Welcome to Public Relations Writing, Week 12

      This subject this week is planning memos, backgrounders, and other written communications. You will see that PR writers are often called upon to give shape to the entire marketing activity of a client, or a corporation.

      The planning memo is where you can exercise your influence over the entire PR campaign, by taking responsibility for the design of the operation.

      The backgrounder is a form of communication that helps you "steer" the research activities of reporters and editors. When you provide the research, often it will be the only research that is done on a story. That gives you ultimate control of the message in a way that goes beyond what you accomplish in the press release by itself.

      There will be no additional writing assignments for the rest of the course, as you know by now. Now that you know so much more about what is expected in a press release, you will be able to rewrite and perfect the work you have previously done for your assignments. As previously explained, you have two sets of deadlines:

      • Midnight, Sunday, April 29, the end of Week 13, is the date/time by which your assignments must be received if you are to benefit from feedback and edits from your teacher. (Check the assignment for Lesson 11 for details).
      • Noon, Friday, May 11, the day before the end of the semester, is the date/time by which your Final Portfolio is due.
      • Final Exams will be scheduled during that final week of the semester. It's not too soon to starting thinking about when you will come into the department to take your exam. More information is available at the Final Exam link on the navigation bar at left.

      For students in Section 04 of this course: As you know from your syllabus, posted in Oasis, you are working with my co-teacher, Prof. Paul Berner. He will contact you shortly, to give you an email address for your rewrites. Each time you send him your drafts, please send a copy of each rewrite to me as well, for the official course files. Our email system can be problematic, and this will insure that you get credit for your work. Prof. Berner will be editing your work, giving you feedback, and assigning your grade, so be sure to reply when he emails you.

      You should now be thinking about your final portfolio. Fortunately, you have already been working on your final portfolio -- all semester long. It is simply a compilation of the work you've been doing, plus any extra credit work you may want to complete.

      Now, go on to Lesson Twelve.

      Keep up the good work,

      Alton Miller