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COM 300 - Writing in Communication (3 CREDITS) Spring 2016 Office Hours: By appointment Email: rkrichardson@wsu.edu MATERIALS & ...

Thursday, April 21, 2016



For our final two weeks of the semester, we will:
  • Learn about Writing a Consumer-Focused Newsletter
  • Learn about "Content Marketing" & Copywriting
  • Continue to review AP style
  • Ad copy assignment due April 15
  • Final writing assignment due on Friday, April 29
  • Read the following chapters:
    • 20: "Journalism and Public Relations"

Newsletter Take Home Assignment


Pick a brand or organization you admire and create an original newsletter that contains news and information that might be of interest to the anticipated target audience. Your newsletter should contain a headline, logo, product image(s), call-to-action button or link and at least three different promotional sections filled with editorial sales copy.

Here is an example of what a template might look like for the completed assignment:
To complete this assignment, you should use Wix's ShoutOut service. This is a free website and newsletter building tool that you can access at the following link:
Note: If you do not already have a Wix account, it will first require you to create a new account. Don't forget your username and password as you'll need it to complete this assignment.

Also, note that the free version of this service limits your ability to create and send only three newsletters per month. Thus, be aware of how often you exit, save and email your newsletter so that you don't exceed your limit on your free account.

To turn in the assignment, students will need to email me the completed newsletter by class on Friday, April 29. Use the "Send Test Email" feature to send me your completed email. In addition, you should print out a copy of your email and bring it to class to turn it in.

Creating a Newsletter Campaign

Many corporations use newsletters to communicate a combination of serious and/or feature news to their customer base. Newsletters can also be used to foster brand loyalty. While many people associate the newsletter format with old-fashioned print distribution, they may also be distributed electronically.

To write a good newsletter, you should consider your target audience. What types of editorial content will they find useful, interesting and informative? While there can be "sales"-like information in a newsletter, there should also be news that is considered valuable by the reader.

Here are some good examples of newsletters and other resources that might help you lock down a content strategy for your newsletter:

In-Class Exercise: Create a Sample Newsletter

In class today, we'll practice using the Wix tool to create a practice newsletter using existing image, video and text content assets.

Here is what your final product will look like:
To start, you'll need to download the elements found at the following Dropbox link:
Next, you'll need to sign up for (or login to your existing) Wix account to access the ShoutOut newsletter creation tool:
Once you are ready with the media assets and the account, you'll be ready to create your first newsletter in class during our training session!

After your newsletter is ready for review, you can use the "Preview" button to see what it will look like on both a desktop and mobile device. Don't forget to use the "Test Email" link to send yourself a test email -- so that you can see what it looks like within your email client. 

(Note: Some email clients, such as your WSU email, will block email images by default. You should be able to retrieve the full email by clicking on the warning link that reads: "To help protect your privacy, some content in this message has been blocked. If you're sure this message is from a trusted sender and you want to re-enable the blocked features, click here.").

Once you are happy with your newsletter, you can proceed to save and send it to yourself. Note that the free version of ShoutOut limts your total newsletter creations to three per month! After our training session, this will be reduced to two more...so be careful not to use up your allocation to complete the exercise.

Mastering Copywriting - Voices from the Pro Copywriters Network

Want to improve your copywriting?

The U.K.-based Pro Copywriters Network sponsors an annual conference that brings together experts in branding and copywriting. I've curated two of the best seminars from this recent conference for your review.

The first video features Dr. Jullian Ney, chief intelligence officer of research and insight at Disruptive Insight. Dr. Ney discusses "Storytelling from Social Intelligence":

The second video features noted influencer Bill Hilton, who has written professional copy for major corporations and authored several books. His presentation focuses on "The Psychology of Copywriting."

You can see even more seminar videos on the Pro Copywriters Network YouTube channel.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

All About Content Marketing

The Content Marketing Institute has created an excellent documentary "The Story of Content: Rise of New Marketing" that we will be watching in class.

This production shows copywriters and companies how to break through the clutter with compelling stories.


Thursday, March 31, 2016



For these weeks, we will:
  • Watch the award-winning documentary "Art & Copy"
  • Learn the basics of ad copywriting, including creation of headlines, sub-heads and call-to-action copy.
  • Learn about "value propositions"
  • Continue to review AP style
  • Press release writing assignment - due April 1
  • Ad copy assignment due April 15
  • Read the following chapter:
    • 20: "Journalism and Public Relations"