Tentative Class and Assignment Schedule:


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Tentative Class and Assignment Schedule:

  1. 1. J560 Media Relations and Why: Every organization—big or small, for- Crisis Communications profit or nonprofit, religious or secular, private or public—must learn how to Spring 2009 - Section 15365 communicate effectively with diverse publics to thrive. In public relations we study how to Instructor: Beth Wood communicate with an organization’s key 812/856-1088 publics to advance the organization’s mission and goals. Media relations meewood@indiana.edu comprises a big portion of that communications task. In good times and in Class meets: 11:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m. crisis, public relations practitioners help Mondays and Wednesdays organizations tell their stories. To be Ernie Pyle Hall - Room 207 successful in communicating an organization’s messages clearly, Office Hours: Before or after any class practitioners must understand how the or by appointment media work, what roles they play in society, and how they define “news.” Course description: Managing communications effectively in a Who: This course is for graduate students crisis can make or break an organization’s from any discipline who reputation. Crisis communication is conducted in the larger context of crisis 1) wish to learn how to work effectively with management. Public relations practitioners the media to communicate an organization’s must learn how to coordinate with others in message to multiple audiences; the organization to communicate with 2) plan to manage organizations one day several publics—not just the media. Yet, the and need to communicate complex issues media are important conduits for to multiple audiences, including the media; disseminating information. Public relations 3) plan to manage or supervise the professionals are in the best position to communications function one day for counsel their organizations about how to organizations. communicate with media and other key publics. This course will examine practices What: This course will cover practical and policies that can help an organization approaches to managing both media maintain its credibility with the media and relations and crisis communications in an with other key publics in a crisis. organization. Special emphasis will be given to the strategic thinking necessary for How: The class will use a combination of effective communications and to the ethics case studies, service learning, class required for responsible advocacy. discussions, problem solving exercises, media training, and site visits to learn how Where: Most classes will be conducted in organizations work effectively with the Ernie Pyle Hall--Room 207, but there will be media in good times and in crisis. field trips to visit media relations and public relations operations in the vicinity to allow So What? Students who complete the students to see how the principles learned course should be able to work with the in the course are applied in different media without fear and with an ability to settings. communicate strategic messages clearly. Students will understand how the media When: Mondays and Wednesdays from work and what they need for their readers, 11:15 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. viewers, or listeners. Students will learn how
  2. 2. to identify potential crises, prepare for them, and communicate about them with an •Study how different types of organizations organization’s key publics, including the have handled crisis communications and media. Through media training, students will learn from their wise and foolish choices. learn the basics of how to be or to prepare an organization’s spokesperson. •Understand what kinds of information an organization’s diverse publics want in a Course Objectives: Media Relations crisis; learn when and how best to provide publics with what they need. •Understand the roles of media in a democratic society and what the media •Experience developing and implementing a expect/need from news sources crisis communications plan with a team •Appreciate the pressures and constraints •Experience the complexities of either today’s reporters and editors face in acting as an organization’s spokesperson or covering the news preparing someone else to be a spokesperson for crisis situations. •Learn how to build trusting relationships with the media Texts and Required Reading: •Gain an understanding of what constitutes The Confessions of an Ink-Stained Wretch: news An Insider’s Secrets to Getting Press, by John Persinos, Larstan Publishing, Inc., •Learn how to develop and deliver an 2006. organization’s strategic messages to the media On Deadline: Managing Media Relations, 4th Edition, by Carole M. Howard and Wilma K. • Prepare to use a range of channels in Matthews, Waveland Press, Inc., 2006. addition to the traditional media for communicating the organization’s Public Relations Practices: Managerial messages Case Studies and Problems, 7th Edition, by Allen H. Center et al., Pearson Education, •Know how to make a case to an Inc., 2008. organization’s decision makers on the value and necessity for opening lines of A daily news source (a major daily communications with the media newspaper, NPR morning/evening news, national cable or network news program or -Learn the ethics that govern responsible the program’s news website) advocacy for public relations professionals. Local news in the Bloomington Herald- Course Objectives: Crisis Times and other local media as assigned. Communications Handouts and assigned reserve reading. •Develop sound strategic thinking that will help an organization identify potential crises Recommended Reading: and prepare for them The New Rules of Marketing & PR, by •Learn how to work with an organization’s David Meerman Scott, John Wiley & Sons, crisis management team to advocate for Inc., 2007. forthright, honest communications with all key publics, including the media Grading:
