Category Archives: Classes

Use this Worksheet in Your Class to Design a Message Map and Key Messages for a Communication Campaign (Part 2 of 2)

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Teaching Students to Develop Message Maps

In the first post in this series I provided an activity to teach students what key messages are and how they can begin learning to identify and extract key messages. If you haven’t read it, please do so before proceeding.

Below, students take the brainstorm activity and go out and get some feedback for their key messages. Then, they develop a message map.

Continue reading Use this Worksheet in Your Class to Design a Message Map and Key Messages for a Communication Campaign (Part 2 of 2)

How to Teach Key Messages to PR and Marketing Students: Activity Included (Part 1 of 2)

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Teaching Students to Develop Key Messages is a Great Public Relations Class Activity

As a kid, I paid more attention to the lyrics than the rhythm or the beat. I also probably spent more time thinking about how authors expressed the ideas in a story than the story itself.

Maybe that’s why messaging is one aspect of brand building and campaign planning that has always fascinated me. While people often find the process of building key messages tedious, I see it as the fun kind of tedious.

This is part 1 of a two-part series on how I teach students to develop key messages and build a message map in my Strategic Campaign class.

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My New Book, Teach Social Media: A Plan for Creating a Course Your Students Will Love, is Now Available on Amazon!

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Teach Social Media Book

I am beyond thrilled to announce that my new book, Teach Social Media: A Plan for Creating a Course Your Students Will Love, is now available on Amazon in paperback and eBook formats.

It has been a long and exciting journey. I am so glad to finally be able to share this project with you. It is one of my most ambitious undertakings. I can best describe it as an organized “brain dump” of my knowledge about teaching a social media class for students interested in careers as professional communicators (e.g., public relations, marketing).

Continue reading My New Book, Teach Social Media: A Plan for Creating a Course Your Students Will Love, is Now Available on Amazon!

Practice writing news headlines and news leads: Re-write the headline and lead of a news story by focusing on the most interesting part [in-class activity]

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News Headline Writing and Lead Writing Practice Exercise

News headlines – or the titles of news stories – and news leads are vital parts of a compelling news story or news release.

But, what makes for an interesting story? That’s an important question and if we are going to prepare our students to be professional communicators, we should be having this conversation with our students in many of our classes.

Continue reading Practice writing news headlines and news leads: Re-write the headline and lead of a news story by focusing on the most interesting part [in-class activity]

What’s Changing? Creative Briefs and Using Story Arcs in Pitch Presentations

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It’s that time of year. The tradition must continue! It is time, of course, for my ‘What’s Changing’ blog post to start off the semester. I’ve been writing these posts for years as a way to highlight key changes I have in mind for the semester ahead. For example, here’s last semester’s post.

Continue reading What’s Changing? Creative Briefs and Using Story Arcs in Pitch Presentations

Here are my social media, communication research, persuasion and message design, strategic campaigns and writing across platforms class syllabi for this year

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This semester has certainly crept up on me. I had a very busy winter break. The realization that this semester has crept up on me has me realizing a few other things, things that have gotten away from me.

One such thing that has gotten away from me is keeping the syllabi on this blog up to date.  As longtime readers of this blog probably know, my mission here is to share what I’m doing in the classroom as well as what I am thinking about as it relates to teaching and learning social media and related fields. While my primary means of doing that is via blog posts, from the start I also set out to share syllabi. Yet, as we turned the page to 2019 I realized I have neglected to share syllabi from anything after 2017, sans my 2018 persuasion and message design syllabus.  Eek!

Continue reading Here are my social media, communication research, persuasion and message design, strategic campaigns and writing across platforms class syllabi for this year

Communication Research Class Media Placement Assignment, Part 2: Doing Data Entry and Creating a Data Legend

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Communication Research Class Assignment Review

This post is long overdue (I feel like I say that a lot!).

It is a follow up to a post I published in January titled “Here’s my communication research class assignment on analyzing media placement.”  Recently, I received a public comment on that post from a professor I greatly admire, Kelli Burns, pointing out that project assignment (see the bottom of this post for that document) notes at the bottom of the document that additional work will be assigned the following day. But, I never discuss what that entails in the blog post.  I apologize to everyone who read that post because, in that sense, it was incomplete in terms of explaining the project.

Thank you to Dr. Burns for bringing this to my attention. With this in mind, I’ve decided to do a much-delayed follow up post, turning that initial post into a two-part series.

Continue reading Communication Research Class Media Placement Assignment, Part 2: Doing Data Entry and Creating a Data Legend