It's a Social Media World

A Discussion on Digital Media & Communication Trends


August 21 -50 Pts

Lab: Twitter & blogging setup

For this lab you will create your Twitter & WordPress blog accounts. Please follow the directions under each section. To turn in your Twitter assignment you will introduce yourself to the class & Twitter by tweeting using #PRStrategy. To turn in your blog set up assignment, tweet a link to your blog using #PRStrategy.

  • Twitter -Using an in class presentation we will walk through how to set up your Twitter accounts. Follow @kbconway1 and check out the list “Digital Media & PR Must Follows.” These are good accounts to follow for PR and social media conversation.
  • To learn more about creating a WordPress Blog click here and follow steps 1 & 2

September 4– 50 Points

Lab: Traditional Versus Digital PR Basics – key messaging & press release writing techniques

In this lab students will be required to write a traditional press release regarding their chosen business scenario using the PR template below. Prior to starting their press release, they are required to find a current press release from their chosen organization to use as a model. Once the traditional press release is completed, they will need to update their press release using digital media techniques such as links, photographs, YouTube and other relevant digital media information. At the end of the assignment they will turn in 3 press releases:

  1. Sample press release from their organization
  2. Traditional release
  3. Digital media release

The key is to make sure the release is timely, integrated with their topic and able to connect to their chosen business’s digital presence.

Traditional Press Release Template

Digital Media Press Release Template

Press Release Grading Rubric

September 11 – 50 Points

Lab: The Art of Story Telling – creating digital media narratives

Creating captivating and succinct narratives are a difficult, but  necessary part of public relations. They add to an organizations positive media presence while simultaneously providing channels for communication with multiple stakeholder groups. In this lab you will create a 1 minute narrative using your integrated project scenario by crafting a script and executing the final product in a digital media format. Students will submit a copy of their script, a completed digital media narrative project and a 1 paragraph reflection discussing why they choose to use the specific digital medium to convey message. All materials should be uploaded to the students blog, under their lab section and then emailed to me prior to the next class at 6:00 PM . Your narrative will be graded based on the following guidelines:

  1. Define a clear purpose
  2. Tell a story with a beginning, a middle and an end
  3. Use available media and images from the organization you have chosen combined with information you have designed yourself. Example: Taking a photo of your own iphone to be used in a story about Apple
  4. Use a digital media platform for the final presentation
  5. Conclude with some type of call to action. What do you want the audience to do?


September 18 – 50 pts

Lab: Integration is Key – how to build comprehensive marketing & communication plan

This lab marks the beginning of your final projects. We will introduce and discuss the main communication template pieces. Students will partner with their writing partners and discuss each individual component of the plan and how they thing they might address it. Finally, a group brainstorming session will occur to help students develop tactics in order to create an integrated communication plan for their project scenario.


Integrated Communication Plan Template

September 25 – 50 pts

Lab: Take Out Your Measuring Sticks – why PR ROI is not an exact science

There is both a quantitative and qualitative aspect to public relations. In this lab students will explore both aspects of PR measurement and develop a theoretical scorecard for their integrated project scenario.

Step 1: Understanding ad space and dollar measurement. Using the template below provide an example from the organization that you are studying and calculate the dollars associated with the placement. Post the example to the labs page of your blog.

Step 2: As a class we will review the selected PR scorecard model. To receive credit for the lab you must complete the following items and turn in a theoretical scorecard for your integrated project scenario.

  • Publication Tier Ranking
  1. Research find and save 10 articles regarding your chosen topic from current and relevant publications
  2. Determine the tier ranking for these publications based on your opinion about how important they are for the stakeholder you identified in the integrated communication plan lab
  3. Create a list of each publication and the ranking you have assigned it on the publication list of the scorecard template
  4. Record all 10 articles on the article list section of the spreadsheet
  5. The list must contain a minimum of 10 different articles and publications
  • Next rank each story that you found based on its frame, depth and tone as seen in the sample scorecard. To calculate each categories average use the following formula.

Qualitative Category Score      X      Number of articles in X year         =        Weighted Total

Sum all Weighted Totals / Total number of articles for the year          =           Category Average for Year

To get the total average qualitative score add all the average scores together and divide by 4 (is the number of categories)

  • Research the total number of monthly impressions for each publication to determine the impressions numbers for your 10 articles
  • Mark which publications are national versus local
  • Finally, mark and count key personnel whose quotes or interviews were used in the articles

To complete the assignment post your cost analysis an mock scorecard along with links to your 10 articles on the lab page of your blog


Ad Cost Analysis Template

Quantitative & Qualitative PR Scorecard Template

This lab is due by 6:00 PM on Oct. 9.

