This proposal presents a Service Learning model via an upper-level media course. COMM 3910 Media Relations is required for Corporate Communications students at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. The course is designed to instruct students on developing skills in researching audience and consumer data, writing print and video news releases, organizing press conferences, writing advertising copy, and creating media relations plans for organizations. In 2008, the course began a new instructional model for students – an applied assignment in which they worked with a non-profit organization and were expected to create a workable media relations plan for that organization, which included a special event, television, radio, web, and print ads, press releases for the event, and any support material (press kits). The idea behind the applied assignment was to supply a charitable, non-profit organization without the funds to access public relations and marketing firms for assistance in presenting its message with a solid product from students at an advanced level of study in PR and Corporate Communication. The organization received “free” PR concepts and materials (such as flyers, prototype print, radio, and television spots, and corporate videos, media contact lists, etc.), and the students received their first “real” client and material for their portfolios. The COMM 3910 Project has worked with national and international organizations such as the Humane Society, Girls on the Run, and the NephCure Foundation. The results have been positive, and this research examines how the COMM 3910 Project and Service Learning can be expanded as a global project in difficult economic conditions. Students learn as they serve a global community.
|Keywords:||Service Learning in the Classroom|
Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN, USA
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