Sunday, January 22, 2012

Syllabus Content (weekly schedule follows)

FOR MY COLLEAGUES TEACHING PR Northwestern University Introduction to Public Relations Strategies and Tactics IMC Winter 2012 Classroom MTC 3-127 Instructor: Professor Clarke L. Caywood, Ph.D. Department of Integrated Marketing Communications, Medill, Northwestern Contact Information: Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays winter quarter, McCormick Tribune Center, 1870 S. Campus Dr. Evanston, Room 3-111 (Fish Bowl) 12-2 p.m. and Mondays and Wednesdays 2-4 p.m. (same room). Cell phone 8473720462. Email: Mailbox McCormick Tribune Center, 3-147 or Department Assistant Robin Young in room 3-137. Text: The Handbook of Strategic Public Relations & Integrated Marketing Communications, 2nd edition, 2012 McGraw-Hill, New York. Available in Kindle form January 1, 2012 and print form January 27, 2012 on I will have enough copies at the author’s early rate of $40 vs. $75 with shipping for the hardcover version to offer to you. There will be occasional handouts distributed at no charge to you. Twitter site is PRHandbook2012 for you to tweet about the book subjects and link to other sources. Course Description: Welcome to this class: The following is a summary of the key contribution of integrated public relations (also noted as PR (not p.r.) as written about in your new course book. Public relations practitioners have continued their efforts to build strong leadership for businesses and other complex organizations. These continued efforts to integrate at several levels of business, organizations and society will create more integrated management processes, protecting and preserving the reputation of the organization and its stakeholders. In the past decade, public relations has moved beyond its self-defined role of simply building mutual “relations” to integrating, managing and sustaining relationships between organizations, other organizations and its publics or stakeholders. One definition of public relations is “the profitable integration of an organization’s new and continuing relationship with stakeholders, including customers, by managing all communications contacts with stakeholders and organizations, which creates and protects the brand and the reputation of the organization.” The big idea that emerges from this book’s collection of authors and the course is that PR provides organizational management a leadership opportunity to integrate relationships both inside and outside their organization, using a wide range of management strategies and tactics, including communications. Of all the functions of management, PR has the broadest reach, appealing to the greatest number of audiences or stakeholder groups and individuals. PR is naturally focused on communications as its strategic advantage and knowledge base. Because of what we are presently calling social media, the field of communications has exploded. PR has gained the greatest management ownership and understanding of the use of these applications. Reputation management is under the wing of public relations. Most advanced authors in this field have the idea that integration is more than a simple (although useful) combination of the tactics of advertising, promotions, direct marketing, events and marketing public relations. The growth of integrated marketing communications (IMC) as a practical field was based on the initial value of this useful combination of communication tactics evolving into a more comprehensive strategy. However, what is still missing from the general teaching and understanding of IMC is a broader understanding of the importance of comprehensive integration and why public relations is the ideal professional field to guide and lead integration. First, PR will lead corporations and other organizations on several levels, including the integration of relationships with various stakeholders, the integration of corporate and organizational structures, the integration with industry and competitive groups, and finally, the integration with global society. The integration of complex organizations demonstrates the range of leadership that public relations professionals can offer, from a macro level of interaction with society to a more micro level with individual stakeholders. This range of relationship building and management is what is ultimately appealing to many professionals in the field, with a broader view of the ultimate role of individuals and organizations (drawn from the Handbook, chapter 1). Class objectives for students and faculty: There are several practical objectives for this course. 1. To help you consider a career in public relations, 2. To understand how to employ the power of public relations in an organization and teams that you will lead, 3. To apply your knowledge of the unique functions of public relations in your volunteer and professional work life, 4. To broaden your focus on communicating with a wider range of stakeholders, 5. To understand how public relations research, including practical artificial intelligence and tracking systems, will help you to manage organizations, 6. To know how public relations and communications are applied to a wide range of industries, government and NGOs, 7. To use communication tactics including writing, speechwriting, speaking, storytelling, social media and traditional media as a competitive advantage in leading an organization. Learning Goals and Methods This course has been developed to maximize the use of the ideas and materials developed by top professionals in the field of public relations for readers and audiences. Based on your reading and thinking about the chapters together we will - 1. Learn to outline and discuss the authors’ key ideas or “take-aways” in the context of our knowledge and developing strength in the subject. 2. Learn to add our personal insights and experience to the chapters and videos using current events from professional PR and related industry sources including blogs. 3. Learn and prepare to engage several of the authors personally in a discussion of their ideas and your interpretation of their ideas. 4. Teach a specific topic in public relations by preparing with small teams of peer students an interpretation of the challenges facing organizations and the use of PR to face those challenges. 