  3. 3. Get acquainted. Determine class Final grades will be determined by: experience, abilities, and interests. Course In-class exercises, individual writing overview. How does media relations fit into assignments 40% public relations? What does crisis Group assignment 20% communications entail? Class participation 40% Total 100% Role of media in society. How do the media work? What do they value? What power do Tentative Class and Assignment they have that affects organizations? Schedule: Due: Student information sheet, to be completed in class. This schedule and the assignments listed Read: On Deadline, Chapter 1; Public are subject to changes throughout the Relations Practices, Preface, Chapters 1 semester. This syllabus is just a guide. and 2; Confessions, Foreword and Chapter Expect changes as the semester 1 progresses. Any changes will be announced in class. You will be Week 2: (Jan. 19 and 21 responsible for knowing about and abiding NO CLASS Jan. 19—National holiday by announced changes in the schedule or What’s news? Why should anyone care assignments. about what you or your organization? What do reporters and editors care about? Field Trips—Dates and places TBD: How can you build credible, trusting The field trips we take will depend upon the relationships with the media? interests of the class. The point of making Read: Confessions, Chapter 2; On trips is to find out how different types of Deadline, Chapters 3 and 5; Public organizations handle media relations and Relations Practices, Chapter 7 crisis communications. Assignments: Week 3: (Jan. 26 and 28) Industry trends affecting media and public Most assignments in this class will be done relations. Who are today’s media and which individually. One or two may be done in ones should you tap into? groups. You’ll notice that participation is Guest speaker: TBA 40% of your grade. That means that you Read: On Deadline, Chapter 9; will be expected to participate actively in Confessions, Chapters 7 and 9 class discussions. Written assignments may include writing a news release, short in-class papers to Week 4: (Feb. 2 and 4) address specific issues raised by the Consider the source—what’s at stake for readings, a media plan (a group project) for the organization and the media relations a local agency, a standby statement with Q professional? What does a media relations and A for a crisis situation, and a crisis plan professional need to do the job right? for a group or organization identified by the Ethics guiding public relations and media class. If class members can find 2 ½ hours professionals. of uninterrupted time that works for Guest speaker: Bruce Hetrick, Hetrick everyone, they will participate in a media Communications Inc. Feb. 4 spokesperson training session with a Read: On Deadline, Chapters 7and 12; corporate counsel and media trainer. PRSA Code of Ethics; Public Relations Practices, Chapter 10 Media Relations: Week 5: (Feb. 9 and 11) Week 1: (Jan. 12 and 14)
  4. 4. Analysis of a government agency to Stories from the front. Possible guest determine how best to establish the media speakers from organizations with high- function within the organization. Will involve profile crises who will discuss how they off-site field trip. handled or mishandled them. FIELD TRIP, Feb. 11: Meet at Bloomington Guest speaker: Robert Gildea, Vice Housing Authority, 1007 N.Summit, President, Sease Gerig & Associates Bloomington. Read: Public Relations Practices, Chapters Read: On Deadline, Chapter 2; 5 and 6 Confessions, Chapters 3, 4, 7; Week 12: (March 30 and April 1) Week 6: (Feb. 16 and 18) Trying to win public support--either to head How to establish an effective media off or to ameliorate a crisis. relations function for your organization. Read: Public Relations Practices, Chapter How to build a media strategy for your 8; Confessions, Chapter 8 organization. How to establish a media function within your organization. How can you cope with the 24/7 news cycle and the effects of new technology? Nuts and bolts, tools and tactics for media Week 13: (April 6 and 8) relations. Crafting the message. Preparing a crisis plan. How to work with others in the organization to get the job Week 7: (Feb. 23 and 25) done. Working on a real plan. Read: all handouts related to agency, Week 14: (April 13 and 15) agency’s website, and all pertinent materials Constructing a standby statement and Q in texts; On Deadline, Chapter 11 and A for a specific fact situation. Spokesperson training. Week 8: (March 2 and 4) Prepare a media policy and plan for the government agency. Make writing Week 15: (April 20 and 22) assignments for J349 Public Relations TBD Writing class to execute. FIELD TRIP, March 4: Class returns to Week 16: (April 27 and 29) Bloomington Housing Authority to present TBD media policy. Course Policies Crisis Communications: You are always welcome to arrange a time to see me that works with your schedule. If Week 9: (March 9 and 11) you would like to talk with me about this Defining crisis. Identifying key publics that course, the public relations profession, your need information in a crisis; in-class course plan, or anything else, I encourage problem analysis. you to call or send me an e-mail. Let’s set Guest speaker: TBD up a time to talk. Read: Public Relations Practices, Chapters 3, 4, 9; On Deadline, Chapter 6; The success of this course and its usefulness to you depend in large part upon Week 10: (March 16 and 18) your active participation. When you’re in NO CLASSES…spring break this class, imagine that you are a public relations executive who is responsible for Week 11: (March 23 and 25) building and protecting the reputation of an organization, idea, company, or person you
