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COMM 362

Introduction and Course Overview
by

Professor Servin

on 23 February 2015

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Transcript of COMM 362



Tatiana Servin, Instructional Faculty
Department of Communications
California State University of Fullerton

Tuesdays 7-945, CP-018
Office Hours: Tuesdays 6-7pm

COMM 362
Public Relations Writing

Welcome to:
Public Relations Strategy:
A plan of attack, for a specific outcome based on research-driven expectations.
For example: “Engaging faculty in academic advising.”

Public Relations Tactics:
Specific action steps, taken within a strategy (written, spoken, visual/ graphic).
For example: Request individualized department meetings with UW-L department chairs & faculty to meet/ greet faculty and pass along information about the UW-L AAC. Follow with positive reinforcement of faculty for student referrals

Public Relations Tools:
Communicative elements that are determined by tactics and support chosen strategy.
For example: The ‘Thank You’ postcard.

Critical
Concepts
• Most businesses fail because they go into business for the wrong reason and/ or have no plan for the future.
http://www.businessknowhow.com/startup/business-failure.htm

• The poorly planned communication by Netflix cost the company 700,000 customers. Can you imagine?
http://www.pmaurer.com/the-netflix-debacle-and-3-things-we-can-learn-from-it/

• Evan as an individual, you must have a plan to keep your job and advance in your career. http://www.twc.state.tx.us/news/efte/ten_commandments_of_keeping_your_job.html

Importance of a plan


• 80% of news releases sent to the media don’t get used, primarily because they’re off-target or so poorly written they can’t be used. [Steve Robrahn, Associated Press State Editor for Kentucky]

• States spend millions of dollars each year on remedial writing instruction for employees who cannot communicate even basic information clearly to citizens and co-workers. [http://articles.boston.com/2005-07-04/news/29211803_1_private-sector-report-survey]

• An estimated 71% of college graduates are not sufficiently literate to succeed in the workplace. [http://nces.ed.gov/NAAL/]

The importance of writing skills

There’s expansion and 12% annual job growth in the PR workplace. At the same time, there’s more competition for jobs.
o There are about 6,000 new entry-level PR jobs each year in the U.S.
o There are about 50,000 graduates each year from mass communication/ public relations undergraduate programs – and enrollment is increasing.
o Within six months of graduation, about 60% all PR undergraduates find jobs. But a high percentage of those who can’t find jobs give up on entering the communications/ public relations workplace.

A competitive
workplace
What makes you ‘above average’?


According to research by Daniel Goleman, the top six competencies that distinguish star performers from average ones are:

o Strong achievement drive and high achievement standards
o Ability to influence others
o Conceptual thinking
o Analytical ability
o Initiative in taking on challenges
o Self-confidence


1. Public relations is an exciting and rewarding field.
2. PR is a field based on planning, research, action, and communication. It’s not just “talk.” It’s not about being “a people person.” It’s not exemplified by this person.
3. If you want to have a career in PR, get serious.
4. You need to be an excellent writer.
5. You need to have better skills than most graduates.
6. You need to be prepared for the challenge of finding work.
7. You need to be assertive, but also respect the importance of work-life balance. You need to be very good at what you do, and enjoy doing it, but know when to say “no” to additional work demands.

What does this mean?
Where COMM 362 begins…
Situations
o “What’s going on here?”
o “How can I look at this as an opportunity – not a problem?”
o “How can we use the SWOT analysis as a starting point?”

Organizations
o “Who / what is my client all about?”
o “How can use of organizational framing help me see clearly?”
o “What does the research tell me about what to do first?”


Writing Assignment #1-The memo
o Your first writing work will be a memo.
o Memos explain business situations clearly and simply.
o Memos tell the reader what has to happen now, and why.


Your first assignment:

• The Conference Board Report, as cited in PR Tactics, April 2005.
• The Families and Work Institute, as cited in PR Tactics, May 2005.
• “The Hierarchy of Human Talent,” New York Times, May 13, 2004.
• “A Letter to the Class of 2012,” Council of Public Relations Firms, http://prfirms.org/voice/2012/a-letter-to-the-class-of-2012
• The University of Georgia / Grady College Annual Survey of Mass Communication Graduates, http://www.grady.uga.edu/annualsurveys/


Sources
1. Challenge to be verbs.
2. Use Active voice.
3. Challenge modifiers.
4.Challenge long words.
5. Challenge prepositional phrases.
6. Challenge long sentences.
7. Avoid overused expressions.
8. Avoid placing important words in the middle of a sentence.
9. Keep the focus on the reader.
10. Read your sentences aloud.
10 Tips for Writing Better Sentences
p. 3-5
How do you create your "tools"?
Good Design.
Design can include: typography, visual art, page layout, paper, computer software (e.g. animation software).
Balance
: equalizing the weight on both sides of a centered vertical or horizontal axis.
Movement
: can add excitement to your page by directing the path the eye follows.
Emphasis
: creates a point that acts as a bull's eye or focal point for the viewer.
Contrast
: occurs when two related elements differ. The greater the difference between elements, the greater the contrast.
Proportion
: deals with how one element relates to another in terms of size, weight, shape, color, or location.
Space
: refers to the distance or area between, around, above, below and within shapes and forms.
Unity
: brings order to your design. It makes all elements appear to be working together.
Color
: has three distinct properties (hue, value, and saturation).
Hues: the colors of the spectrum
Value: concerns the light and properties of color (the strongest contrast is black to white)
Saturation: also called intensity, refers to the brightness of a color
Principles of Design
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