Individual assignments

In addition to team responsibilities, each individual will be responsible for:

  • An 800 to 1,000-word informative, multi-sourced story (your proposal should be reviewed and revised in collaboration with the Content Team)

  • One piece of strategic content (assigned by the Pitch, Promotion and Revenue Team)

  • An alternative story form (again, reviewed and revised with Content Team and the Pitch, Promotion and Revenue Team)

  • Two small group multimedia packages from these options — if you have another idea, clear it with your TA (assigned by Content Team and Pitch, Promotion and Revenue Team):

    1. Two-page persuasive magazine layout (e.g., a magazine spread print ad to promote the website locally)

    2. Two-page informative magazine layout (e.g., a daily briefing sent out to subscribers)

    3. 30- to 60-second persuasive audio package (e.g., a radio spot for your site launch)

    4. Two-minute informative audio package (e.g., a profile story)

    5. 60-second persuasive video package (e.g., a viral video to be shared by your audience)

    6. Two-minute informative video package (e.g., a feature package)

    7. 90-second to two-minute audio slideshow

Informative Story
  • Write an 800 to 1,000-word informative story

  • Submit a story proposal and meet with the Content Team to review and revise it

  • You should pull together the following sources for your story — at a minimum — even if all do not appear in the final draft: three live interviews, two documents, two previously published pieces and one observation opportunity.

  • Alert your live sources to the fact that your story will be published on the Web

  • Write your story in either inverted pyramid or narrative style

  • Remember to write objectively and without bias, analysis or opinion

  • Attach a list of live sources, their titles and their phone numbers to your story before you turn it in, plus include descriptions of your documentary sources and citations for the previously published pieces

  • Turn your story in through Canvas and submit it electronically through the process developed by your lab

Alternative Story Form
  • Produce an ASF either as a companion to your informative story or as a stand-alone piece of content. It can either be persuasive (assigned by the Pitch Team) or informative (assigned by Content Team)

  • Submit an ASF proposal and meet with the Content Team or Pitch Team to review and revise it

  • Turn your ASFs in to your TA via Canvas and submit it electronically through the process developed by your lab

  • Possible alternative story forms:

    1. Sutori (or equivalent): Pull together social media content on your topic — should include a minimum of 20 entries and interpretation, structured thematically (note of caution: some students have struggled with Sutori as a tool)
    2. Infographic: Two charts or graphics illustrating important points or data related to your topic
    3. Timeline: Plot the key dates or developments on a timeline, emphasizing growth or change of an issue over time — minimum of 10 entries
    4. How-to: This works well for a topic that involves steps readers can take — use the ASF to provide a step-by-step instruction set with a minimum of five elements
    5. Map or StoryMap: Plot out the places of events or interest that are related to your issue — minimum of 10 sites
    6. By-the-numbers: Put together a list of essential or illuminating statistics — minimum of 10
    7. If you want to use a format that’s not on this list, it must be approved by the Content Team and your TA

 Strategic content

  • Produce a piece of content as assigned by the Pitch, Promotion and Revenue Team. The business models for each topic and idea will differ, so some teams may require more advertising content, while others will develop more of other kinds of promotion.

  • Your content here will be “real,” meaning that your advertisements must be for an actual product or service, a press release must be for an actual organization, etc. However, if you are creating a product for a real entity, do not use the real names of the leaders of the organization. For example, if you were doing a press release about a website backed by PetSmart, and you’re making up quotes for the CEO, use a fake name for the CEO.

  • You should approach this part of the assignment as if you’re working for a strategic communications agency that is trying to land an account, and you’re developing materials for the pitch session — in other words, you do not need to get client approval for your piece, but your piece needs to be real enough to be approved by that client.

  • For example, let’s say your lab’s topic is organ donation and one of your persuasive ideas is to hand out a flyer describing the need for organ donation with a tear-off pledge card at the bottom. You don’t need UW Health’s approval to produce that piece — you would simply need to produce a handout that is consistent with the goals and the audience, keeping in mind that you would later pitch your concept and products to them in an attempt to get them to hire you.

  • If you are assigned any sort of visual approach (such as an ad, direct mail piece or flyer), you must lay out the piece using the skills and software you learned this semester.

  • If you are writing a press release, you must specify the organization issuing the release, the date and the intended audience.

  • Not all strategic content will be on the website. For example, a press release announcing the site might appear in the “press” or “news” section of your website (assuming you have one). But a flyer that you are planning to post around town won’t necessarily go on the website.
  • The strategic content you develop should have a written component. For example:
    • If your strategic content piece is to develop social media accounts (i.e. you want to create Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts for your project), you should actually create those accounts and ask friends/labmates to follow them. Post samples of what you might actually post if the accounts were real. In addition, write a short strategy memo for your TA to grade that outlines the philosophy of your social media accounts and the special roles they might play in promoting your site/engaging your audience. Any social media accounts created for this class must include in the account description that it is fake. The Strategy Team pulls together a document of social accounts and passwords and submits them to the instructor in Week 14.
    • If your strategic content is to develop logos/branding for the website, please provide your TA with a short memo outlining the rationale for your branding strategy.
  • Turn in your content via Canvas and submit it electronically through the process developed by your lab.