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COMSTRAT 383 - Spring 2016 Syllabus

COMSTRAT 383  – Creative Media Strategies & Techniques (3 CREDITS) Instructor:  Brett Atwood                                Office...

Semester Portfolio Project


Throughout the semester, you will be working on a portfolio designed to use your PR skills. I will be sharing examples of completed physical portfolios in class today.


The first step in this project is to determine what client you would like to develop a portfolio for. You should identify a local business, nonprofit or organization that you would like to partner with for this semester-long project. This will be your "client" that you will connect with as you research and gather information for this project. Once you have a potential client, you will need to get it approved by the instructor.

After that, you will want to meet with your client to begin researching and gathering information for this project.


Some things to consider in choosing your client:
  • Is there an aspect of this organization that I personally connect to? 
  • Is this client in an industry that relates to my ultimate career goal? 
  • What degree of difficulty will there be in getting cooperation from this client? 
  • Will I need to get approval from a national corporate office for some of the campaign elements? 
  • Is my campaign contribution original and unique? 
  • Is there an identifiable need for a PR campaign in the potential client?
  • NOTE: Some of you may choose a company that already has many of these campaign assets available in print or online. Please be aware that I am looking for you to create an ORIGINAL campaign -- not re-purpose an existing media kit that might already exist. If you do choose a well-known organization with existing PR assets, I will expect that your work will be original. 
  • Prior to committing to your potential client, you should email me with your suggested pick. You are also free to contact me for an e-mail, phone, Skype or in-person consultation on your choice if you prefer one-on-one guidance on this project prior to beginning your work.
Please note: Although you will be conducting real planning and research for the client, you will not necessarily be executing the campaign. Thus, you should be clear in identifying your intentions to any organization that you contact. You should plan to "deliver" the final product to your client at the end of the semester. They can determine what (if anything) to do with it. For the purpose of this class, your success will be based on the portfolio itself.


This class project will include the following elements which will all relate to the selected organization (client):
  • 1. a Strategic Plan (typically about five-seven pages in length)
    • There will first be DRAFT version due earlier in the semester. The final version (revised) will be turned in at the end.
  • 2. History/Backgrounder of the organization/activity or one of its major events.
  • 3. Online research survey created with Google Forms
  • 4. Two news/press releases
  • 5. Fact sheet
  • 6. Media target list
  • 7. An email campaign piece.
  • 8. Newsletter 
  • 9. One-page overview of a digital strategy for your client, including social media
  • 10. Your resume (or print out of LinkedIn resume).
Please note that the above elements are subject to change, but this does represent an estimate of the types of writing and strategic content you will be developing this semester.

We will be working on the above one piece at a time through the coming weeks with the goal of acquiring a completed portfolio at the end of the semester. This completed project comprises a large portion of your semester grade, but it will also be something that you can use to show off your completed work to potential future employers!


Yes! Use the link below to get a printable document that you share with your client. It gives a bit of context and explanation on the structure of the project, including what they should expect from students. If you have any suggested edits or additions you would like me to add to this document, please let me know!