Assignment: Worksheet: What Is Mass Communication?

Assignment: Worksheet: What Is Mass Communication?
What is mass communication? And, how does that definition of mass communication apply to situations you might encounter in daily life? In this Worksheet assignment, you will explore both questions.

By Day 7
· Read the textbook chapters for this week and the articles in the Resources.

· Download the Week 1 Worksheet found in the Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Dominick, J. R. (2012). The dynamics of mass communication: Media in transition (12th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.


· Chapter 1, “Communication: Mass and Other Forms”


This chapter discusses the core elements of the communication process and analyzes the various traditional and emerging forms of communication.


· Chapter 2, “Perspectives on Mass Communication”


This chapter examines the various perspectives society has on mass communication.


· For your Final Project, which you learn about this week, you will choose one of the forms of media from the “Media” column below as an object of study. You may consult the associated chapters from the Course Text, The Dynamics of Mass Communication: Media in Transition, to help you make your selection. Note: You are not required to read all of the chapters in this table for this week.



Associated Chapter


(Dominick, Chapter 5)


(Dominick, Chapter 6)


(Dominick, Chapter 7)


(Dominick, Chapter 8)

Sound Recording

(Dominick, Chapter 9)

Motion Pictures

(Dominick, Chapter 10)


(Dominick, Chapters 11 & 12)


(Dominick, Chapter 4)

Public Relations and/or Social Media

(Dominick, Chapter 14)


(Dominick, Chapter 15)

Chaffee, S. H., & Metzger, M. J. (2001). The end of mass communication? Mass Communication & Society, 4(4), 365–379. doi:10.1207/S15327825MCS0404_3

Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.


This article explores various ways of defining mass communication and examines how mass communication may be evolving dramatically with changes in technology.

Brokaw, T. (1996, December 2). Only good if you can trust it. Forbes, 158(13), 229. Retrieved from

Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.


In this article, former NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw reflects on the changing media technology and the unchanging need for trust

COMM 1003 Week 1 Worksheet

This worksheet is due by Day 7 of Week 1.

Directions: Please download this worksheet by saving the document to your own computer using the naming convention “WK1Assgn+last name+first initial” as the Submission Title. The file name identifies you and indicates to your instructor that your worksheet is available to grade. Please TYPE in your answers in the boxes provided. If you need more space than is provided, the box will expand as you write—so, no need to worry about space. Do not write your answers in a separate document because your instructor uses the rubric after each question to grade that section of this worksheet. You may use the rubric as a guide to make sure you completed that question correctly.

What Is Mass Communication?

1. Give your own definition of “mass communication” in 25–50 words. You should use your own words to summarize what you may have read in the Week 1 Resources.

Insert your answer below

For Instructor Use Only

Question #1 Rubric


· Did the student define “mass communication” in his or her own words? _____/10 points

· Was the student’s description in complete sentences, 25-50 words, with few spelling and grammatical errors? _____/5 points

Instructor Comments:

15 Points


2. Describe how mass communication is different from interpersonal communication. As you answer this, be sure to write about how the sender and receiver roles may differ from in each type of communication.

Insert your answer below

For Instructor Use Only

Question #2 Rubric


· Did the student describe how mass communication is different from interpersonal communication? _____/ 5 points

· Did the student address how the sender and receiver roles differ? _____/5 points

· Was the student’s description in complete sentences with few spelling and grammatical errors? _____/5 points

Instructor Comments:

15 Points


3. Describe how mass communication is different from machine- assisted communication. As you answer this, be sure to write about how feedback and the channel may differ in each type of communication.

Insert your answer below

For Instructor Use Only

Question #3 Rubric


· Did the student describe how mass communication is different from machine-assisted communication? _____/5 points

· Did the student address how feedback and the channel differ? _____/5 points

· Was the student’s description in complete sentences with few spelling and grammatical errors? _____/5 points

Instructor Comments:

15 Points


4. Watch the video “Processes of Choosing the Message and the Media,” with Pauline Harris located in the Week 1 Resources. Identify two machine-assisted strategies that she uses to build the visibility of her clients. Explain why these strategies are significant in mass media. As you explain, be sure to apply one idea from any of the Week 1 Course Resources and give proper credit to the source you used.

Note : To “apply” an idea from your resources means you either quote or paraphrase something your textbook (or another article, video or website listed in the Week 1 Resources) said concerning the idea you are writing about. Then, you need to cite that source. You can cite the source in parentheses using this format: (Author, publication Date, Page #). For example, if I wanted to quote what the textbook said about gatekeepers , I might write:

Gatekeepers are an important part of mass communication because they have “control over what material eventually reaches the public” (Dominick, 2013, p. 15).

