COMSTRAT 310: Digital Content Promotion

Fall 2019 / Rebecca L. Cooney

syllabus

MWF 9:10-10:00a / MWF 10:10-11:00a / Goertzen 1


Instructor: Rebecca L. Cooney, MS
Sections: COMSTRAT 310-03 (9:10-10a) and COMSTRAT 310-01 (10:10-11a) MWF
Office: GOERTZ 205
Office Hours: Schedule at https://calendly.com/rebecca-cooney/office-hours
Phone:  (509) 335-3911
Email: rebecca.cooney@wsu.edu

Textbook & Resources

Required Textbook: Cooney, R. L. (2018). “Integrated Digital Marketing Campaigns*,” Dubuque, IA: Great River Learning. ISBN # 9781680757965. The e-Textbook can be purchased at The Bookie via access card or directly from the publisher.

  1. Go to www.grtep.com
    1. No access code (purchasing from publisher): Select “Click here to Purchase” if you do not already have an access code OR
    1. With access code (purchased at The Bookie): Enter the access code from the access card and select “Next”
  2. Select Washington State University from the Institution pulldown menu
  3. Select Integrated Digital Marketing Campaigns – Rebecca Cooney from the Online Publication drop-down menu
  4. You will be prompted to select your appropriate section/instructor. Please select the correct course so you are placed in the appropriate class.
  5. Complete the account Info form information. Please use your wsu.edu email address for consistency in course communication.
  6. If purchasing from the publisher, complete your payment information and click Submit
  7. From there you will receive further instructions and prompts to access the textbook

*Please note that in compliance with the WSU Faculty Handbook (IV 1. Use of Faculty Authored, Edited or Prepared Scholarly Material (page 88), the author designates The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication as the royalty designee to receive royalties for all e-textbooks sold for COMSTRAT 310 and thereby waives any rights to receive royalties from the publisher for this course or any other WSU-sponsored course. Please contact Rebecca Cooney if you have any questions or concerns related to this policy.

Course Overview:

COMSTRAT 310 Digital Content Promotion (Washington State University, The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication) is designed to help students apply writing, critical thinking, and persuasion skills to the practice and promotion of PR and advertising, in both digital and social media outlets. Students will explore various digital promotion technologies, as well as the use of emerging social media to study their ethical application in both advertising and PR.

  • Credits: 3 credits
  • Prerequisites: Course Prerequisite: COM 210; COM 300 with a C or better; certified in any major in the College of Communication.
  • Semester: Fall 2019
  • Course Delivery: Students meet on MWF on the Pullman campus

Course Description

The course addresses digital content and social media campaigns from both a PR and advertising perspective. In general, the work created and submitted is meant to prepare students for real-world application. Assignments include content creation and promotion of campaign elements using both emerging and established new media technologies, including social media, podcasts, viral videos, social media news releases and website analytics.

Students work in teams aligned with a fictional brand, product or organization for the duration of the semester. Students are expected to conceptualize and create specified elements of a promotional campaign, which includes brand platform, website, social media channels, HTML email and digital assets. Students learn to optimize and promote their campaigns and content for distribution and discovery on search engines, social networks, mobile devices and other non-traditional outlets. Best practices are explored for digital storytelling, tagging, metadata creation, social network seeding, community engagement and more. Students learn basic data interpretation techniques of the website and social media analytics services (such as Google Analytics and Facebook Insights) that track visitor behavior, page views, keyword and third-party site referrals.

Students close out the semester with a solid understanding of digital content tactics, tools, and resources available for ongoing professional development, exploration, and mastering.

Course Goals and Assessment

The main goal of this course is to introduce students to key ideas, principles, and tactics for writing for digital content, creating and executing a digital campaign and understanding core concepts in tracking and measuring the effectiveness of digital communications. Students are introduced to digital campaign planning and project management – challenged on how to establish purposeful and measurable outcomes and trained on the setup, design, delivery, and measurement of various online tools used by practitioners for web development, email outreach, social media engagement and online advertising.

Course Learning Goal 1: Develop and manage online content promotions and branded digital campaigns.

