The Workshop Book


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This is the communication campaign plan for The Investigative Reporting Workshop that I've developed as part of my Public Relations Case Studies class.

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The Workshop Book

  3. 3. S ATION ANA YSIS 2
  4. 4. WHAT IS INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING? definition: Investigative journalism is a form of journalism in which reporters deeply investigate a single topic of interest often involving crime, political corruption or a scandal. An investigative journalist may spend months or years researching and preparing a report, which often takes the form of expose. Most investigative journalism is done by newspapers, wire services and freelance journalists. 3
  5. 5. THE IMPORTANCE OF INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING “Investigative journalism benefits society by serving as a watchdog on the activities of powerful public and private institutions that shape our lives. In other words, the need for investigative reporting remains even though the capacity for performing this vital task seems to be diminishing” - Larry Kirkman and Charles Lewis Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein work with the Washington Post on the Watergate Scandal. Gene Roberts, former executive editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer and former managing editor of The New York Times, has called their work, “maybe the greatest reporting effort of all time.” 4
  6. 6. IS THERE A FUTURE FOR INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM? What is the industry saying about its dying art? “If the leading newspapers lose their “Most journalists lack a systematic knowledge capacity to report and conduct inquires, the of the fields they investigate. Most American public will become even more newsrooms do not have the resources to susceptible to the manipulations and hire reporters who do have expertise in the deceptions of those in power.” beats they cover or to provide the time for an -Michael Massing investigative reporter to do the work.” New York Review of ZBooks -Brant Houston Executive director of Investigative Reporters “The Internet can transmit news faster and Editors Inc. than any newspaper ever could. But with fewer experienced journalists supplying “There will always be a group of people a strong reporting across a range of subjects, band of brothers, a band of sisters, a band of the quality of news may decline unless old brothers and sisters working to get to the under values of fairness, accuracy and enterprise layer of what is going on and they will find a survive into the next generation.” away to publish or broadcast or convey what -The Newseum they believe the truth to be.” Washington DC - Bob Woodward 5
  7. 7. A NEW LANDSCAPE Political journalism Non-profit online organization covering investigative journalism Congress, Washington lobbying, and the organization covering Presidency. public issues in Washington D.C. “The nation’s oldest Project that is addressing nonprofit investigative the lack of investigative news organization.” journalism in American media. Non-profit online Privately and publicly news organization funded non-profit covering Texas national media state government organization. and public policy 6
  8. 8. WHO WE ARE THE INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING WORKSHOP A project of the School of Communication at American University, addressing the void in America’s investigative journalism. -By conducting significant investigative journalism projects on a national and international scale. -By researching and experimenting with new models for creating and delivering investigative projects. 7
  9. 9. SUGGESTED RESEARCH Potential Funding Best ways to increase donation Possibilities of payment for use of the articles from the website Target Audience Surveys on topics for new articles and format Demographic research on readership Potential journalism students New Media and Resources Similar access to JSTOR etc. Effectiveness of Facebook/Twitter pages in the non-profit sector 8
  10. 10. OBJ I ES 9
  11. 11. WHERE WE ARE GOING Based on our research of investigative journalism and the strategic plan for AU, we have developed three main objectives that we wish to accomplish through our plan. 1. Strengthen the relationship between AU, SOC, and the Workshop We feel that all three institutions share similar goals and that they can help one another achieve these goals. 2. Build awareness about the Workshop This is crucial to bringing in more donors and partnerships for stories. 3. Increase the quality and quantity of investigative reporting of journalism students Investigative journalism is a skill that needs to be learned and what better place for a student to learn this skill than through a working investigative reporting organization. The Workshop can provide a hands-on learning experience for students and become known as the learning center for investigative reporting. 10
  12. 12. S RA EGYY 11
