PR Writing - Lesson Schedule
Lesson One: PR Writing Basics
Journalistic writing and "news style," the 5 W's, the inverted pyramid, identifying the facts of the story... the challenge of writing for "three masters"... the role of PR in today's information marketplace. Assignment: Press release for "Westland" assignment due Tuesday, May 26; feedback/edits returned Wed. May 27
Lesson Two: Writing for Editors
The news angle... the role of the editor... importance of narrative... what do editors look for in a story? the press release and media alert format... The Message Planner: pre-writing, writing, and re-writing. Assignment: Press release & Message Planner for "Evita" due Thursday, May 28; feedback/edits returned Fri. May 29
Lesson Three: Pre-writing and Planning your Message
Exploring the message planner... outlining, clustering, organizing the information... "Why," "How," and the Key Ideas... where do quotes come from? ... Types of lead paragraph: the "delayed lead" ... Assignment: Press release & Message Planner for "Feature" due Sunday, May 31; feedback/edits returned Mon. June 1
Lesson Four: Types of Press Release
Various types of press release, and how they work together ... press campaigns promoting arts and other events... focus on the special requirements of the Product Release. Assignment: Press release & Message Planner for "Natgo" due Wednesday, June 3; feedback/edits returned Thurs., June 4
Lesson Five: Pitching the Story
Memos, pitch letters and confirmation letters... Doing your media personality research... How you might manage to "script" the print or broadcast interview... Personalizing your contact with the media. Assignment: Pitch Letter & Confirmation Letter (with Message Planner) due Sunday, June 7; feedback/edits returned Mon., June 8
Lesson Six: Broadcast Release & PSA
Four principal vehicles for broadcast publicity... differences in writing for the ear vs. the eye... basic principles of writing for the ear, and formats for the broadcast release & PSA. Assignment: PSA & Broadcast Release (with Message Planner) due Wednesday, June 10; feedback/edits returned Thurs., June 11
Students should review past work, and Press Release Checklist, before doing the midterm exercise. This "exercise" will help students do well on the final exam next week.Assignment: Midterm release & Message Planner due Sunday, June 14; feedback/edits returned Mon., June 15
Lesson Eight: Video News Releases and Radio Actualities
VNRs, filmscripts, presentations, visual treatments... how do news outlets use your PR submissions.. new technologies in PR. Pass/Fail Assignment: VNR Script Treatment & Working Script due Tuesday, June 16; feedback/edits returned Wed., June 17.
Lesson Nine: Alternative PR Channels & Techniques
Soft news and buzz... spreading the word through varied channels. Assignment: Westland rewrite due Wed. June 17. also: read assigned online text material and be prepared for quiz/exam testing.
Lesson Ten: Research and Fact-Finding
How public relations professionals are using the Internet... Web-based challenges and opportunities. Writing for Web sites. Assignment: Evita rewrite due Thurs. June 18. also: read assigned online text material and be prepared for quiz/exam testing.
Lesson Eleven: Planning Memos, Backgrounders, & other PR Communications
Public relations writing for internal audiences. Writing backgrounders, position papers and other longer pieces for different publics. Also, discussion of advertising for the PR professional... developing a concept and a visual... stages of creativity. Assignment: Feature rewrite due Fri., June 19. also: read assigned online text material and be prepared for quiz/exam testing.
Lesson Twelve: Speeches and Presentations
Types of speeches... the mechanics of organization... making brief remarks, presentations, formal speeches. Assignment: Natgo rewrite due Sat., June 20. also: read assigned online text material and be prepared for quiz/exam testing.
Lesson Thirteen: PR Writing and the Web
How public relations professionals are using the Internet... Web-based challenges and opportunities. Writing for Web sites. Assignment: Press release for "Westland" assignment due Tuesday, May 26; feedback/edits returned Wed. May 27. also: read assigned online text material and be prepared for quiz/exam testing.
Lesson Fourteen: Public Relations Campaign Design
Developing the outline of a PR campaign and communicating your ideas to different publics... different types of media kit. Assignment: Optional rewrites. also: read assigned online text material and be prepared for quiz/exam testing.
Lesson Fifteen: Final Exam - June 27
Multiple choice test based on readings and a writing exercise. Online students will be allowed three hours to complete a timed exam, Saturday or Sunday morning, as you prefer. Assignment: no later than midnight Saturday, June 27, email final portfolio documents.