5. Work as a team in class on a communications based management issue. Evaluation and Course Requirements Class participation attendance, Tweet, participation, peer evaluation 30% Chapter Case analyses (selected short papers) 40% Seminar Style Contribution Group project written reports February 20, 22, 27, 29 20% Presentations with outlines February 20, 22, 27, 29 10% Total points available 100% Extra credit for answering 8 chapter questions 10% Final grade scale A 94-100 A- 90-93 B+ 87-89 B 83-86 B- 80-82 C+ 77-79 C 73-76 C- 70-72 D+ 67-69 D 63-66 D- 60-62 F 0-60 Class participation We all believe we know how to contribute to a class, but it might be useful to remember the following ideas. Effective class comments may 1. Address questions raised by others in class, in the readings or the media, 2. Cite material from this and other courses, 3. Draw on your real-world experiences and observations, 4. Pose new questions to the class, and 5. Advance the discussion. Twitter Students will have the opportunity to tweet relevant news articles via Twitter PRHandbook2012 (password pr/imc306) for credit and to elaborate on their relevance in class. Please read each other’s tweets. See resources of Chapter 54 Global Public Relations Networks: The Efficacy and Role of Membership Organizations in Public Relations 837 Gerard E Corbett, APR, Fellow PRSA, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Redphlag LLC, and Chairman and President of the Public Relations Society of America, 2012 Peer Evaluation After submitting a group project, students will complete peer evaluation forms to assess the contribution of each group member. In addition to being used for a portion of the class participation grade, each student will also give constructive developmental feedback to their teammates. All constructive comments will be shared for mutual improvement. Written Assignments Four individual brief case analyses 40% (10 points each) The objective of the four short cases is to ask you to “internalize” the real life examples crafted by the industry chapter authors. Your more detailed knowledge, analysis and summary of the examples should provide you with an answer to a manager’s question – “Can you give me an example where that worked?” All cases must be submitted via Blackboard by noon the day they are due. For each case you will submit a 1 page response - double spaced, 1-inch margins, and 12-point font. As part of the challenge you will ask a classmate to read the case and create a tweet (<=140 characters) to include and post with each case. Small group project (20% report plus 10% presentation) In the 4th week of class you will form a group that will construct a PR case study. The case will be more than an example. It will help you set the scene for a group of managers facing a stakeholder challenge (not necessarily a crisis). We will discuss the elements of a case to help you write one. Your assignment will be to choose an event that an organization has faced and analyze the event using the frameworks from class. A 2-page outline and working plan for your project is due on February 6. Your written report (approximately 10 pages total) due on the day of your presentation at noon will include an abstract, description of the situation, company background, and a clearly identified public relations challenge. You will have a detailed set of references and on-line for the case study. A “trainer note” with discussion questions will be included to offer ways to utilize the case study for learning. It should incorporate class concepts and theories to the PR challenges the organization faces. Each group will create a 30 minute presentation (no more than 20 slides) for the presentations with time for questions and discussion. Also prepare a tweet about the case for the day of the presentation. Extra Credit (10%) for answering chapter questions If you have the time and inclination please consider drafting approximately eight 40-50 word answers to 8 questions posed at the end of 4 selected chapters by “signing-up” for the questions and chapters to avoid duplication. University, school and class policies Mobile Devices Since this class is about PR and communications it is logical to allow mobile devices including laptops in class. Faculty in IMC have discussed that your use should be for relevant materials from Blackboard, fact checking websites and the class hash site. It is also reasonable and respectful not to use the devices while a guest speaker is talking. Please turn off your cell phone in class. We will take a cell phone break about half-way through the class. Attendance The course has been designed with you in mind. The use of social media, guest speakers and your group activities depend on your participation. If you cannot attend a class, please email me in advance of the class. Also let your class team members know that you won’t be in class as a courtesy to them if they are called upon for a contribution. Grading Similar to real organizations, written assignments and in-class assignments will be graded using the following written and oral framework: 1) Clarity – well written and easily understood. Written for the eye and/or ear. Contains the elements of an important “sound bite” or quote. 2) Completeness – well researched, cited and documented. Use relevant links and information from class readings. Provide accurate citations especially from the web. 3) Conciseness – intelligent and pithy for a busy student, manager and reader. If you want to provide lengthy support for your statements, add an appendix. 4) Creative – use your insight to the reader and the sender to create a behavioral changing message. 5) Correctness - including grammatically correct. Grade Appeals Naturally, the formal grade appeal policy of NU and Medill are followed but, if you wish to appeal a particular assignment, I am always open to discussion. If possible, after receiving a grade for an assignment, please make an appointment for a meeting with me during the office hours before or after the next class. Please bring to our meeting your reasons for the appeal in the form of marginal notes on the assignment or in a short memo. Early, on-time and late assignments Carefully labeled assignments may be submitted early. Most assignments (as noted) are due at the beginning of the class. Again, similar class rules in IMC suggest that assignments submitted late should be graded down 20% for each day they are late. Feedback about the course - Surveys and CTECs Having been a student myself, I welcome your course comments. You will be asked for comments several times during the course including in a three week survey and the final CTECs given in class. All comments are confidential but, if you wish to share your insights directly with me, please feel free to make an appointment. Acknowledgements Recently there has been a willingness to share ideas, learning goals, student insights and positive feedback within the University and Department. I acknowledge the specific contributions to the course of my colleagues George Harmon, Nancy Hobor, Hud Englehart, Dan Gruber and Susie Calkins. Medill Integrity Code All students are required to adhere to the Medill Integrity Code as well as Northwestern University’s academic integrity policies (if links don’t connect copy them to a search) Academic dishonesty can result in penalties ranging from letters of warning to dismissal from the university. Instructors may give a failing grade in a course for academic dishonesty. It is also university policy that instructors can require students to submit their work electronically to be analyzed for possible plagiarism. Provisions for Students with Disabilities Northwestern University works to provide a learning environment for students with disabilities that affords equal access and reasonable accommodation. Any student who has a documented disability and needs accommodations for classes and/or course work is requested to speak directly to the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (847) 467-5530) and the instructor as early as possible in the quarter (preferably within the first two weeks of class). All discussions will remain confidential. Accommodations can be made by instructors once OSSD has met with the student and verified the disability.

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