Course Topics

  • Overview of Social Media Marketing (aka Digital Marketing)
  • Ethics in the Digital Space
  • Presentations and Reporting
  • Overview of Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC)
  • Earned, Owned, and Paid Media
  • Target Audience and Audience Persona
  • Customer Experience
  • Brand Platform
  • Core Messaging
  • Overview of digital tools, platforms, and channels
  • Lead Management Process and Customer Relations Management
  • Web Development
  • Blogging for Business
  • Social Media Engagement
  • Other Digital Tactics: Mobile Marketing, Email Marketing, and Online Advertising
  • Content Creation and Sharing: Blogging, Streaming Video, Podcasts, and Webinars

Evaluation of Outcome

  • In-class discussion topics that synthesize information students have been learning, apply information to different settings or populations, describe relevant examples of course information, and/or engage with various resources and respond.
  • Semester-long project planning
  • Audience persona
  • Situation Analysis, Culture, Brand, and Core Messaging
  • Customer Decision Process
  • Digital Asset Planning
  • Initial Setup and Content Population for Digital Assets (website, blog, social media channels)

Course Learning Goal 2:  Ability to develop and execute social media engagement and user-oriented content strategies.

Course Topics

  • Overview of Digital Media Metrics
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Web Analytics
  • Social Media Metrics
  • Digital Marketing Plans
  • Overview of Integrated Digital Campaigns
  • Campaign Planning and Messaging
  • Content Strategy
  • Campaign Implementation
  • Campaign Metrics
  • Tools for Managing Digital Marketing Efforts

Evaluation of Outcome

  • In-class discussion topics that synthesize information students have been learning, apply information to different settings or populations, describe relevant examples of course information, and/or engage with various resources and respond.
  • Metrics Setup on Digital Assets: Web Analytics and Search Engine Optimization
  • Reporting: Digital Marketing Campaign Strategy (goals, strategy, objectives, deliverables)
  • Digital Content Creation
  • Baseline Metrics and Key Performance Indicators
  • Reporting: Campaign Concepts, Tactics, and Desired Outcomes

Course Learning Goal 3: Evaluate campaign success in execution using key performance indicators and online tools for web development, email, metrics, and multimedia management.

Course Topics

  • Campaign Implementation: Monitoring and Adjusting
  • Campaign Implementation: Metrics and Analysis

Evaluation of Outcome

  • In-class discussion topics that synthesize information students have been learning, apply information to different settings or populations, describe relevant examples of course information, and/or engage with various resources and respond.
  • Campaign Implementation, Monitoring, and Adjusting
  • Reporting: Final Campaign Report and Reflections

Instructor Interaction

Rebecca is on campus throughout the week. The best place to catch them will always be during class time but you can email or leave a voice message (voice messages are also sent to email). To meet privately it is recommended you schedule an appointment.

Where you find information:  Most of the course content is housed within the course blog at https://comstrat310.com/. This includes lesson overviews, assignment links, instructions and due dates, digital syllabus, course schedule and everything else you will need to be successful as a 310 student. A few other resources

  • Access the 310-course space in Blackboard to turn in assignments in drop boxes and My Grades so you can stay on top of your progress.
  • Access the e-textbook using your login and password: Great River Learning.
  • Access myWSU for the course roster and enrollment status, midterm grades, final grades

Announcements:  Announcements will be posted in the course blog and via emails sent to your WSU account to help keep you on track, remind you of critical deadlines and provide you with helpful resources and tips and other information related to the course.

Attendance Policy

Attendance in 310 is mandatory. Students earn 3 points per course session attendance, active participation as an individual and in teams, engagement, and collaboration. Attendance will be taken regularly throughout the semester as Rebecca checks in with teams during most class sessions. Students risk losing points for all unexcused absences.

Excused Absences

As stated by WSU Academic Regulations 73, “Absences impede a student’s academic progress and should be avoided.” The following categories constitute “excused absences”:

University-Sponsored: Any student who is required to participate in off-campus, university-sponsored activities such as field trips, musical performances, judging teams, intercollegiate athletic events, etc., should obtain an official Class Absence Request form from the faculty or staff member supervising the off-campus activity.

Military Service Members: Students who are members of the National Guard or a reserve branch of military service are permitted to miss class for weekend drills, active duty, and related responsibilities.

Other Excused Absences: Students may sometimes miss examinations or other academic obligations affecting their grades because of illness, personal crises, mandated court appearances, parental responsibilities, and the like. As long as such absences are not excessive, the instructor will likely accommodate and excuse the absence. The instructor reserves the right to require the student to submit a written explanation of the absence (not necessarily directly from healthcare professional). Students who attempt to gain advantage through abuse of this policy (e.g., by providing an instructor with false information) risk referral to the Office of Student Standards and Accountability for disciplinary action.

