Public Relations Writing: Lesson #1 - page 2

Here are some unsorted facts that I'd like you to read, absorb, and then write two short pieces.

First, the facts

  • Today's date is January 25, 2017

  • Westland College is a small state college in Central Illinois

  • It's located on the edge of Turtle Bay, Ill., in Persimmon County

  • Recently a factory closed, just outside of Turtle Bay, Ill.

  • Westland Students study liberal arts, mostly

  • The Westland College Student Association is a student organization on campus

  • The factory made marshmallows. Persimmon County was once the "Marshmallow Capital of the Midwest"

  • About 400 workers were laid off when the factory closed

  • They were mostly migrant workers

  • Students in a sociology class discovered that homelessness is a problem in Turtle Bay

  • The number varies, but state welfare statistics show that about 200 families and individuals are living in chronic poverty, with no fixed address, in Persimmon County

  • Students decided to do something about the poverty

  • The sociology students convinced the Student Association to get involved in the problem

  • Poverty figures were generated before the Marshallow Factory lay-offs

  • There's a social service agency in Turtle Bay called the Anodyne Center

  • It's at 450 Eastlake Drive

  • They are hard-pressed to keep up with the social needs

  • The students plan to sponsor free meals for the homeless every Saturday night

  • President of the Student Association is Sue Jennings

  • The Student Association has, as part of its mission statement, "dedicated to connecting Westland College learning to the social needs of Persimmon County"

  • The students will launch a food drive this week, at a news conference

  • They want canned goods and staples dropped off at Building B, Sociology Department, on campus

  • They'll take checks too, for perishable items, made payable to WCSA and mailed to the Westland College Student Association, Westland College, Turtle Bay, IL 60699

  • They plan to host weekly free meals for the homeless, beginning Saturday, Feb. 14 (Valentine's Day)

  • They call their program "From the Heart" (get it?)

  • They'll serve meals every Saturday, 4-7pm, "for as long as people are still going hungry in Turtle Bay"

  • Director of the Anodyne Center is David Jackson

  • Food will be served at the Anodyne Center

  • At the press conference today, Jan. 25, Mayor Jimmy Cline will be on hand

  • He will also be on hand on Feb. 14, and will help serve food, wearing an apron and chef's cap

  • He'll also wear an apron and chef's cap for the press conference announcing the beginning of the food drive

  • The students are thinking there are six other days in the week. If students can take the lead, maybe other civic groups in Turtle Bay can pick up the other six nights of the week.

  • That would be okay with David Jackson. The Anodyne Center is willing to provide meals seven days a week, as long as there are civic groups to do the work

Now, the two short pieces:

    1. You are a member of the faculty at Westland College. The Westland College Student Association has asked you to get other faculty members involved in this project. Write a short letter to be circulated among the faculty at Westland College, explaining what is going on.

    2. Now you're a student at Westland. Write a short letter to a member of your family telling him or her about this new activity at Westland College. Your folks are always saying you should get more involved in social issues. Explain in detail what's going on.

Write and email me these two short samples of your writing as soon as possible this week. You will not be graded for these writings (unless you fail to do the assignment ). Put both short informal exercises in a single email and send to

... again, ALWAYS put "PRW" somewhere in the subject line of every email to me.

In the interest of transparency -- I'm "taking attendance" with this task, and I'm also making sure you are able to do your homework in the required Microsoft Word format, not PDF or other formats. I'm also going to show you how you are more articulate than you think, both in your formal writing and in your information communications.

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