Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 08:48:26 MST
                                        From: Renee Buchanan []

University of Utah
Communication 510
Ren,e Houston

COM 510 "Writing for Public Relations Practice" Houston. Theory and practice of public-relations writing for profit and non-profit organizations. Press releases, fact sheets, PSAS, photo captions, feature articles, scripts, brochure copy, and image advertisements. Taught A, W, and S.

Criteria 1: Students service experience consists of volunteering 3 hours a week for eight weeks for a non- profit agency

Criteria 2: Students act as actual PR practitioners while working for an organization. The suggestions and products they make are based on in-class theory and practice of pr methods. observations they make are based on the course text (see course syllabi for details)

Criteria 3: Students are required to write weekly papers, or what I call "reflection notes" that are focused observations (based on readings) of the organization which creates a notebook of observations. The criteria for these observations may be found in the syllabi under " Reflection Notebook".

Criteria 4: While learning the course material is important, understanding its application to real organizations is crucial. Students use course materials as the backbone to create, in concert with their group members, a press kit. This is a written folder of pr materials use for a variety of public relations purposes that is turned in to the instructor for a grade, as well as to the agency.

Criteria 5: As previously mentioned, organizations are the recipients of a professionally designed press kit. The instructor contacts the organization to discuss both the students' performances and the final report. While collecting their, research notes, students, are also encouraged to talk to organizational members to "validate " their observations.

Criteria 6: Students are given articles to read (for example "Serving to Learn, Learning to Serve: Civics and service from a-z) and then discuss in class. Also, although students are preparing for a career in pr - they are able to see the possibility to use their skills in the non-profit sector.

Criteria 7: I'm not sure how this criteria differs from #2.

Criteria 8: As mentioned previously, students spend at least 15 percent of each class discussing experiences and relating course concepts to their observations of their service-learning sites.

Criteria 9: Students sign-up the first day of class for a pre-screened service learning site. They are allowed to choose sites based on interest, therefore there should not exist any moral, religious, or political conflict.

Course texts:

Wilcox, D. L. and Nolte, L. W. (1995). Public Relations: Writing and Media Techniques Associated Press Stylebook

Course Description: The purpose of this course is allow students to put into practice pr writing that they learn in COM 455. By the end of the quarter, students will have written: Broadcast copy, memos and letters, position papers and news releases.

Course Objectives:

  1. Identify the function and purpose of pr writing
  2. Employ the technical aspects of writing and editing
  3. Specific types of pr writing for specific audiences.
  4. Write press kit for a non-profit organization as a service learning project.

ADA Statement: "It is our desire that all of our students fully participate in the curriculum of our department. But we need your assistance. If you have a disability or condition that compromises your ability to complete the requirements of this course, you must notify the instructor immediately. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that reasonable accommodations be provided for students with physical, sensory, cognitive, systemic, learning, and psychiatric disabilities. Please contact the instructor of this course at the beginning of the quarter to discuss any such accommodations for this course."

  Assignments                        %
  Lab assignments                     50%
  Service Learning                     30%
  Reflection Notebook                 10%
  Attendance/Participation            10%
  TOTAL                               100%

Service Learning Group - You will participate in a service learning project in which you will master course content by reflecting on it "in the field". Your service experience will consist of volunteering 2-3 hours a week for eight weeks for some community service which will provide you with a background to create, in concert with your other group members, a press kit. This will be a written report that will be turned in to both the instructor and the agency, and will be presented to the class.

On the day of the presentation your group will turn in:

  1. Your final press kit materials (written in collaboration with all group members).
  2. A journal of your group experience (a reflection paper assessing the usefulness of systems in your own personal experience with the service organization you worked for. What types of experiences have occurred in your group that reflect course concepts?)

Reflection Notebook

Instructions: Entries are at least : I page in length, typed, double-spaced, 1. 5" margin on the left, I" margins on the remaining sides, grammatically correct, proper spelling and punctuation, and be neat in appearance. Entries are to be held together in a report cover which allows entries to be placed cumulatively as they are due. Please do not purchase large 3-ring binders. Research note entries should show evidence of your reflection of the creative process and contribution to the in-class group or organization you are working for as it applies. Entries not turned in during the class they are do will be docked 112. letter grade for each day that passes before it is turned in.

Lab Assignments: There will be several in and out of class writing assignments where you will produce the following:

           News release
           Broadcast release
           Press release
           Memo and letter
           Feature story
           Position paper

Attendance Policy: Class attendance is required. Class activities, discussions and presentations constitute a major portion of the course, therefore missed classes cannot be made up. Students will earn attendance points by turning in questions each class period.

Participation Policy: Part of successful learning is achieved through classroom interaction. The participation is actually a grade. I suggest you do not assume it is used only for deciding borderline grades.

Remember - prevention is the best course of action. If you are unclear or need help on your assignments, see me before they are due.