Late Work Policy

This course requires students to maintain strong organizational skills.  It is the responsibility of the individual student and teams to complete all assignments by the due date. Students/teams who miss a deadline for a graded task are subject to a 10% penalty for every day the task is late. If a graded task is not received within 72 hours of the deadline, students/teams are at risk of receiving a “0” zero for the graded task for failure to complete. Some consideration, however, might be given (at the discretion of the instructor) if there are extenuating circumstances such as prolonged hospitalization, family death, or extended individual sickness previously discussed. Unless otherwise previously arranged, please note that the instructor will not retroactively accept any graded task due after midterm grades are submitted.

Course Schedule and Assignments

Please refer to the supplemental Course Schedule.

Grading

Point Breakdown

CategoryIndividual vs. TeamPoints% of Grade
Kick-Off SurveyIndividual102%
Peer Evals (x3)Individual305%
Team Reports (x3)Team609%
TutorialsIndividual609%
ReadingIndividual9614%
ParticipationIndividual11717%
Team ProjectTeam29544%
668 pts100%*

* Individual contribution = 47% of your grade (313 pts).  Team contribution = 53% of your grade (347pts)

Grading Table

GradePointsPercentageGradePointsPercentage
A628-66894-100%C494-51374-76%
A-601-62790-93%C-468-49370-73%
B+581-60087-89%D+448-46767-69%
B554-58083-86%D428-44764-66%
B-534-55380-82%D-407-42761-63%
C+514-53377-79%F< 4060-60%

If a grade falls into a non-specified range (e.g. 89.5% or 89.2%), the grade will be rounded to the closest whole number. Therefore, if a grade was 89.5%, the student would receive an A-; if the grade as 89.2% the student would receive a B+.

Policies & Procedures

Academic Calendar

Please review the current Academic Calendar to become familiar with critical deadlines on your campus. Visit the WSU Academic Calendar page: http://www.registrar.wsu.edu/Registrar/Apps/AcadCal.ASPX. and select your home campus from the drop-down menu.

Academic Complaint Procedures (Academic Rule 104)

Instructional faculty, chairs, deans, and students should be thoroughly familiar with academic complaint procedures.

A student having complaints about instruction or grading should attempt to resolve those issues directly with the instructor. If that fails, the student should send an email to the instructor using his or her official WSU email account no later than 20 business days following the end of the semester. This email should briefly outline the complaint and be copied to the chairperson of the academic department.

If the complaint is not resolved with the instructor within 20 business days of sending the email, then the student may work directly with the chairperson of the academic department in which the course is offered. The chair’s decision shall be rendered within 20 additional business days.

After the chair’s decision, the student or the instructor may appeal to the academic college Dean’s Office. Complaints must be presented in writing to the college dean within 20 business days of the chair’s decision. The written statement should describe the complaint, indicate how it affects the individual or unit, and include the remedy sought from the college dean. The decision of the college dean is the final step and shall be made within 20 business days.

At the campuses other than Pullman, the procedure is identical except that the program leader shall substitute for the department chair, and the campus chancellor or his or her designee shall substitute for the college dean if the department chair and/or the college dean is not located on that campus.

The University Ombudsman is available at any stage for advice or assistance in resolving academic complaints.

Note: Though chairs and deans (and academic area coordinators and campus chancellors) may resolve complaints about instruction and grading, they may not change a final grade without the consent of the instructor, except as provided by Rule 105.

Academic Freedom

WSU supports the faculty’s academic freedom, right to freedom of expression, and responsibility to fulfill course objectives that are approved by the Faculty Senate. This is fundamental to who we are as an institution. Along with these rights comes the responsibility to protect the freedom of expression of all members of our community, including students.

“As teachers, professors encourage the free pursuit of learning in their students. They hold before them the best scholarly standards of their disciplines. They demonstrate respect for the student as an individual and adhere to their proper role as intellectual guides and counselors…They protect students’ academic freedom.” (Source: Faculty Responsibilities section of the WSU Faculty Manual)

“Freedom of expression is recognized as one of the essential elements of academic freedom. On a healthy campus, there is respect for the dignity and worth of all members of the campus community and a concern for the rights of others. …It is the policy of Washington State University to support and promote the rights of all individuals to express their view and opinions for or against actions or ideas in which they have an interest… The above rights exist in equal measure for each member of the University community.” (Source: Section IIB of the Faculty Manual – page 14)

At WSU, the faculty has a strong interest in promoting respectful dialogue in the classroom setting. Speech and conduct that disrupts the educational process and creates a hostile environment, as that term is defined in WSU’s non-discrimination policy (Executive Policy 15), is not protected. If concerns arise, faculty will consult the WSU’s Office for Equal Opportunity at 509-335-8288 or oeo@wsu.edu. We aim to protect the freedoms and rights of every member of the WSU community and to promote learning about diverse perspectives while ensuring that students experience a safe, constructive learning environment.

