyone is staying on track.

Week 3: Planning (Drafting the Plan)
Readings

Bobbitt & Sullivan: Chapters 8-9, pp 135-170

Aronson, Spetner & Ames: pp 285-303 (reading available in the Content area)

Discussion 4

Watch a recorded newscast for 2-3 days (set your DVR if you need to). If you do not have cable, you can watch a news show online. Use a timer and note when segments begin and end. Write down the topics covered. Within a class-wide discussion, provide an answer to the following:

  • Where and who? Make sure you let your classmates know where you live and which newscast you watched – it will be interesting when we begin to compare the TV media markets.
  • What topic(s) was chosen as the lead story? How long did that segment last?
  • What type of video footage was used? Did the anchor do a voice-over? Was there a live action shot? Did a reporter (on the scene vs. in the studio) tell the story?
  • What images were used? Were any logos used? What about headshots of particular people? Images of buildings? Signage? Who received recognition (verbal, written or visual) in the segment?
Discussion 5

Last week’s readings, Chapters 6 & 7, discuss traditional media and social media. These two areas – more traditional and more nontraditional – are both important to create an integrated public relations plan. Based on your readings this week and last, select two traditional and two nontraditional media methods. Explain the benefits and drawbacks of each. Keep in mind, this will help you as you figure out which deliverables your group should provide for your client based on their needs.

PR Campaign Status Report 2

Complete the assigned prompts in the PR Campaign Status Report template. In addition, provide an answer to the following question(s):

After reviewing the Guidelines and Expectations for your PR Campaign Pitch assignment, create an outline of the steps and work needed to create your pitch. What work have you done that you feel is coming together? What areas are you still struggling with? What do you believe are the most important factors to be considered in trying to meet the needs of your client?

Week 4: Pitching Your Ideas; Getting Buy-in
Readings

Bobbitt & Sullivan: Chapters 10-12, pp 171-214

Discussion 6
This week you will collectively pitch a working draft of your group's plan to the client for feedback. As you begin to receive feedback, it is important to start planning ahead to how you will know whether or not your plan and deliverables were successful. How will you evaluate the success of your deliverables and plan? At what points will you make changes based on the feedback you receive from a client? Provide a rationale for your choice.
PR Campaign Project Pitch
Submit your PR Campaign Pitch assignment to the appropriate dropbox by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday. Guidelines and expectations are available in the Content area.
Week 5: Revising the Plan; Implementation
Discussion 7
Select a company with whom you have an interest or affiliation (perhaps a company for which you work or just one that offers a product or service you like). For that organization/company, find a news release that has been published by that company/organization. Explain the rationale behind use of a news release in this situation. Did that release result in any online media coverage? How was the release pushed out to media? How would you modify your delivery method, if at all?
PR Campaign Status Report 3
Complete the assigned prompts in the PR Campaign Status Report template. In addition, provide an answer to the following question(s): based on feedback from your PR pitch, how will you make modifications and refine your objectives, strategies, and tactics based on your client’s feedback?
Week 6: Implementation
Discussion 8
The field of PR is constantly evolving. Name 3-5 ways technology has changed public relations in the past ten years, identifying both the positive and negative consequences. Do you feel the changes been largely positive or negative? What do you see as current emerging trends that will affect the public relations industry?
PR Campaign Status Report 4

Complete the assigned prompts in the PR Campaign Status Report template. In addition, provide an answer to the following question(s):

In chapter 11, the book highlights some key areas of concern and/or consideration as a public relations professional. Some examples include libel, intellectual property and appropriation. Copyright also comes into consideration. In addition, there is a code of conduct in place for PR professionals. Based on this knowledge, what legal and/or ethical considerations are part of your planning as you put together your client’s public relations plan? How do you plan to proceed with best practice in mind?

Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
Week 7: Implementation
Discussion 9
Managing your time and resources toward projects is a huge part of public relations and professional life in general. What tools (can be an approach or a specific app/program) have you used in the past and/or are currently using to help manage the workload to keep everyone informed and on task? What benefits or features have you found most helpful, and are there any you wish were available?
Discussion 10
Communication is supremely visual – especially where social media is concerned. And social media is one the most accessed means of communication and relationship development. With that in mind, this week we will look at a few of the different tools used to create images for social media. Take 10-15 minutes and play around with a resource used to modify and create images such as Canva or PicMonkey. Additional resources or app examples to consider can be found in the Content area. Identify and discuss ways you think one of these services might be useful in communicating clearly with your public(s). If a particular service has been “tried and discussed” by more than 3 people, please select another software to explain its benefits to the class.
PR Campaign Status Report 5

Complete the assigned prompts in the PR Campaign Status Report template. In addition, provide an answer to the following question(s):

As you work to finalize your public relations plan and deliverables, be sure to review your current direction against the feedback you received in Week 4. Have you implemented all of the feedback, or were there areas you forged ahead with? Explain your choices and defend your rationale

Week 8: Evaluation
Final PR Campaign Plan
Submit your finalized PR Campaign Plan to the appropriate dropbox by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday. The PR plan should fully address the areas of research/planning, implementation and evaluation. It should follow the suggestion for format in Aronson, Spetner & Ames, or should be very similar. Your plan should provide rationale for every deliverable you’ve chosen for your client. Additional guidelines and expectations can be reviewed in the Content area before final submission.
Final PR Campaign Deliverables
Submit your finalized PR Campaign Deliverables to the appropriate dropbox by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday. You must provide at least five completed deliverables from at least two of the categories offered. Each deliverable should include at least one image, written copy, and call to action. Additional guidelines and expectations can be reviewed in the Content area before final submission.
PR Campaign Status Report 6

Complete the assigned prompts in the PR Campaign Status Report template. In addition, provide an answer to the following question(s): Your final Campaign Report is due to the appropriate dropbox by 11:59 pm CT Saturday.

  • If you were going to continue working for this client, what would you suggest he/she do in the future that you didn’t include in your plan due to logistical or budget considerations?
  • What did you learn from this project (or the class) that will benefit your future career endeavors?
  • Provide an analysis of how your team worked together. Did you struggle to keep everyone engaged? Did someone emerge as the leader or coordinator of your group? What roles did you all end taking on?


Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism

Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.

Non-Discrimination

There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.

All assignments must be turned in by their scheduled due dates or they will not receive credit. Team work and meetings should be scheduled at a time that works for the individuals of each team.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.


Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.


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