Welcome to the Strategic Public Relations web log. It’s free and open access – no IT problems, no log in necessary, no passwords required, no mess, no unpleasant bending! – so you (and your mum) can all drop in any time as long as you have the URL. On the right of the Home Page you will see the “Pages”. Near the top are the “Talking Points” or topics I want you to contribute posts to, for your first assignment. There will be four such talking points, and you are required to contribute at least one post each to at least three of these by the end of Week 9. You can of course contribute more if you wish or feel so prompted, for example in response to a later unexpected comment from a classmate you might wish to take issue or debate with! Each main post should ideally:
- be not less than 250 words
- be not more than 350
- cite two scholarly references from the module or related reading
- OR one scholarly reference and ONE real industry case study (ie from PR Week, MediaGuardian, newspapers…)
- be written in the first person: this might feel odd at first, and would be unusual if I were asking you to write an essay; but here in the cyberverse, even though you are discussing ideas and giving references, I am sure it will feel more natural posting and saying “I” from time to time. Of course, that does not mean you can just rant, please (though righteous anger or strong views, if expressed politely and without abuse, and based on sound reading, are perfectly ok with me!)
- If you are spurred by classmates’ posts to come back in for a second post on any of the Talking Points, these do NOT have to be 300 words, but can be as short as you feel necessary, and do not absolutely need to cite further scholarly sources.
- As you will see below, we will be awarding bonus points for how well your posts strive to make the collective blog a real conversation: weI want your responses to be, well, responsive to what’s gone before
The first TEN of you who make a first post in the first seven days each Talking Point is available (ie, for this week/topic 1, before Wednesdy end 21st October), will get 10% added on to whatever mark we award you, by way of a thank you for getting things moving and being willing to go first – and because obviously we can’t give you marks for engaging with the debate, because it will not have got going yet!
We will be awarding marks for each main post according to how well each one meets the following criteria:
- meeting basic requirements (ie 350 words, references/cases cited, focussed on topic)
- demonstrates critical understanding of ideas/sources cited/debated
- endeavours to acknowledge, respond to and engage with previous posts on topic by class mates
- shows originality in any/all of your: citations; examples/cases; analysis; writing style & expression
If we feel a post meets all those criteria well, I will happily give it a mark of over 70%
If you make more than three satisfactory/pass main posts in total, we will mark all your posts equally, (whether main ones or short responsive later ones), but will calculate your overall final mark for this element based on averaging your BEST THREE marks only: the more you do beyond the essential three, the more your score could go up.
But to be honest, I should confess this is all thrillingly new and exciting for us too, so let’s just see how we go, and I stand ready to tweak those rules if it’s a complete and utter disaster by Halloween. Best of luck to us all… from time to time, myself, Marina or Jan may well be jumping in ourselves, with observations or comments to nudge the discussion this way or that
Heike, Marina & Jan