My schedule for Spring semester 2010 is as follows:
JMC 310: T-Th, 10:30-11:45 Cronkite Theatre (room 202)
JMC 417: T-Th, 4:30-6:20, Cronkite room 354
T-Th 2:00 - 4:15 pm, or by appointment
You can see the syllabus for the spring 2009 semester of JMC 417 Public Relations Campaigns here (PDF file). We had five different clients on the roster, representing a wide range of communication needs and challenges:
- a local children's hospital, which is opening a new urgent care facility and needs to find ways to connect with area citizens and keep them informed about available programs and services;
- a national food service franchise organization, facing the challenge of continuing to improve an expand its organization and services in a tough economic climate;
- a historic tourism magazine that needs to understand how to reach a new, younger readership and take advantage of the opportunities offered by new technologies and media;
- the university's branch of a national science foundation that provides grants and internships for graduate and undergraduate students, allowing them to work alongside leading scientists on important researc projects--but whose applicant pool is limited due to a pervasive lack of awareness across campus and throughout the community;
- an office of the city government that is looking for new ways to connect with citizens across this vast metro area, and solicit their input and participation in planning and development processes.
We are very excited about the opportunity to work with these organizations, and develop carefully researched strategic communication programs to help them achieve their goals.
As we settle into our new home in the Cronkite School building (see sidebar), I'm continuing to look for new ways to ensure that public relations students are able to take full advantage of the vast resources available. As in the fall, and to an even greater degree, students this semester will have the chance to write and produce their own video news releases and public service announcements (for both broadcast television and radio), develop web sites and social media campaigns; produce print materials such as brochures, posters, and flyers; design billboards; produce professional-quality podcasts and blogs; and, in general, hone the skills that will make them highly desirable candidates for jobs in every area of public relations, public affairs, and other communication fields. Once the semester is under way, make sure to check out our class blog, where students discuss current trends and issues in public relations.
I will also be bringing back some exciting speakers and presenters from last semester, and bring in others to share their expertise in various areas of public relations and media production. SEO expert extraordinaire Vanessa Fox will be back, to help students understand the importance of proper online support even for offline campaigns. Other visitors will discuss their experiences in crisis management, dealing with financial and business reporters, the special challenges of doing business internationally, the world of public relations serving the arts, and other topics. We will also be hosting a special panel on "PR gone wrong," which will offer students a uniquely honest look at public relations campaigns that missed the mark or had unexpected negative consequences. Much better to learn from others' mistakes, so they can be free to make their own once they're out in the world.
Sneak peek at Fall semester 2009
This Fall I'll be teaching one section of JMC417 (Campaigns), and one of JMC415 (Writing for Public Relations). I am already hard at work planning the syllabus for the latter, with an eye to ensuring that students are well prepared for their capstone course. I want them to have a solid grounding in various writing styles and formats, and an understanding of the changing media landscape so that they are ready to face the challenges of a media career in the 21st century.