October 2 – No Class & No Lab

October 9 – 50 pts

Lab: Global Communication Pitfalls – What happens when your communication needs to go global

The Spanish population is growing in the United States. Do you have a Spanish speaking strategy?

For this lab we will meet at La Paz in the Metropolitan Shopping center. You are welcome to order dinner if you would like. During dinner we will discuss what components are necessary to create a global plan. We will identify 5 key areas during class. These areas will be our “pitfalls to avoid.” Using these 5 key areas you will write a business memo outlining what you are suggesting to your boss in order to avoid these pitfalls for your integrated communication scenario.

Post the completed memo to your blog under lab and assignments before 6:00 PM on Oct. 16.

Basic Word Memo Template

5 Pitfalls to Avoid

  1. Not researching a culture’s (& subculture’s) practices and norms
  2. Don’t assume that the same marketing channels impact an international audience
  3. Translation is important – watch your ps & q
  4. Understand the differences between markets and regions – don’t assume they are all the same for the culture
  5. Don’t turn a blind eye to how the competition is marketing that culture

October 16 – 50 pts.

Lab: When Consumers Attack – How to track and respond to online social media complaints

Using information from today’s reading develop a social media response to consumer complaints.

Step 1: Visit your chosen businesses FB page. Choose a consumer post and critique how they did (or did not) respond.Be sure to include screen grabs.

Step 2: Using your integrated business scenario write a potential consumer post that could appear on FB. Be creative. Make up something you think a consumer would say. Then using tips from the reading craft the perfect response.

Post the completed assignment on your lab page by 6:00 PM before Oct. 23 and be prepared to present your “consumers attack” lab at the beginning of class. Also due is a one paragraph written statement for our lab on Oct. 23. You will need to be prepared to present this in front in front of the class.

October 23 – Lights… Camera… Media Training

For this lab you will prepare a 1 paragraph written statement that serves as your media announcement. You will then learn the art of speaking in front of a camera and to the media.

October 30

Lab: Press Conference 101

Step 1: Create Key Talking Points for your individual scenario: 30 Minutes

Step 2: As a group, choose the scenario and talking points you would like to work with

Step 3: Assign roles

  • 1 Communications Director and 1 VP – this person defines the goals for the team, aiding with task completion and makes all final decisions
  • 3 Speechwriters – this person is responsible for taking the key talking points and crafting a speech as well as potential reporter questions
  • 2 Spokespeople – this person is responsible for delivering the speech as well as answering questions from reporters
  • 3 Audio Video Personnel – this person is responsible for video taping the conference and ensuring any and all visuals/computers are working
  • 3 Communications Coordinator/Greeter – this person is responsible for setting up the conference room area and creating the visuals to be used
  • 5 Reporters – this role involves researching the issue and developing 5 key questions a piece for stories that you are writing

Step 4: Role execution: 30 minutes

Step 5: Press Conference implementation: 15 minutes

 November 6 – Lab Only – No Reading  – 50 Pts

Lab: Election Night w/ Poli Sci

Roles: 2 videographers, 2 Reporters, 3 researchers, 2 web content creators, 3 writers, 1 editor, 1 producer

Poll Information:

Exit poll survey-updated 10-29

Exit poll – letter of introduction

Exit poll – student information-updated

Research:  Are exit polls reliable? Forbes, Karlyn Bowman, 11/03/08 Roper Center teaching tools


20 questions from reporters

1 interview package from producer and videographers

25 internet posts for FB and Twitter from web team

3 research summaries from research team

2 scripts from writers – 1 used in the interview package

November 13 – 50 Pts

Lab: Crisis Communication Simulation

BibityBop is a new form of candy created by parent company POP candy. Similar to pop rocks, BibityBop is being eaten up by middle school and high school students.

At Lake Shore Middle in, Charlotte, NC, kids started getting extremely sick. One starts bleeding internally, and is rushed to the hospital.

The incident is traced to BibityBop candy and kids, parents and teachers start making the allegation that it is laced with arsenic and glass.

BibityBop receive a call from the press detailing these allegations and they call you requesting that you serve as their crisis communication firm.

How would you handle the situation? What is your integrated game plan?

1: Identify your roles:

  • 1 Director of Communication – this person makes all of the final decisions
  • 4 Speech/Communication Writing Team – this person writes the communication
  • 4 Press Team & Spokesperson
  • 4 Social Media Monitor
  • 4 Internal Communication

2. Determine how to handle incoming information

3. Formulate Your Plan

  • Hints:
    • What is the theoretical approach you will use to handle this crisis
    • What is your key statement
    • What are your tactics?
    • Divide and conquer
    • Respond

November 27 – 50 Pts

Lab: Review integrated communication plan in writing groups & with professor

December 4 – Lab Only – No Reading – 50 pts

Lab: Curtain Call – Presenting your integrated plan

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