Academic Integrity Statement

Washington State University, a community dedicated to the advancement of knowledge, expects all students to behave in a manner consistent with its high standards of scholarship and conduct. Students are expected to uphold these standards both on and off campus and acknowledge the university’s authority to take disciplinary action. Cheating is defined in the Standards for Student Conduct WAC 504-26-010(3). It is strongly recommended that you read and understand these definitions:  http://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=504-26-010.  

University instructors have the authority to intervene in all situations where students are suspected of academic dishonesty. In such instances, responsible instructors retain the authority to assign grades to students considering, from an academic standpoint, the nature of the student action. Violation of academic integrity on any assignment will involve (i) an academic penalty ranging from a minimum of both a zero on that assignment and the reduction of a full letter grade on your final grade to failure of the entire course, (ii) filing of case with the Office of Student Conduct, and per university regulations, (iii) inability to withdraw from the course.

Cheating includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism and unauthorized collaboration as defined in the Standards of Conduct for Students, WAC 504-26-010(3). You need to read and understand all of the definitions of cheating: http://app.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=504-26-010.  If you have any questions about what is and is not allowed in this course, you should ask course instructors before proceeding.

If you wish to appeal a faculty member’s decision relating to academic integrity, please use the form available at conduct.wsu.edu.

Academic Regulations

Students enrolled in online courses are subject to the same University academic regulations as on-campus students. Students may only repeat a course graded C- or below one time at WSU during fall or spring semesters.  Additional repeats are allowed from another institution or at WSU during summer terms or by special permission of the academic unit offering the course. Learn more at http://www.catalog.wsu.edu/General/AcademicRegulations/ListBy/73.

Appeals: Student Appeals Process

“The Appeals Board is composed of employees who review a decision made by the University Conduct Board, or a conduct officer, that a student violated the University’s Standards of Conduct for Students. When a student disagrees with a decision of the Conduct Board or a conduct officer, he/she may appeal the decision to the University Appeals Board.” – WSU Office of Student Conduct University Appeals Board 

Campus and Classroom Safety Statement

Classroom and campus safety is of paramount importance at Washington State University and are the shared responsibility of the entire campus population.  WSU urges students to follow the “Alert, Assess, Act” protocol for all types of emergencies and the “Run, Hide, Fight” response to an active shooter incident. Remain ALERT (through direct observation or emergency notification), ASSESS your specific situation, and ACT in the most appropriate way to assure your own safety (and the safety of others if you are able).

Please sign up for emergency alerts on your account at MyWSU. For more information on this subject, campus safety, and related topics, please view the FBI’s Run, Hide, Fight video and visit the WSU safety portal.

Critical Thinking

The ability to think and write critically is an essential skill in many walks of life. Critical thinking skills are developed and refined through practice, self-reflection, and the critique and support of peers and instructors. Throughout this course, you will have many opportunities to exercise your analytical thinking, synthesize information, and apply knowledge to real-life situations. The course developer or your instructor may have provided a critical thinking rubric in this course space, if applicable, to assess your own writing and that of other students. Please review it carefully before completing each activity.

Discriminatory Conduct Statement and Employee Reporting Requirements

Discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct (including stalking, intimate partner violence, and sexual violence) is prohibited at WSU (See WSU Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct (Executive Policy 15) and WSU Standards of Conduct for Students).

If you feel you have experienced or have witnessed discriminatory conduct, you can contact the WSU Office for Equal Opportunity (OEO) and/or the WSU Title IX Coordinator at 509-335-8288 to discuss resources, including confidential resources, and reporting options. (Visit oeo.wsu.edu for more information).

Most WSU employees, including faculty, who have information regarding sexual harassment or sexual misconduct are required to report the information to OEO or a designated Title IX Coordinator or Liaison.  (Visit oeo.wsu.edu/reporting-requirements for more info).

Email Policy

All official WSU email communication must be sent to students’ WSU email address.  Absolutely NO communication will be sent to external addresses (e.g., Yahoo, Gmail, and so forth). We will use either the email within Blackboard or “email.wsu.edu” system.

FERPA

WSU students have legal rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) for protection of their academic records. For a complete explanation of these rights, visit the URL associated with each home campus in the Academic Regulations section or http://www.registrar.wsu.edu/Registrar/Apps/FERPA.ASPX.

