MEDIA MONITORING, ISSUE ANALYSIS & MANAGEMENT
The first objective of this project is for you to learn how to watch for and track issues that may affect your employer, your profession, your country or you. This is a crucial first step for managing issues.
The second objective is for you to learn how to analyse and strategically manage the impact of these issues on an affected organisation or governmental body using public relations theories and principles learned in class.
Types of issue
You should watch for issues that affect public opinion at home or globally and that would respond to public relations strategies and tactics you are learning about in class. Remember that an issue is subject to debate. It involves a controversy, or a problem to be resolved. The issue may impact local, state, national or international businesses, organizations or public officials.
Types of media to be monitored
In addition to local media, monitor at least one major daily newspaper outside of Singapore for developments in your issue. Excellent reports will be taken from several news sources. Clip all articles you can find about the issue, or print out articles found on the Internet. Write the date and source on each clip.
Individual media monitoring summary
Most issues are complex enough to have many facets. Each team member should concentrate on one such facet. Each member must compile a summary that highlights the main points (no more than a paragraph, highlighting the clip's main points and relevancy to the issue) for each of the clip. As you collect the clips, write a short summary about the development(s) highlighted by each clip. Do not wait until the last minute to write your summaries. Write them as you track. Upload the completed summaries, with the orignial clip in the same document into the folders created for each project team. This will allow your tutors to track your team's progress. (Note: If you were doing this for an employer, you would track several issues of interest to, or that may have an impact on, your organization. The summaries would be given to your supervisor daily). By the end of the media monitoring exercise each team member should have 5 unique clips.
Team Presentation & Report
By Week 11 your team should be prepared to deliver a short 15-minutes presentation to your tutorial class. (Your team should be ready to present your project by this stage even if you are not scheduled to present in Week 11.) To address the issue on behalf of the organization you have chosen to represent, propose at least one public relations objective and at least one tactic to achieve that objective. An excellent presentation should consider more than one tactic, as appropriate.
The presentation must not go over the time limit set by the tutor. Each presentation will be followed by 5-10 minutes of Q&A. Points earned for the presentation will be determined by content and by how well the presenters were prepared and followed these criteria. Audio/visual aids to comprehension are a plus.
Each team should submit a 10-page report (excluding the title page, references and appendices) of its issue. The report should have the following sections and appendices:
(1) An executive summary: While it will appear first in the report, following the title page, the executive summary should be prepared last. It should briefly summarize the report’s main findings and recommendations and be no longer than one page, double-spaced.
(2) Summary of all the aspects of the issue considered in the media monitoring: List the issues identified in the media monitoring. Assign priority to the issues and explain how you arrived at your conclusions. In prioritising issues, consider the potential impact of the issue on the organization's mission and its stakeholders (2-3 pages).
(4) Analysis of top issues (team): Analyze the top three aspects of the issue and their potential impacts on the organization and stakeholders. In the analysis, identify opinion leaders on the issue. Include facts, arguments, premises, conclusions and/or policy recommendations of the opinion leaders. The analysis also should include an issue-forecasting section outlining whether and/or how the issue will continue, change, affect public opinion, mobilize opinion leaders and activists, and/or result in legislative action (2-3 pages).
(5) Issues management analysis and recommendation: Drawing on what you have learnt in class and from the literature, identify the theories, strategies and tactics that you would propose to manage the issues' impact on your organization's mission and stakeholders. An excellent report will discuss at least three principles, theories or other elements learned in class and correctly applied to your issue. In addition, you will propose at least one realistic and measurable public relations objective and tactic to address the issue on behalf of your organization. The excellent report will propose more than one tactic, as appropriate. Set at least one measurable objective for each tactic. Finally, the excellent report will reflect any feedback received during the presentation. To help measure the extent to which your tactics have met your objectives, you should also come up with some evaluation methods (2-3 pages.)
(6) Bibliography: Append a bibliography of the works cited to support your analysis and recommendation. (1-2 pages.)
The report is to be typed, double-spaced, and with the clips, printouts or photocopies attached. Add a reference page, citing the articles used. Append a cover sheet and package the report neatly in a large envelope with the name of the client, the issue addressed, your team's name, your team members' names and matriculation numbers, your TA's name and the day and time of the tutorial on the outside. The number of points earned (out of 100) will be determined by the quality of the summary and the application section and by how well criteria were met and directions were followed. Writing, grammar and spelling are important.