  13. 13. GETTING OUR MESSAGE OUT THE TARGET AUDIENCE There is a need in the media to build the future of investigative reporting. In order to do this, our focus is on groups that are the future of the industry tomorrow and the people helping them get there today. Students Interested in Studying Investigative Reporting Secondary Primary This target includes both High School and College students who are media savvy and looking for a future in journalism. The key is to reach out to people with an interest in the field and teaching them investigative research. Potential Donors Media Outlets An increase in funding for research Reaching out for mutually beneficial partnerships that provides The Workshop with the ability to expose The Workshop and its investigations to mainstream audiences. This will also provide a multifaceted expand resources for further investigations educational experience to students participating in The and educational opportunities. Workshop. 12
  14. 14. PREPARING INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING FOR TOMORROW Not just anyone can be an investigative reporter. This type of journalism is a skill that, with the proper training, can become a powerful platform. With the journalism profession being called into question, now is the time to take an active step in investing in the future of investigative reporting by providing young people with a place to learn and experiment with reporting. The Investigative Reporting Workshops is this place. Our strategy is to make The American University Investigative Reporting Workshop the hub for learning the art of investigative reporting. 13
  15. 15. WHY AMERICAN UNIVERSITY? POSITIONING THE WORKSHOP FOR THE FUTURE There are two key themes that set this program apart from other journalism schools. These are the selling points for The Workshop that correlate with the AU Strategic Plan : TWO KEY THEMES Using the The Workshop’s Use of Online, multimedia non-profit business model training and the and connect it to advancement of new media Washington DC 14
  16. 16. ONE COMMON GOAL AU AND THE WORKSHOP: A STRATEGIC APPROACH In 2009, American University formulated a new Strategic Plan to further advance the quality of the university for the future. In building the relationship between AU and The Workshop, this plan and The Workshop’s objectives can work in unison to best serve AU students. The Workshop will create a distinguishing factor for undergraduate and graduate programs by encompassing three main commitments. The University distinguishes itself through a broad array of undergraduate and graduate programs that stem from these primary commitments: • Interactive teaching providing personalized educational experiences for students in and out of the classroom • Research and creative endeavors consistent with its distinctive mission, generating new knowledge to society • Practical application of knowledge through experiential learning, taking full advantage of the resources of the Washington, D.C, metropolitan area. - AU Strategic Plan The increase of personalized teaching and experiential education are prevalent themes through the plan. Piggy-backing off of these themes, our strategy is to tie The Workshop into the forefront of American University’s future by using it as a tool to promote the university by creating a strong center for investigative reporting. “Recognized for its emphasis on personalized teaching and experiential education, the university provides for the direct involvement of faculty and students in the institutions and culture of the most important capital city in the world “ - AU Strategic Plan 15
  17. 17. TRANSFORMING THE FUTURE The AU strategic plan outlines 10 transformational goals. Of these, three directly apply to the intent of The Workshop outlined in its proposal to the School of Communication presented by Distinguished Journalist Charles Lewis and Dean Larry Kirkman. The Workshop is being used as a tool to complete these goals while positioning itself as a non-profit institution committed to teaching how to use new media. Provide an Unsurpassed How The Workshop Applies Undergraduate Education and To This Goal Experience "Assure that strong, public-service oriented “Our students will enhance their broad education in the arts and sciences and their expertise in major and investigative reporting not only survives, but minor fields through community-based learning and thrives." - The Workshop’s Proposal to SOC research, professional study and experience, access to the world’s premier institutions, and Our objectives of increasing the quality and opportunities to participate in knowledge creation.” quantity of investigative reporters contributes to knowledge creation not only for the students, Action Steps to complete this Goal: Support action research, community-based studies, and innovative but also to the media and those affected by the offerings in undergraduate courses articles. Measures of Completion: Percentage of students By providing classes specifically teaching the participating in internships and related forms of tools of investigative reporting, The Workshop learning. Current performance 80% of graduating is providing the university with a means to seniors Two-year target: Increase percentage provide community-based studies. 16
