I’ve learned that when it comes to writing assignments for Writing for Mass Communication, the best public relations practice assignments are based on actual community events — most often events sponsored by not-for-profit organizations.
The students experience the first assignment of many public relations students in their volunteer and internship work — writing a news release for a not-for-profit organization. These organizations are great beginning opportunities for our students, as the students take on some significant duties and can try out what actual public relations work involves.
The practice news release for this semester was writing about the March for Babies. I read dozens of the students’ news releases — with the day and time, the sponsors, and the hopes for the event. So I was interested in seeing the actual event. I drove a portion of the course to get a photo.
Today’s Gainesville Sun reports that more than 6,000 participated, raising an estimated $900,000.
In the lectures on Tuesday, we’ll spend a few minutes talking about the March for Babies and the kind of awareness the event creates and publicity it generates for the March of Dimes. This is a real case study for the students to see the planning involved (and the writing involved!) in having a successful event.