Public relations is full of heroes and villains. Your task for this first homework assignment is to profile a 20th Century PR figure not already discussed in any detail in class, i.e., your choice cannot include one of the following:
1. Ivy Lee
2. George Parker
3. Edward Bernays
4. Doris Fleischman
5. Arthur W. Page
6. Paul Garrett
7. Clem Whitaker
8. Leone Baxter
The individual profiled should be a change agent: either someone who brought change to the PR industry, or someone who changed their own industry by applying the principles of public relations. That change may be for the better or for the worse: while I will refer to the protagonist as our “hero,” you may also substitute “villain!”
You may use any sources (print or online, including Wikipedia) to find and research your historical figure, but you must document your sources using your choice of citation style. If Wikipedia or another source references an original document, please follow that whenever possible (and online), verify the reference and use that in your citation whenever possible.
The Historical Profile
Your profile should include the following parts. Each section should be clearly marked with a section header.
1. Executive Summary. This single paragraph introduces your choice, explains your rationale at a high level, and highlights the overall impact that this person had on public relations.
2. Exposition. Your 2-4 paragraph exposition section sets the stage for the entrance of your historical figure. It introduces the setting for our story. What did the PR industry look like when they arrived on the scene? Which PR model was in dominant use before our subject enters the scene? What did the business world look like? What were the obstacles in place that might have prevented this individual from creating change? What was the status quo that our hero was about to change? Your goal here is to set up the conflict that will come.
3. The Hero’s Journey. Your 2-5 paragraph “hero’s journey” section introduces the protagonist in our story, and describes the conflict that person faced, and the resolution of that conflict. Who is our hero (or villain)? What did they do? What actions did they take to change the industry?
4. The Impact. Your 2-3 paragraph impact statement describes how that person’s actions affect us today.
Submit via Blackboard a Word, PDF or Pages document as an assignment.
Grading will be based on these primary factors:
1. Do you have an appropriate amount of content? Assume a 100-word per paragraph minimum. I am looking for 7-13 paragraphs in total. This means your target length is 1000 words, but your essay can be as little as 700 words without incurring a penalty, or as long as 1,300 words without incurring a penalty. 100-word deviations in either direction will incur a 1-point loss. More than 100-word deviations (i.e., less than 600 words or more than 1,400 words) will receive 0 points for this section (2 points total)
Is your existing content of high quality? Quality will be judged by the following characteristics (the “Six Traits Model”):
Ideas that are interesting and important. Ideas are the heart of the piece — what the writer is writing about and the information he or she chooses to write about it. (2 points)
Organization that is logical and effective. Organization refers to the order of ideas and the way the writer moves from one idea to the next. (1 points)
Voice that is individual and appropriate. Voice is how the writing feels to someone when they read it. Is it formal or casual? Is it friendly and inviting or reserved and standoffish? Voice is the expression of the writer’s personality through words. (1 points)
Word Choice that is specific and memorable. Good writing uses just the right words to say just the right things. (2 points)
Sentence Fluency that is smooth and expressive. Fluent sentences are easy to understand and fun to read with expression. (1 point)
Conventions that are correct and communicative. Conventions are the ways we all agree to use punctuation, spelling, grammar, and other things that make writing consistent and easy to read. (1 point)
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