Students in Professor MaureenSchriner’sCJ491 class recently had their work published on the university website.CJ491 is a special-topics course designed to give students hands-on professional experience working with the UW-Eau Claire’s Integrated Marketing and Communications Department to develop content to support the redesigned uwec.edu website and the Power of [AND] branding campaign. Students pitched and produced stories to publish on uwec.edu and UWEC social media.
Senior PR student Katie Miller was among the students in CJ491 during spring semester. Here is what she had to say about her experience:
Talk a little about CJ491 and how you were published on the uwec site:
In CJ 491 we got to practice the single-handedly most important skill one needs in public relations: writing! Yes, in other classes we write reports and beginner stories, but the only person who will see those is the professor. In CJ 491 we had to write for aclient- the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s Integrated Marketing Communication team. Our stories hadto be not just well written, but in a student voice to connect with incoming and current students. Also, who else to write about students than students themselves?One story I had published was about financially affording college. Our professor, Maureen Schriner, acted as the liaison between the IMC and us, the students. She was a critical editing eye and worked with us so we could have our stories published.
What were the benefits to your career from this class?
I got to be published. A lot of PR students have their own blog so they can get his or her writing out into the internet, but it is another level when a separate entity published your work for a public, high-traffic website.Also, I really developed my “writing voice.” People are more likely to connect and continue reading when the story sounds like a human wrote it instead of Siri.
What was the process of being published on the university website?
Professor Schriner gave us a really broad topic to work on and then let ustake the reigns on which direction we wanted to take the story and how we would like itto be written, whether it be a feature piece, student Q&A, etc. We just had to make sure theywere written in a student voice (which works because we are students) and aligned with the UW-Eau Claire brand manual.When we had our stories she would do her quick edit of them and send them off to IMC. If IMC liked the story pitch then we would run with it and make the necessary adjustments to tailor it to incoming and current students.
Even though we were the guinea pig class, it was a really great first round. Since all of our storieswere focused on UW-Eau Claire and its students I felt like I got to learn a lot more about our university. I also got to pick which stories I thought were important for students to know, based off of personal experience and using theUWEC Brand manual.Also, the class gave us a lot of independence. We did not waste time doing a lecture- we just worked and collaborated with other students.