Public Relations Writing:
Assignment for From the Heart

You are WCSA's Communications Director, and you are doing PR for the student association. You have already written your press release announcing the food drive -- the first assignment of this course. Now you're going to create both a 30-second PSA and a broadcast release, to add on-air publicity to your print stories. Be mindful of a stale date -- of at least one week (timed for broadcast Jan. 14 - Jan. 21). The filename should be "PRW-yourname-PSA" ... . Make sure you have read the "Takeaways" page (including all links) before you begin this assignment.

Here are the facts.

  • Today's date is January 2, 2017

  • (You'll see why in a minute)

  • 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"

  • 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 ("households") are living in chronic poverty, with no fixed address, in Persimmon County

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

  • About 400 workers were laid off when the factory closed

  • They were mostly migrant workers

  • Students decided to do something about the poverty

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

  • 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 on January 14, 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 on Jan. 14, 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