  18. 18. TRANSFORMING THE FUTURE Engage the Great Ideas and Issues How The Workshop Applies of Our Time through Research, To This Goal Centers and Institutes “Support academic research in the area of investigative journalism, with a particular “As we attract external funding for research, nurture focus on the role of nonprofit institutions.” our faculty’s professional growth, and maximize our potential through interdisciplinary work.” - The Workshop’s Proposal to SOC As The Workshop builds its foundation as Action Steps to complete the goal: Increase incentives the hub for learning investigative for principal investigators, including new policies on return of indirect funds, Increase promotional reporting, the work of students will be activities focused on research, professional showcased as promotional tools for contributions, and creative activity potential donors. Measures of completion: Sponsored activity: Current Investigative reporting can be considered performance: 220 proposals submitted by faculty; 110 a type of research. By publishing students hold active wards; total dollar volume of awards articles, we are promoting The received, $20.7 million University’s creation of communication research. 17
  19. 19. TRANSFORMING THE FUTURE Win Recognition and Distinction How The Workshop Applies “Our profile will rise as we tell the story of American To This Goal University to the world. The prominence of the "The Workshop will provide students with professional leadership roles assumed by faculty exciting new learning opportunities and and staff will highlight the caliber of the institution. faculty with important teaching and Benefiting from strategic and integrated marketing, scholarship vehicles. We expect it to be a American University will build strength, boost magnet for some of the best investigative pride, and be recognized as one of America’s best universities.” journalists in the world… Although other universities have created similar programs, Action steps to Complete this goal: Develop brand none of them has a significant base in campaign to improve awareness, perception, Washington, DC And none has the built-in and pride among target audiences advantages of the American University Increase the visibility of AU and its faculty in School of Communication" local and national media and across print, broadcast, and digital media outlets. - The Workshop’s Proposal to SOC Measures of completion: Total annual media This is the connection between AU and The placement and percentage of faculty experts Current Workshop, AU will position itself as one of performance: Total annual placement, three-year America’s premiere communication schools average, 14,000; share of placement citing faculty because it offers unique professional training experts 23% Two year target: 10% increase in total placement s , 10% increase in share of total citing with an increasing number of published faculty experts. investigations by The Workshop. 18
  20. 20. ENABLING THE TRANSFORMATION To secure effective implementation of transformational goals, the university plan outlines six enabling goals. Positioning The Workshop at the forefront of new media teaching how to use technology in investigative reporting correlates to two of these enabling goals. Employ Technology to Empower Excellence Enhance the University Library and Research Infrastructure “We will build and strengthen a robust, reliable, and secure framework of information and communication “The library’s strengthened collection will buttress the technology to support our activities as a world-class specific research and teaching goals of faculty, while its university. By investing in state-of-the-art technology improved facilities emerge as a dynamic learning hub” and planning for the future, the university will exploit technology to … and empower users in physical and Action Steps for completion: Invest in additional virtual space” electronic databases and publication. Acting as a research program, The Workshop can expand its Objectives: Provide a modern technology platform to functions to create an electronic database for support the teaching, learning and research investigative reporting. requirements of our faculty and students Measures: Direct investment to databases/publications Action Steps for completion: “Leverage existing access as informed by database usage statistics. investment in Web 2.0, content management, and Current performance: Access to 27,000 electronic planned digital asset management systems” The journals and 1,650 print titles; 6% of print collection used University is ready to invest in technology for the future. in 2008; more than 1 million articles accessed online By placing The Workshop within the strategic plan, they 2008. By moving toward creating a electronic database can benefit from any and all new technology that will function, The Workshop will be able to capitalize on the help build the reputation of the program while giving investment in database collection. Students of The students the opportunity to experiment with new media. Workshop will also be able to obtain greater information from the library for research purposes. 19
  21. 21. AC CS 20
  22. 22. STRENGTHEN THE RELATIONSHIP Between AU, SOC and The Workshop Using our positioning strategy and connection to The University strategic plan, specific tools can be implemented to make The Workshop a hub for investigative reporting. Library database According to the American University Strategic Plan, the university wants to enhance the Library and Research infrastructure by investing in additional electronic databases. The Workshop will work with the American University Library System in order to launch an electronic database of articles written by the Workshop that students would be able to use for research on papers and for general interest information. Following the launch, pieces completed by the Workshop will be added. New Student Orientation and Prospective Student Day tabling During New Student Orientation and Prospective Student Days, new and prospective students and their families will be informed about the Workshop. Information will also be provided about student opportunities within the Workshop and how students will be able to get involved. Students will also be informed about the importance of investigative reporting, as well as the importance of The Workshop’s investigations to the outside world. 21
