COM 454, Communication Campaigns
Spring 2010

Class Meeting Times and Place Monday & Wednesday, 3:00 - 4:15 p.m.
Crawford Hall 115
Professor Tom Kelleher, Ph.D.
Crawford Hall 314
Professor's Office Hours

Tuesday, 9 a.m. - noon.
Wednesday, 11:15 a.m.-1:15 p.m.
By appointment.

Course Overview


Communication campaigns affect us every day. Be they public relations, advertising, integrated marketing, health-related or political campaigns; and whether they promote products, behaviors or ideas, all well-planned campaigns have objectives and goals. In this course we will sharpen our perspectives on campaign goals from two perspectives: that of campaign planners and that of critical consumers of campaign information. Pre: 201 and junior standing, or consent. DS


Required Reading Material
We'll work primarily from one text, but other readings from handouts and the Web will be assigned as we go.

Laulima and Multimedia
The COM 454 Laulima site will serve as our main portal as needed for any online readings, assignments and multimedia resources. 
On occasion, video clips or entire video productions may be shown in class. Although many of these videos may be available in campus libraries or online, the only way to be sure that you don't miss information presented via video is to be in class. Videos shown and the discussions that follow will be fair game for exams.

Guest Speakers
Guest speakers may be invited to our class to discuss their perspectives on communication campaigns. As with other in-class activities, missing class when we have guest speakers will mean missing a valuable resource for exams and projects. 

Your Fellow Students
You and your fellow students will have many opportunities to contribute to this class. Information provided by students may be used as material for exams. 
Peer evaluations will weigh heavily in any group efforts on the campaign planning project.

Student Learning Outcomes/Objectives

Success in this course means you will:

  1. identify strategic communication campaigns in your communities (local, organizational, global);
  2. analyze components of strategic communication campaigns;
  3. apply relevant research findings and theory in discussing communication campaigns;
  4. develop strategic communication campaign plans;
  5. integrate social media into campaign plans;
  6. critically evaluate communication campaign processes, uses and effects; and
  7. explore your scholarly and career options in strategic communication.
*Objectives listed in bold (#4, #6 and #7) are program-level student learning outcomes for the B.A. in COM that will be assessed at the "emphasized" level in COM 454.


Your final grade will be based on two midterm exams, in-class participation, attendance, and a campaign planning project that will require out-of-class participation. We will rely heavily on the course textbook as we move through the steps of the planning process. In addition to the chapter readings listed in the timeline below, activities and additional reading will be assigned from the Web, library resources and handouts throughout the semester.

Primary Objectives Covered
Exams (30% X 2 = 60%)
Written campaign plan (20%)
Oral presentation of plan (10%)
Class participation and attendance (5%)
Project participation (5%)

Exams (2 @ 30% each = 60%)
Primary objectives: 1, 3, 4
Two major exams will cover material from class lectures, class discussion, guest speakers and assigned readings. Exams may include true-false, multiple-choice, matching and short-answer questions. THERE ARE ABSOLUTELY NO MAKE-UP EXAMS without proper documentation for your absence, which must be provided before the absence if at all possible. A missed exam will count as a zero.

Campaign Plan (30%)
We will discuss expectations for the project in class. In fact, the expectations for a solid proposal will be a the main focus of this course. Papers will be due and presentations will be scheduled for the final weeks of the semester. Rubrics will be provided with details as we progress.

Project Participation (5%)
Primary objectives covered: 4, 5, 6, 7
This portion of your grade will be based on in-class observation, peer evaluations for any team work, and the content of team reports.

Class Participation & Attendance (5%)
Primary objectives: 1, 2, 3, 6, 7
At the end of the semester, your in-class contributions will be rated based on the following.

Missing two classes during the semester without a documented and approved excuse won't affect your grade, as long as you don't miss any exams or deadlines. Beyond that, each unexcused absence will cost one point. So three unexcused absences would mean you'd be eligible for a maximum of 4 points for in-class contributions, four unexcused absences would mean a maximum of three possible points for in-class contributions, and so on. My past experience shows that students who miss more than three or four classes often find their grades suffering well beyond the 5% for in-class contributions. For example, they miss exam questions based on in-class discussions and fall behind on team assignments.

Final Grade Requirements
90-100 80-89.9 70-79.9 60-69.9 59.9 and below

There will be absolutely no adjustment of grades on an individual basis (e.g., "I'm only one point away from a C, and I must get a C to graduate on time.") Any requests for exceptions will be seen as an attempted breach of fairness to the rest of the class.

Seeking Help

This course should provide a great learning experience for all of us. The success of the course depends largely on effective student-teacher interaction. Don't feel like you have to have a pressing problem to talk to me. I'll be available during my office hours unless announced otherwise. Of course, I'm often in and available at times not posted as office hours. Generally, I'll leave my office door open if I'm available. If my door is closed, that either means I'm out or that I'm in but working on deadline or getting ready for class. In any case, we can set an appointment if that works better.

Special Accommodations
Students requiring special accommodations must notify me and present appropriate supporting documentation by the end of the second week of class.

Academic Honesty
Academic dishonesty of any sort will not be tolerated. I take cheating issues very seriously, and I've had some unpleasant experiences dealing with cases of cheating in recent semesters. Please see me if you have any questions about academic honesty, and I'll be happy to discuss such issues in advance of you taking an exam or submitting your work.

Preliminary Class Timeline 

Please make a careful note of the exam dates. Make sure that you do not have any scheduling conflicts. The exam dates are very unlikely to change. Other topics and readings are subject to change, especially to accommodate current events and guest speaker schedules. Additional readings, speakers and assignments may be added as we go.
Class Days General Topics Required Reading Activities & Scheduling Notes
Jan 11 & 13 Course overview and syllabus Syllabus  
Jan 20 Trust and relational approaches to communication Chapter 1 Find a "client," get a group
Jan 25 & 27 Public information and persuasive communication Chapter 2 Begin informal research
Feb 1 & 3 Communication research methods Chapter 3 Primary and secondary research
Feb 8 & 10 Applying formative research Chapter 4 Draft background, situation analysis, problem statement
Feb 17 Setting goals and objectives Chapter 5 Draft goals and objectives
Feb 22 & 24 Midterm review and Exam 1   Exam 1 on Feb 24
March 1 & 3 Message design for specific publics Chapter 6 Draft key publics and messages
March 8 & 10 Tactics Chapter 7 Draft strategies and tactics
March 15 & 17 Calendaring and budgeting Chapter 8 Draft calendar and budget
March 22-26
Spring Break
No Class
March 29 & 31 Communication management Chapter 9 Draft communication confirmation table
April 5 & 7 Campaign evaluation Chapter 10 Draft evaluation criteria and tools
April 12 & 14 Midterm review and Exam 2   Exam 2 on April 14
April 19 & 21 Preparing summaries and presentations Chapter 11 Work sessions on final projects and presentations
April 26 & 28 Ethics and professionalism Chapter 12 Student presentations, final written proposals due April 28
May 3 & 5 Final presentations and peer evaluations   Student presentations, peer evaluations due on May 5

May 10

    Final exam scheduled for May 12 at 4:30 p.m.