Friday, April 21, 2017

Happy Friday!

We started off class talking about our morning Skimm quiz, specifically talking about a question from an article Professor Piacente had us read called; “The Hatemongers Call for Unity, And Why I Cannot.”

Professor Piacente then handed us out a broadcast story prompt, from which we had to write a catchy broadcast lead and another more formal lead. The prompt was about the driver of a stolen bulldozer who crushed 20 new cars behind a car dealership. For homework we have to choose one of the leads we wrote, write a broadcast story with it, and bring it in for class on Wednesday for peer review.

After we were done with the broadcast prompt, Professor Piacente gave us a separate PR prompt. He told us that we were to write as the head of PR for a zoo (the name of which we were to make up) and write a press release headline and a lead based upon the prompt. The prompt was about a new gorilla born at the zoo for the first time in 10 years. After we were all finished writing, Professor Piacente said that we were to finish this press release as homework and bring in a hard copy into class for peer review. After that we went to break

When we came back from break we talked more about the article we had to read for homework. First, we went around the room discussing what the positives were about it. Many found the short punchy sentences were really effective of delivering a powerful message. Others thought that the details of his family’s life were really good ways of backing up his statements. We also discussed the negatives of the article. Some found some of the techniques the writer used such as repitition were too cliché while others felt like it could’ve been shorter in order to be more powerful. Overall the class really liked the article.

Next, Professor Piacente left the room and came back with the actual author of the article, Jeffery Blount. Blount than told us that he and Professor Piacente have known each other for a long time. Blount also told us about his history in journalism as a director of Meet the Press and the Nightly News. After teeling us about his life, Blount opened up for questions.

When asked about covering Trump, he saw that people never realized that he could’ve won and never took his campaign seriously until it was too late.

When asked about his intro in the paper, Blount said, “The intro came from being able to pull on heart string and showing people when you wake up intellectually and realize how things effect you.”

After being asked about his objective when he writes pieces like this, Blount says his goal is to make a difference.

Blount also talked about his upcoming book called “Crabs in a Bushel Basket,” exploring multidimensional issues in African American social justice movements

Friday, April 14, 2017

4/12/17 Class Notes

Hi everyone!

We started the class with a comparison example between past and present tense:
Present - Gail Baker works at Wendy's
Past - Gail Baker worked at Wendy's

After our pop quiz on the present tense, we moved on to discuss the recent incident with United Airlines. I have a feeling some PR jobs will be available soon so look out for postings. We continued by analysing the CEO's comments, published below:

"As you will read, this situation was unfortunately compounded when one of the passengers we politely asked to deplane refused and it became necessary to contact Chicago Aviation Security Officers to help. Our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this. While I deeply regret this situation arose, I also emphatically stand behind all of you, and I want to commend you for continuing to go above and beyond to ensure we fly right."

Professor Piacente then instructed us on how to handle a situation similar to this: 
1) Make a statement immediately after the incident 
2) Apologize for the situation
3) Offer proposals to change
4) Improve the situation and then make sure it never happens again.

We discussed some problems we had with broadcast. It is important to keep the lead in present tense and try to use present as much as possible. Using phrases like "officials say" helps maintain the present tense. When it comes to introducing quotes, paraphrase the quotes and remember to stress the unusual. When using the conversational tone, do not include your opinion and use easy words people use in everyday conversations.

We then analysed leads on the Busdicker story, a 89-year-old jazz musician who passed away playing his clarinet.

After the break we returned to looking at press releases and researched reasons for the Skimm's increased popularity. Examples included, how it's free and conversational.

For Friday's HW (4/14/17) due at 5pm is the press release announcing the Skimm in the correct format.
Also remember next week's current events quiz with from the Skimm not the Washington Post!

Have a good weekend everyone! 

Friday, April 7, 2017

4/5/17 Class

Happy Friday!

We started off class with our quiz on the Skimm. We discussed whether or not we liked reading the Skimm rather than the Post. Overall, the class agreed that it is a good publication, but seems to try too hard, at times, to be too hip with millennials. It is extremely conversational. 

We talked about our homework assignment from last week, rewriting print leads as broadcast. Familiarity with the stories seemed to help, but some were still hard. When writing broadcast leads, is is important to remember to establish a time element. Be sure to meet tense requirements. If a lead is in past tense, it is no good. 

Be appropriate with tone. Professor Piacente said, “If it is appropriate to smile, smile. If it is a funeral, we won’t, even if it is a bear’s funeral”

Be sure that leads are complete sentences. Do not write "22-year-old woman..." Instead write, "A 22-year-old woman."

We began our writing assignment for the night. This was our broadcast story that we had to turn in by the end of class.

We read the story, then we each went around and said our opinion of the woman in the story. We got our opinions out so we wouldn't incorporate them later. 

on a big, long fact sheet like this. this is tangled up, tightly drawn knot. untangle it. it might seem intimidating. Untangle it. 
  • write the 5 W’s
  • refer to her as full name for first reference, then just last name in all subsequent references

After our break, there was a new development in the story, and we had to adjust the lead.

There was a third and final development that we had to adjust the story for. 

Professor Piacente gave us some tips on how to approach the final exam. For the final, we will be writing one press release and one broadcast story, just like we have been doing in class. We will be given fact sheets and the entire two and a half hours to work on it. We may not need that much time, but we will be given the opportunity. Make sure broadcast is in present tense. Do not show your opinion in a broadcast story.

Have a great weekend,  everybody!

Oakey Daskas