  23. 23. STRENGTHEN THE RELATIONSHIP Between AU, SOC and The Workshop Spot on website In order to capitalize fully on the relationship between American University and the Investigative Reporting Workshop, the Workshop needs to integrate itself into certain parts of American University. By including a link for the Workshop on the main page of the SOC website, the Workshop gains greater exposure to the SOC potential students and student body. People will click on the link to find out more information, as well as to use the Workshop as a resource. Pamphlets in guidance counselors (high school and college) offices, and AU Welcome Center Investigative Reporting Class Pamphlets about The Workshop, its work, and student involvement will be available at these SOC will launch an locations to foster awareness and involvement Investigative Reporting about The Workshop and its projects. class that teaches the process and purpose of Investigative Reporting. SOC Ambassadors The class would include a few guest speakers SOC Ambassadors will be trained to speak and have a curriculum about The Workshop with prospective that partners with The students to inform them and to allow them to Workshop to teach take part in The Workshop when they come students how to be an to American. The Workshop will become investigative reporter. part of the regular SOC Ambassadors Program. 22
  24. 24. STRENGTHEN THE RELATIONSHIP Between AU, SOC and The Workshop Discover the World of Communication program run by Prof. Menke-Fish for High School students The Discover the World of Communication program allows high school students to discover communication in the nation's capital through an interactive hands-on approach to learning in the field and on location. Classes are taught by SOC faculty and communication professionals, and activities, guest speakers, events, and field trips are a part of the program. The Workshop will partner with this program to offer high schools investigative reporting experience and information about The Workshop. "A Year in the Workshop" End of the Year Showcase At the end of year, the Workshop will put together a showcase of the best and most popular pieces of the year. The showcase would be sponsored by SOC. Potential donors will also be invited to the event in order to see a sampling of the work that students are researching. The student’s work will be used a promotion tool to bring in additional funding and media attention about the program. 23
  25. 25. PROMOTING THE ART OF INVESTIGATION Create Wikipedia Page The Workshop will launch a Wikipedia Page so that when it is googled the Wikipedia page will pop up. Generally, people go to a Wikipedia page before they go to a website to find out basic information about an organization. “Breaking Through the Spin” Series The Workshop will partner with the American Forum, the Newseum, and SOC to sponsor monthly panels of speakers that relate to completed or in-progress pieces by the Workshop, garnering awareness for the issues surrounding the pieces. These panels will increase the interest of students and the surrounding AU community, pushing them to ask questions about the issues and ultimately read the pieces done by The Workshop. At least one of these panels will be held on- location at the Newseum. 24
  26. 26. PROMOTING THE ART OF INVESTIGATION Increase Facebook awareness of the organization "Nuts and Bolts of Investigative Journalism" Student Blog Facebook is a huge tool for promoting awareness because of the importance and popularity of social networking in today's society. To keep up One of the student members of the Workshop will keep with the younger audience, The Workshop will update its status on the a blog about the "nuts and bolts" of investigative reporting, giving tips and secrets into the "Biz", as well as an Facebook page with new findings, its articles, and related articles to pieces by overview of what investigative journalism entails. This blog The Workshop. The Workshop can also capitalize on the younger audience will connect with the younger audience and will be useful by having its young staff invite their Facebook friends to become fans of the to those who are interested in becoming investigative page. The page will need to be updated to include more information about journalists. The Workshop and those who are members of its staff to further connect to target audiences. Create Twitter page/account Twitter is one of the most up and coming social networking tools used today. Many organizations and companies use Twitter, including The Workshop's competition. The Workshop will launch a Twitter page and tweet about recent pieces and articles that may relate to its investigations. The Workshop will also tweet about upcoming events, partnerships that may interest its followers and the practice of investigative journalism. 25
