CMAT 240 | Fall 2015

Ms. Vanessa Junkin | Tuesday-Thursday, 12:30-1:45 p.m.

Helpful PR links

How to create a media kit:

What is a backgrounder?



Important: Project Two Information!

We’ll be discussing Project Two in class on Tuesday, Nov. 17. After our press release peer-editing session, you’ll be picking groups.

This project is 20 percent of your grade, and it’s a group project, so it’s very important to know what’s going on.

Project Two Information: VJ-project2_info

Project Two Plan (**DUE TUESDAY, NOV. 24, BY 11:59 P.M. VIA MYCLASSES**): VJ-project2_plan

Project Two Rubric: VJ-project2_rubric

Project Two Team Evaluation Form: VJ-team_evaluation_form

Press release homework for Tuesday

I’ll go over this in class today (Thursday), but these are some things you’ll need for the press release homework, due Tuesday, Nov. 17.



Example layout

Examples of good and bad press releases

Here are some examples we’ll go over in class on Thursday.

Good press releases: 

Example One

Example Two

List Format (media advisory):


BAD press releases: 

Example One

Example Two


Product/Service Launch

Staff Announcement

Expert positioning

Crisis PR


Tonight’s homework

Read Chapter 13 of the book, Public Relations Writing, for tonight’s homework.

On Thursday, we will be talking about press release writing, and homework will be assigned — don’t miss it!

For those who missed class, I also handed back Project 2 (the story about the deer crashing into stores) today. Your grades are on MyClasses.

Links to PR resources mentioned in the book

Public Relations Society of America

Advice for students from pros – blog

Public Relations Student Society of America


I’ve also added the PRSA Member Code of Ethics to the resources page.

Important Project One information and rubric

I have already provided the Project One information via this blog, but here it is again:

Important Project One Information

Here is the checklist/rubric. (This is being given for the first time.)

Bring your finished draft of your article to class Tuesday, along with two copies of the checklist/rubric for two different classmates to fill out.

Keep these things in mind: This project is 20 percent of your final grade. 

You start with 100 points.

– 2 points = grammar and punctuation errors

– 2 points = AP style errors

– 2 points = spelling error (Deducted both for misspelled words and typos.)

– 10 points = Failure to make a deadline, which means turning in anything late. Additional points will be deducted for assignments turned in more than one day late

– 10 points = Factual error. This includes inaccurate information and errors or typos in proper nouns, numbers, addresses, dates and quotes.

– 20 points = You will receive 20 points off for using your friends, family members, employers or work 
colleagues as sources for stories that require your own reporting.

– 20 points = You will receive 20 points off if you cover an event or meeting for a group with which you are affiliated.

The checklist/rubric goes into more detail about other point values.

Please go over the checklist/rubric carefully before turning in Project One. Your final version will be due at the start of class Thursday, Nov. 5, but the peer-editing is necessary; if you don’t turn in those checklists from your peers, you’ll get 10 points off.

Remember to also turn in the names and phone numbers of your sources, or you’ll get 10 points off.

You can get 5 extra-credit points if you get your article published in a publication like The Daily Times or The Flyer. Just let me know where I can find it!

For in-class assignment Thursday

These articles are for the in-class assignment we’ll be doing today, Thursday. It will count as a homework grade.

  • Read the news articles and come up with a tweet promoting each one
  • Decide whether you should use SEO or a teaser post
  • Make sure each fits into 140 characters
  • Use hashtags & @ symbols when appropriate. Search for hashtags that may fit to pick the right ones.
  • Write them in (or copy them into) a Word document, and upload to MyClasses
  • **Make sure your tweet is distinctly different from the headline and any other tweets that are already out there!

Police: No video of teen’s collapse

City candidates file financial disclosures

Salisbury to launch downtown ambassadors program

UMES professor Brad Hudson draws in a galaxy far, far away

SUFH remains undefeated in CAC play

Pocomoke girls win Bayside field hockey crown

Breast cancer patients embraced by community organizations

Assignment Two update and other information!

It has been brought to my attention that there was (another) error in the Assignment Two worksheet. I am sorry about that! It had two different days for the incident — Monday and Tuesday. Please use Monday.

Here’s the updated prompt.

Here’s the Twitter advanced search function, if you would like to use that for anything in the future.

An update: There is no additional homework for tonight aside from what’s already been assigned, but you will need to be in class Thursday to get credit for an in-class assignment. That will count as a homework.

Bring Assignment Two to class on Thursday, printed out with the rubric filled out and stapled. Don’t plan to print it during class.

Don’t forget that your rough draft on the self-reported story (Project One) is due TUESDAY. You must be in class for the peer-editing.

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