Course Outline

CMN252 Writing for Strategic Communication

Course Coordinator:Krisztina Morris (kmorris@usc.edu.au) School:School of Business and Creative Industries

2022Semester 2

USC Sunshine Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Online

Online You can do this course without coming onto campus.

Please go to the USC website for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?

Description

Writing for Strategic Communication introduces a range of professional and social communication writing methods and techniques. The course offers rhetorical and media-user theories as ethical context to developing skills necessary for strategic communication practice in the public sphere. You will analyse media platforms, online social narratives and interactive audiences, and design communication strategies to engage with and write for targeted audiences via relevant media outlets. Additionally, you will collect a portfolio of your own work which will serve as a valuable resource. 

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Self-directed, online, pre-workshop content including readings, video, and other content 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On-campus, scheduled, face-to-face workshop 2hrs Week 2 10 times
Seminar – On campus face-to-face whole of cohort seminar (recorded but not streamed) 2hrs Refer to Format 2 times
Information session – Special assignment preperation session 2hrs Refer to Format Once Only
Online
Learning materials – Self-directed, online, pre-workshop content including readings, video, and other content 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Interactive zoom workshop 2hrs Week 2 10 times
Seminar – Whole of cohort online seminar 2hrs Week 4 2 times
Information session – Assignment preparation session 2hrs Week 4 Once Only

Course Topics

Theories of rhetoric

Communication theories

Communication ethics

Platform power and Social Media in PR

Communication strategies design

Audience research and segmentations

What level is this course?

200 Level (Developing)

Building on and expanding the scope of introductory knowledge and skills, developing breadth or depth and applying knowledge and skills in a new context. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally, undertaken in the second or third full-time year of an undergraduate programs.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Identify and explain the theories and ethics that inform and validate professional public relations writing. Knowledgeable
Ethical
2 Translate journalistic approaches into creative public relations writing for the news media. Creative and critical thinker
Empowered
3 Respect and value different opinions and approaches while prioritising public interest for client’s best interest. Creative and critical thinker
Empowered

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the USC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.

Pre-requisites

Not applicable

Co-requisites

Not applicable

Anti-requisites

Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Students should have a basic level of English writing and grammar skills.

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

During week 3 workshop session, tutor approval for client selection will be sought and a draft of task 1 web copy will be peer-reviewed.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Written Piece Individual 25%
500 words
Week 4 Online Submission
All 2 Portfolio Individual 45%
1500 -2000 words
Week 10 Online Submission
All 3 Activity Participation Group 30%
20 minutes
Week 13 In Class
All - Assessment Task 1:Web Copy
Goal:
You are to write copy for an assigned client's website taking into account its relevance to specific publics and stakeholders (e.g. journalists, current customers, prospective customers etc.).
Product: Written Piece
Format:
You will individually develop a professional piece of web copy detailing features of the product/service/site for your client's website.
Criteria:
No. Learning Outcome assessed
1
​Persuasive style of writing
2
2
Sophisticated promotional content
2 3
3
Elements of newsworthiness
1 2
4
Succinctly written
2
5
Appropriate for client’s website
1 3
6
Supports client’s goals and objectives
1 3
All - Assessment Task 2:Media Kit
Goal:
You will develop a portfolio of media relations materials in the form of a media kit for the news media industry informed by news values to promote your assigned client.
Product: Portfolio
Format:
You will individually develop a range of news media related written tasks adhering strictly to industry format. These written pieces will form a portfolio for entry level jobs in public relations. .
Criteria:
No. Learning Outcome assessed
1
​Cover Letter to Media 5%
1 2
2
Media Release 20%
1 2 3
3
Fact Sheet or Q&A or FAQ Sheet 10%
3
4
Media Contact List 10%
1 3
All - Assessment Task 3:Media Conference Simulation
Goal:
In groups you will develop a simulated media conference.
Product: Activity Participation
Format:
You will organise a simulated media conference to run for 20 minutes where you and your group members will role play as journalists, CEO, key stakeholders and PR. During this simulated media conference, you will implement media strategies and be prepared to answer questions from journalists. Structure and details on Canvas.
Criteria:
No. Learning Outcome assessed
1
​Persuasive style of writing
2 3
2
Sophisticated promotional content
1 2 3
3
Elements of newsworthiness
3
4
Succinctly written
2
5
Appropriate for client’s website
1 3
6
Supports client’s goals and objectives
1 2 3

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Directed study hours may vary by location. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

There are no required/recommended resources for this course.

Specific requirements

Nil

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.

SafeUSC

USC is committed to a culture of respect and providing a safe and supportive environment for all members of our community. For immediate assistance on campus contact SafeUSC by phone: 07 5430 1168 or using the SafeZone app. For general enquires contact the SafeUSC team by phone 07 5456 3864 or email safe@usc.edu.au.

The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email studentwellbeing@usc.edu.au.

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or studentcentral@usc.edu.au.

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email studentwellbeing@usc.edu.au or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email AccessAbility@usc.edu.au or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

Visit the USC website: https://www.usc.edu.au/explore/policies-and-procedures#academic-learning-and-teaching

Student Charter

USC is committed to excellence in teaching, research and engagement in an environment that is inclusive, inspiring, safe and respectful. The Student Charter sets out what students can expect from the University, and what in turn is expected of students, to achieve these outcomes.

General Enquiries

  • In person:
    • USC Sunshine Coast - Student Central, Ground Floor, Building C, 90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
    • USC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
    • USC SouthBank - Student Central, Building A4 (SW1), 52 Merivale Street, South Brisbane
    • USC Gympie - Student Central, 71 Cartwright Road, Gympie
    • USC Fraser Coast - Student Central, Student Central, Building A, 161 Old Maryborough Rd, Hervey Bay
    • USC Caboolture - Student Central, Level 1 Building J, Cnr Manley and Tallon Street, Caboolture
  • Tel:+61 7 5430 2890
  • Email:studentcentral@usc.edu.au