  27. 27. THE ADVANCEMENT OF NEW MEDIA Planning for the future: The Investigative Reporting Fund The Workshop will attract donors to provide money for a future fund (roughly 5 years) to give grants to investigative journalists to allow them to continue their work as freelance journalists. The Workshop also will be able to collaborate with these journalists on pieces. Attract donors for the Workshop Keep alumni and other important figures in the journalism world informed of the important things that The Workshop is doing in order to encourage them to donate and to continue donating. Additionally, while partnering with the Newseum, The Workshop can speak to some of their main contributors to see if they have an interest in donating to The Workshop because it will be working closely with the Newsesum. When The Workshop is positioned as a non-profit organization, it gains the ability to garner the interest of possible donors. Sending out updates about the Workshop The Workshop can send out updates via email (in the form of blasts) and mail (pamphlets and palm cards) about recently published pieces, panels, and other new information about The Workshop. These updates can also include training updates and any new media that has been introduced to The Workshop, such as the launch of the Wikipedia page, Twitter page, or re-launch of the Facebook page. 26
  28. 28. ME INE 27
  29. 29. June JUNE  JULY  AUGUST July We based our timeline around the AU school calendar in order to coincide with certain school events and encourage student August participation in The Workshop. These tactics coincide with the September implementation of the AU strategic plan. The campaign begins in the summer in order coincide with the Discover the World of October Communications Program, which occurs in late June. Before the program, we want to reach out to guidance counselors with November informative pamphlets so that they can discuss investigative December journalism and The Workshop to interested students. The Wikipedia page and the research database will also be January launched in the summer months. February TACTICS March Distribution of Pamphlets Launch Wikipedia page April Guidance Counselor Outread May Discover the World of Communication Program June Database Implementation 28
  30. 30. AUGUST  SEPTEMBER June As the school year approaches in the end of August and July beginning of September, The Workshop will recruit AU journalism students as interns for the semester. These student August interns will maintain the “Nuts & Bolts” blog, describing their September experiences at The Workshop and in the field of investigative journalism. The Investigative Journalism class will begin in October September as will the SOC Ambassador training program. November TACTICS December Launch of “Nuts & Bolts” Student Blog January SOC Ambassador Training Start of Investigative Journalism Class February March April May June 29
  31. 31. OCTOBER  NOVEMBER  DECEMBER June Part of our plan involves a monthly panel about issues July pertaining to investigative journalism or specific Workshop stories. These monthly panels will begin in October with an August introduction to investigative journalism, nonprofit reporting, and September their futures called “Breaking Through the Spin.” The Workshop will also table at Preview Day, which typically falls in October November. In December, there will be no specific events planned due to finals and the end of fall semester. November TACTICS December Monthly Panel: “Breaking Through the Spin” January Preview Day Tabling February March April May June 30
  32. 32. JANUARY  FEBRUARY  MARCH June In January, all of the programs begin again. New SOC July Ambassadors will need to be trained, as will interns who begin this semester. The Investigative Journalism class will begin a August new semester and the monthly panels will start again, September including a panel at the Newseum. October TACTICS SOC Ambassador Retraining November Monthly Panels, including one at the Newseum December Start of Investigative Journalism Class January February March April May June 31
  33. 33. APRIL  MAY  JUNE June In the spring, The Workshop will table at Preview Day and the July monthly panels continue, including an end of the year showcase called “A Year at the Workshop.” The showcase will August discuss what the Workshop has accomplished over the year: September stories it has published, the student interns, and any other issues that arose over the year. The Workshop will also send a October newsletter to potential donors and prospective students describing what it has accomplished over the year. November December TACTICS Monthly Panels January Preview Day Tabling February Showcase “A Year at the Workshop” March April May June 32
  34. 34. EVALUATION 33
  35. 35. INVESTIGATION REPORTING PROGRESS Survey student population Create and conduct a survey of the American University student population to evaluate awareness about the Workshop after 6 months and then after 12 months. This survey will include questions about participation in events or classes sponsored by the Workshop, as well as if they have read any of the pieces or used them through the library database. Survey visitors of the Workshop’s website Create and post a survey on The Investigative Reporting Workshop’s website that evaluates why someone is on the page and how they heard about the Workshop. Questions will also address why someone is using the Workshop and how often he/she visits the site. Goals for Evaluation At the end of our years implementation of tactics we will evaluate the progress of The Workshop website hits, “the nuts and bolts” student blog hits, Facebook page fans, Twitter followers, Google search result placement, and most importantly donations. 34