Insert your answer below

For Instructor Use Only

Question #4 Rubric


· Did the student identify two machine-assisted strategies that Pauline Harris used in her marketing firm? Were they able to explain the significance of these strategies that were used?

_____/15 points

· Did the student apply one idea from the Week 1 Course Resources? _____/10 points

· Was the student’s description in complete sentences with few spelling and grammatical errors? _____/5 points

Instructor Comments:

30 Points


Worksheet Total Points

75 points


Required Media
Laureate Education (Producer). (2013c). Processes of choosing the message and the media [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.


Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 11 minutes.


In this media piece, Pauline Harris, the owner of the marketing and public relations firm SPIN (Strategy, Public Relations, Image, and New Business), explains and gives examples of the processes that her firm uses when creating messages for their clients. She also briefly describes how mass communication has evolved over time based on her experiences and gives advice about how to stay on the leading edge of the marketing and public relations field.

Process of Choosing the Message and the Media

Process of Choosing the Message and the Media Program Transcript


PAULINE HARRIS: My name is Pauline Harris. I own a marketing and public relations firm here in Baltimore. The name of the firm is SPIN. And SPIN is an acronym for the services that we provide. It stands for strategy, PR, image, and new business development.

We work all within the building industry. So we work with developers, and architects, interior designers, contractors, and engineers. When we began to work with a client, we do a strategic planning session first. And then from that planning session, it’s actually a one-day, if you will, charrette. And we ask many, many, many questions to understand a lot about the organization and where they would like to be. And what is that message? And who is the audience? And how do they want to get in front of that audience? It’s very tailored.

We then come back with a strategic marketing plan for them. And based on that information, and we back that into a budget as to where we determine what medium they should use to get that message out. So that could be anything from television, to radio, to website, to Facebook and Twitter. We help our clients determine which medium they should be in front of based on their audience and how they want to get there. And again, that also is based on time and effort and budgets as well.

And then, we try to be creative about it. Today, editors are receiving so much information. When I first began my career, it was in a very much more slow-pace method.

We would put a binder together of information. I’d pitch a story to a particular editor. We would include stunning photography because that’s half the battle when you’re dealing with print media. And then, try and craft a message as to why that was really important to that audience.

And today, it’s done so rapidly and it’s online. If the same is true, you then have to just kind of– one, it’s about relationships with the media. And two, it’s about the message. They need to answer the questions of advertisers for one, but also their readership as well, and satisfy all of those. So that then, also backs into a lot of research that’s necessary for the individual that’s trying to pitch their story.

And the process that we go through to determine the tone of the message and how lively we want to be, or how do we want to attract the editor’s attention, is based on the research that we do. Again, we back that into the audience that we would like to read this message.

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Process of Choosing the Message and the Media

We have one person on my staff that is an amazing researcher. And she was working with the Baltimore Area Convention Center here in town and was trying very hard to get Food & Wine magazine to come to Baltimore to do a story, a pretty large spread on when you visit Baltimore. And they sort of do destinations in their publication.

She happened to be doing some research and found that this editor won a $10,000 dress. And so she emailed her. In the subject line she said, I know where you can wear that dress.

It took 90 days, but then she finally received a response. At first she didn’t think she was going to get a response, and then did. And so they did come to Baltimore and did a full spread on it. Again, it’s extremely imperative that you do the research and understand about the publication and understand about the editor and what they’re looking for in order to attract their attention.

There’s a fine line between pestering an editor and drilling in the right message that you want to give to them. But again, you just have to answer their needs. If you can put yourself in that editor’s place all the time or the recipient’s place every time you send something, whether it’s a postcard, mailing, or blast email, and how’s that going to be received is really where you’ll be much more successful.

We were hired by a company called Konover Construction. They’re based out of Farmington, Connecticut, and they have an office here in Columbia, Maryland. They hired us to help them raise market share. And that was through many outlets. Through website development, to brochure development, to PR, radio and television.

They are a construction company, general contractors, and they build a lot of large retail box construction. So that would be a Target, Stop Shop & Save, Home Depot, and so forth.

This client came to us because they were awarded five major retail projects up in Connecticut and they wanted to get as much mileage and press out of that as possible. And our charge was to understand, well, why is that newsworthy, and what should they do? And how should they focus on that?

So we did a lot of research. We found this happened to be in a summer, in July, when the heat wave was up tremendously and gas prices were going through the roof. So the question was, are people coming out to spend money in retail? And are we really driving the traffic out there? And how do we get them there? So we did a lot of research to understand, where is retail today?

And we happened to come across some information from Forbes magazine that stated that retail was up 70%, in fact, during that summer. So it gave us an

©2013 Laureate Education, Inc.

