1. Pick one of the president’s initiatives from the 2013 State of the Union address. Explain the White House communication strategy to promote the initiative. That is, how is the administration framing the initiative? By what means is it pitching the initiative and to which audiences? Who is opposing it and how? In light of the opposition, do you think that the White House strategy is effective? In your analysis, you should take a careful look at the White House website (www.whitehouse.gov) as well as the sites of any relevant federal agencies. Remember that the White House website does not include all of the president’s public utterances, so you should also use Nexis and Google. Also check the White House Twitter feed.
2. Devise a strategy for promoting a bill or other specific policy decision currently pending in Congress, a state legislature, or a local government. The strategy may either involve working with an existing group or acting on your own. Be specific: explain what message you would send to which professional media outlets, and how you would use blogs and social media. Tell how this approach would influence which specific decisionmakers. (If you really want to promote the cause in question, feel free to implement some of all of your plan, for instance, by starting a Facebook page. Mockup ads and video scripts will not count against the page limit.) For examples of advocacy, see Autism Speaks.
- Essays should be typed (12-point) stapled, double-spaced, and no more than four pages long. I will not read past the fourth page.
- Put your name on a cover sheet. Do not identify yourself on the text pages.
- Cite your sources. You may use either endnotes or parenthetical references to a bibliography. In either case, put documentation in a standard format (e.g., Turabian or Chicago Manual of Style).
- Watch your spelling, grammar, diction, and punctuation. Errors will count against you.
- Return essays by the start of class on Wednesday, March 13. Essays will drop one gradepoint for one day’s lateness and a full grade after that. I will grant no extensions except for illness or emergency.