1 COM 4533 PUBLIC RELATIONS PLANNING AND CAMPAIGNS Fall 2020 Instructor: Dr. Ali Kanso El-Ghori Office Hours: TU: 1:30-2:30 Email: [email protected] COURSE OBJECTIVES Public Relations Planning and Campaigns is an advanced course that represents a capstone to required study in public relations for undergraduates. In this course, you will focus on a structured approach to organizational problem solving. You will conduct research, set goals and objectives, plan and adapt strategy, target publics and supervise activities so that they contribute to organizational success in a measurable way. This course is intended to provide you with a comprehensive experience in developing a solution to a public relations problem. It is seen as the department's "time to leave the nest" course for public relations students. You will apply skills and knowledge gained in previous courses and you will enhance your ability to make and defend public relations decisions and communicate these decisions in a professional manner. Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to: 1. Acquire skills in working with others as a member of a team. 2. Develop specific skills, competencies and points of views needed by public relations practitioners. 3. Learn how to find and use resources for answering questions or solving problems. 4. Appreciate the role of research in the development of a public relations plan. 5. Design a public relations plan for implementation. 6. Evaluate the productivity and profitability of public relations plan. COURSE FORMAT This is a fully-online hybrid course. It focuses heavily on synchronous learning experience through real-time interaction. Live online sessions will be held every Tuesday from 4:00 to 5:15 pm (see the course schedule). All students are expected to attend except in extenuating circumstances. In addition to attending synchronous online sessions, you will get involved in asynchronous online learning through posted lecture notes and exercises, streaming video content, exchanged emails with your instructor, working with your teammates, virtual libraries, etc. GROUP WORK The course will require both group and individual participation. Each student will participate within a team framework (five to six students per team). Each team will work toward a common goal of preparing a complete professional public relations plan for a specific client. Essential details on the preparation of a plans book will be provided later. Every team needs an account executive who will be the main contact with the instructor. The team will meet with the instructor at least once a week. While one person will be responsible for the actual presentation during each session, other members of the team are expected to participate and be able to discuss intelligently the materials being presented. Thus, attendance is required at all formal and informal class meetings and group sessions when called. Missing class and group meetings will negatively affect your final grade. A student is allowed three excused/unexcused absences without penalty. Each additional absence will lower his or her final grade a half-letter grade.
2 Most, if not all, elements of the plan preparation will be done outside the class. Such an experience can be very rewarding, very frustrating, or both. That depends on your cooperation and participation. Many decisions are done collectively. Therefore, questioning, thinking, discussing and attempting to reach consensus are crucial to the group's success. Each student in the group will be assigned to a particular agency responsibility. However, you will be asked to assist in other areas when needs arise. While you may be a master in a particular area, you are bound to the whole project. To put it concisely, the project is a team effort and each student benefits or fails based on his/her ability to work within the group concept and contribute to the total good. Sometimes, group members do not perform well together because of personality conflicts or ego clashes. If this occurs in your group, it is important that the account executive bring the problem out into the open at a meeting of the entire group and try to patch up differences. Otherwise, the matter should be brought to the instructor's attention to attempt arbitration. In all circumstances, the responsibility of the group is to get the plan finished. TECHNOLOGY REQUIREMENTS AND SUPPORT You will need the following resources and skills to take this fully online hybrid course: Basic computer skills Computer with a web camera and speakers/earbuds/headphones o You can use your own personal device (laptop or desktop). If you need to borrow a device, contact the Tech Café at [email protected] (or by phone at 210-458-5555) to inquire about checking out a laptop for the semester. o For more information on accessing desktop computers on campus in the labs and the library, visit the UTSA Student Connect Computer Lab information page. Reliable internet access o Wired or reliable connection recommended for online exercises and assignments. Google Chrome is the browser that is recommended by University Technology Solutions (UTS). o Issues may happen if using Internet Explorer or Safari o In case you are having trouble opening or accessing content, clear the cache and try a different browser. o You can run the Blackboard Browser Checker . Access to Zoom on your personal computer and/or on your mobile device o UTSA Zoom Resources are available at this link . Access to the Microsoft Office suite and Adobe Creative Cloud suite. o These tools are provided free of charge to UTSA students and you can learn more about this software, including instructions on how to access these programs by visiting the Digital Tool Resources page . o Please review the Blackboard Self Help Portal and the Minimum Technical Requirements for Online Learning page.
3 If you have a problem with Blackboard and you have already cleared the cache and tried with a different browser , please submit a ticket to University Technology Solutions (UTS) Tech Café. Be ready with your course ID and section. A screenshot of the issue will accelerate the troubleshooting process. . Contact Information of University Technology Solutions (UTS) Email UTS Tech Café at [email protected] Call UTS Tech Café at 210.458.5555 Visit the UTS Tech Café page Guidelines for Attending Synchronous Zoom Sessions All of our synchronous class meetings will be held on Zoom. UTSA has provided a wealth of resources that will help you get started with Zoom, and they can be accessed at this link: . You will need to download the Zoom desktop client for your PC or Mac in order to join our meetings on your computer. You can also download the Zoom app for your mobile device and join our meetings from your smartphone. Please click on the above link for information on how to download the Zoom desktop client and the app. In order for our synchronous sessions to be as successful as possible, it is crucial that we all practice "Zoom Etiquette." Please be sure to follow the guidelines below when attending Zoom meetings i n our class: When you enter the virtual meeting room, your microphone will be muted. Please keep your microphone muted at all times unless you are speaking. If you would like to speak, unmute yourself, speak, and then mute yourself. This is important to reduce background noise and ensure good audio quality for everyone. When you would like to speak, please click on the "Raise your Hand" function. I will see that you have raised your hand and will call on you to speak. Please wait until I have called on you to unmute your microphone, and mute your microphone again once you are finished speaking. You are welcome to use the chat function in Zoom to pose questions and interact with your classmates. Please note, however, that there should be no expectation of privacy when using the chat function. Even if you send a private message to another meeting attendee, other users may see the message. I strongly prefer that you turn on your camera while attending our class meetings. As we know as communication scholars, non-verbal communication is crucially important and can say more than words alone. While I understand if there are instances in which you may not feel comfortable turning on your camera, but please do keep your cameras on as much as possible. The above are some basic guidelines for Zoom Etiquette, but we may find that we need to develop further guidelines over the course of the semester. If you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns, please let me know.
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