Process of Choosing the Message and the Media

opportunity to lead the press release off with, “According to Forbes magazine, retail is up 70%. Therefore, Konover has a strong foothold in retail construction.” And gave us an opportunity, really, to talk about those five projects that they’re working on, and to dig deeper in that.

It was picked up in print magazines, national trade publications, local press as well– newspapers. It was picked up online as well. And then we took that information and we were proactive with it as well. We’d then either blast email data out to their client base or we did postcard mailings to announce the fact that they were covered in these different publications as well.

Another example that I can share with you is a project that we did for a restaurant called Founding Farmers. It’s in Washington, DC. It’s owned by the North Dakota Farmers Union and it’s the whole concept from farm to table. It’s located in the International Monetary Fund Building, great location in Washington, DC. And there were a lot of wonderful things and lots of stories to talk about.

It’s the first LEED, L-E-E-D, Platinum Project in the District of Columbia. Meaning that all the materials that are used in this restaurant are sustainable materials. They do everything that’s sustainable, from recycling to all the materials that they use, to the food that they serve. And again, it’s the whole concept from farm to table.

And so they came to us and said, we’d like to get as many people into this restaurant as possible. So we wanted radio and we wanted advertising and we wanted special events in there as well. So we held various media events there as well.

We also used foodie channels and blogs and communicated with different people to drive traffic in there. We found out that Bourbon Month is in the month of October and we associated ourselves with a bourbon distributor so that we could have various events for the entire month of October and drive traffic into there as well. We’ve managed to put the chefs on various TV and local television networks in order to drive people into the restaurant as well.

We also found a company that would create a feed bag. And we put their logo on the front of the feed bag. And we worked with a chef to put gift cards in there, but also breads and jams and everything that’s served in the restaurant. And then spent a day and went to every concierge desk in Washington to let the hotel concierge know that this restaurant is new in town and to drive traffic in there as well.

That was just the grassroots efforts of trying to get people into this restaurant. But also, just all of the announcements in local radio, television, and print media as well.

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Process of Choosing the Message and the Media

And another thing we used was Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn. We used those online tools, again, in the grassroots effort to get people out.

We had people talking about, I was at Founding Farmers last night and I had an incredible meal. Or, I met a ton of friends there. It was a great place for networking and socializing. And there was cocktailing that they were introducing. And that just increased awareness as well. People were blogging about it constantly.

And there is a fear of that. We had one restaurant critic just slash the restaurant. She said, if I hear one more from farm-to-table event again, I think I’m going to scream. But it gave us a chance to still have people talking about it. And that’s not a bad thing. You still want people coming into the restaurant.

Some of the major changes that I’ve seen throughout many years of experience is technology. And of course, online publication and the world wide web.

When I first began, there were four, almost telephone directory-type resources. And it lists every publication, every radio outlet, every media, mass communications resource in, again, if you can imagine a telephone directory. So in order to put a campaign together, you had to constantly go through these telephone directories and identify, how does the editor want to be approached? What’s the contact information? So immediately, the moment that that was published, it was obsolete.

Today, it’s available online. It’s a subscription. What we use, it’s called And again, it’s a subscription and a database. So you may plug in restaurants, or architecture, or a nonprofit organizations. And it will list out every editorial calendar and every publication looking for that subject matter.

The advice I would give someone that’s starting out in this field would be to educate yourself as to the medium and the audience and the editor that you want to be in front of. Learn everything that you can about that individual. It is still about relationships and individuals. It’s difficult because you’re trying, again, to get out to the mass media. But you need to understand what that editor needs. You need to understand the audience that they want to be in front of and that you’re not wasting their time.

If you do that, you’ll get a reputation for doing that and they won’t respond in any way. So the best advice I can give anyone that wants to get into this field and be effective is to learn as much as they possibly can about the audience that they want to be in front of. And then, craft that message and be creative about it. And think outside of the box. And that’s such a cliche term, but if you can do that all the time, you’ll be pretty successful at it.

©2013 Laureate Education, Inc. 4

Optional Resources
Lorimer, R. (2002). Mass communication: Some redefinitional notes. Canadian Journal of Communication, 27(1). Retrieved from


This article describes the need for redefining the meaning of mass communication because of its evolution and the increasing need for and popularity of the Internet.

Happy Fun Communication Land. (n.d.-a). The communication process. Retrieved September 12, 2016, from


This article gives a simple explanation of the process of communication.

Happy Fun Communication Land. (n.d.-b). Mass communication. Retrieved September 12, 2016, from


This article introduces the history of mass communication, beginning with texts.

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Getting to know your teaching assistant [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.


To better understand the role of your TA in this course, watch the short overview found here and on the Course Introduction page.