Welcome to Public Relations Writing

Note: This is an introductory sample, NOT the actual PR writing
course website, which is at prwriting.columbiacollege.net

By the time this course is over, you will be writing quality press releases on short notice, and you will have developed a portfolio of PR writings
Click on "Assignments" at left to check out the first three weeks' work...
to show prospective employers. You won't have the advantage of my smiling face in the classroom ;-) but we will stay in close touch via email, and we will meet online throughout the semester. This is a genuine "asynchronous distance learning" class – you can do your lessons at a time of your choosing – so long as you meet each week's deadline – and the only time you are required to come into the Marketing Communication Department is to take your final exam (you will be able to pick your own time during the final week.) But you will have opportunities to interact in real time with me and your classmates, in the online Student Conference Area.

Online courses are not easy as you may already know. Writing-intensive courses, especially, make serious demands on the student. In addition,
... and take a look at the line-up of topics in "Lessons".
an online course requires you to take the initiative, to understand the material – you won't be able to benefit from other students who are not afraid to ask the "dumb" question that you didn't want to ask but hoped someone else would. This kind of class is not for everyone, and there is no shame in discovering that an online course is not for you. You can still bail out – check with your academic adviser during the first week of classes, if you want to drop the course without paying a penalty in tuition fees. You can even drop out later in the course without an effect on your GPA.

You should expect to spend at least five hours each lesson on this course -- as much as ten hours a week in the summer, when the 15-week course is compressed to five weeks. That's what in-class students do – they work almost three hours per lesson in the classroom, and then spend time on homework assignments. Don't think you can do this course without investing that kind of time. And for your own peace of mind, don't put it off until the day before it's due.

If you decide to stay with the course, I will be keeping in touch with you via email, encouraging you to keep on schedule.
Click on "Final Portfolio" to see where you're going .
But most of the pushing and prodding is going to have to come from your own self-discipline. Learning to write for public relations is a lot like learning to play the piano – you can't just cram it into a few final laps – you have to develop over time. Because this course delivers much more instruction than entertainment, without my classroom jokes, you are going to have to motivate yourself.

Often students have more than one email address. For this course, your official address will be your Columbia College student address – but for your convenience, I will also send your mail to whatever address you prefer.

All assignments are due by midnight on the date of the deadline. Assignments that are late are given a grade of zero for that lesson.
Click on "Online Study" and "Syllabus" for more info.
Those assignments are still due, because our work involves editing and rewriting, but you will be stuck with a "zero" averaged into your course grade.So don't wait till the last minute. My students say this course is hard at the beginning but gradually gets easier. But it will become a nightmare for you if you skip any part of the lessons – it's easy to keep up, but very difficult to catch up.

Go on to read about Online Study.

Looking forward,

Alton Miller