  5. 5. admire. Think about what questions you will be factored into your class participation have as you represent that client. Ask grade. Promptness is expected, too. questions, be willing to wade into gray Assignments cannot be made up without a areas, think out loud on tough issues, and written excuse that can be verified. If you figure out how the readings apply to the real know you will be absent for any reason, let world. me know and be prepared to show me evidence of the reason for the absence. If You are preparing to enter the professional transportation is a problem for you when we world, so I expect you to conduct yourself make off-campus trips, let me know and I as a professional. This is the time to exhibit will arrange or provide a ride for you. good work habits. What are good work habits for a student? Here are a few: Be aware of the University’s policy that the coming to class, being prompt, meeting grade “FN” can be given for students who deadlines, paying attention in class, simply quit attending classes without participating actively in class discussions, withdrawing. You can receive an “FN” even having your assignments printed, stapled, if you have completed some of your class and ready to submit at the beginning of assignments class on the date due, reading the assigned materials, being courteous to classmates, PR is a copy-quality business. Accuracy, carrying your share of the load in group spelling, grammar, and overall presentation projects, giving your full attention to guest will be evaluated as a part of your grade. speakers, doing more than the minimum for Proofread assignments carefully. Do not class assignments, and working for the rely on “spell check.” Make sure you are grade you think you deserve. turning in your best work with each assignment—no rough drafts. Deadlines are important in public relations. All due dates for assignments, once set, are No cell phone interruptions in class. If you final. Late assignments will be penalized. If bring a phone, be sure it is turned off. you are late with an assignment I reserve the right to give you a lower grade for it or to Guest speakers will join us throughout the refuse to accept it. As you prepare your semester to relate career experiences, assignments, anticipate such difficulties as conduct specific training, and share computer problems, faulty disks, etc. when professional tips and insights. Some of preparing your assignments. The day an these discussions will be in the classroom assignment is due you should be prepared and some will be at the speakers’ offices. to hand it in at the beginning of that class. Your active participation in classes with Have the assignment organized, printed, guest speakers is important and will be part and stapled or bound. It is unprofessional to of your class participation grade. submit an unfinished product on the due Remember that guest speakers are all date or to ask for an extension because you potential employers. Also understand that had “technical difficulties.” Excuses many of them give up billable time to take translate into loss of reputation and the trip to Bloomington to appear before business in the profession. you. Attendance is expected. I will take No cheating. No plagiarism. Period. attendance at each class. Your presence “Plagiarism is making use of words, ideas, and active participation in the class are or any information from a source other than important. Your ability to work effectively your own knowledge and experience with your group, to understand the material, without giving proper credit to the source. and to help your client depends upon your Not giving credit to such borrowed material showing up. If you do not attend class, that
  6. 6. is plagiarism. Examples of actions that Principles of Public Relations—J321 and constitute plagiarism are: J560 ●Downloading a paper from the Web, Reporting, Writing, and Editing I whether from a Web page or a paper Advertising Issues and Research writing service. Public Relations Writing—J349 and J560 ●Copying and pasting phrases, sentences, Public Relations Campaigns—J429 and or paragraphs from someone else’s work J529 without showing the material as quoted and Public Relations for Nonprofits without proper citation. Career Planning and Preparation ●Paraphrasing or summarizing someone else’s words or ideas without proper Past Academic Positions citation. Adjunct instructor, Indiana University School ●Using a graph, table, picture, or design of Journalism, Indianapolis, 1981-85. from a source without proper citation. ●Getting someone else to write a paper for Professional Positions you. Marketing Director, Barnes & Thornburg, 1996-2002; Congressional campaign A good rule of thumb is that if the advisor, 1995-96; Director of Practice information came from outside your own Development and family law practitioner; head, cite the source. That’s true whether Krieg DeVault Alexander & Capehart, you received the information from an 1988-1995; Corporate Communications interview, the Web, a journal article, or a Associate, Eli Lilly and Company, book.“ 1982-1988; Senior Staff Attorney, Legislative Services Agency, 1979-1982; --Source: Harris, Robert. A., Using Sources Corrections Director, Indiana Lawyers Effectively: Strengthening Your Writing and Commission, 1975-1979; Assistant Director Avoiding Plagiarism, Second Edition, of Public Information, Indiana Department of Pyrczak Publishing, 2005,pp.13-16. Corrections, 1973-75. Columnist and contributing editor for Indianapolis Weekly All work must be your own or that of the Update, Indianapolis Magazine, and members of your group for the final group Indianapolis Woman, 1984-1990. project. Public relations is all about integrity Contributor, BLOOM magazine, 2007. and your reputation. You cannot afford to take unethical shortcuts here or in the practice. Any form of academic dishonesty in this class will result in an F either for the assignment or the course, depending on the severity of the misconduct. If one person plagiarizes on the group project, it will affect the grade of everyone in that group. Instructor’s Credentials--Beth Wood Education J.D., 1977, Indiana University School of Law B. A., Journalism and French, Indiana University, 1973 Courses Taught: Indiana University School of Journalism Communications Law