First Week Class Attendance (Rule 72)

Students who do not attend class during the first week of the semester will likely be dropped from the course. Students with extenuating circumstances should notify the Office of Student Affairs.  Valid reasons for missing class do not relieve the student of their responsibility for that missed work.

Final Exam

There is no final exam in COMSTRAT 310. Phase 6 of the Semester-Long Project serves as the culminating assignment for the course.

Grade Change Policy

An instructor may not change a grade after it has been filed with the Registrar, except in the case of clerical error, which the instructor may correct by so certifying to the Registrar. Such change must be approved (signature required) by the chairperson of the department in which the course was offered. Grade corrections must be processed within one year of the end of the term for which the original grade was given. In extenuating circumstances, exceptions to the one-year limit for correction of grade errors may be considered by petition to the Registrar’s Office.

Incomplete Policy (Academic Rule 90h)

Incompletes are granted only with permission of the instructor and are subject to the following guidelines:

  1. Students must request an incomplete in writing or by e-mail from the instructor before the end of the semester.
  2. The request must be signed and dated by the student (or identified by student’s e-mail address) and must explain the reasons behind the request for the incomplete.
  3. In order to be considered for an incomplete, there are two main conditions:
    1. A student must complete a minimum amount of the assigned course work. Specifically, a student must complete 75 percent of the coursework.
    2. A student must have a mathematical possibility of passing the class. A passing grade is 60 percent or above for the entire course.
  4. If extraordinary circumstances (e.g., family emergency, serious illness) are involved and are documented to the instructor’s satisfaction, the professor/ instructor retains the discretion to grant an incomplete even if the minimum conditions outlined in item 3 above are not met.

If an incomplete is granted, the standard WSU policy applies (i.e., ALL work must be completed within one full year from the end of the enrollment semester at issue, unless a shorter time is specified by the instructor. Otherwise, an automatic grade of “F,” or failing, will be entered on the student’s transcript). 

Instructional Methods

Work completed in the course is independent and non-collaborative. Students are expected to work independently on each task and assignment. The course is a combination of readings, class contribution in discussion and activities, and completion of graded assignments. Evaluation of your work will be completed by your instructor using established rubrics for each assignment.

Intellectual Property

Syllabi and all course-related materials, presentations, lectures, etc. are the intellectual property of individual faculty (or the intellectual property of their references) and may be protected by copyright. Selling class notes through commercial note-taking services, without instructor written advance permission, could be viewed as copyright infringement and/or an academic integrity violation, WAC 504-26-010 (3)(a,b,c, i). Further, the use of University electronic resources (e.g., Blackboard) for commercial purposes, including advertising to other students to buy notes, is a violation of WSU’s computer abuses and theft policy (WAC 504-26-218), a violation of WSU’s Electronic Communication policy (EP 4), and also violates the terms of use for the Blackboard software program.

Any course-related materials, presentations, lectures, etc. are the instructor’s intellectual property and may be protected by copyright. The use of University electronic resources (e.g., Angel) for commercial purposes, including advertising to other students to buy notes, is a violation of WSU’s computer abuses and theft policy (WAC 504-26-218).

Lauren’s Promise (new fall 2019)

Lauren's Promise

Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Sexual Harassment (Faculty Manual, p. 31).

Discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct (including stalking, intimate partner violence, and sexual violence) is prohibited at WSU (See WSU Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct (Executive Policy 15) and WSU Standards of Conduct for Students).

If you feel you have experienced or have witnessed discriminatory conduct, you can contact the WSU Office for Equal Opportunity (OEO) and/or the WSU Title IX Coordinator at 509-335-8288 to discuss resources, including confidential resources, and reporting options. (Visit oeo.wsu.edu for more information).

Most WSU employees, including faculty, who have information regarding sexual harassment or sexual misconduct are required to report the information to OEO or a designated Title IX Coordinator or Liaison.  (Visit oeo.wsu.edu/reporting-requirements for more info).

Reasonable Accommodations

Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. If you have a disability and need accommodations to fully participate in this class, please either visit or call the Access Center (Washington Building 217; 509-335-3417) to schedule an appointment with an Access Advisor. All accommodations MUST be approved through the Access Center.

Student Privacy

As a University student, you have legal rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) for protection of your academic records. For a complete explanation of these rights, visit the URL associated with your home campus in the Academic Regulations section or http://www.registrar.wsu.edu/Registrar/Apps/FERPA.ASPX.

Technical Support

If you need technical assistance, please expand the Content folder in the Map menu on the left by clicking the plus sign (+), then select Technical Support.

Weather Policy

For emergency weather closure policy, see: http://alert.wsu.edu/