Caption Writing Exercise

You must write a caption for each of the photos shown here. Total of 13 photos that need captions.

The caption must consist of these elements:

  • “Lead in”or tagline: (2-3 words of bold type) (Photos 1-9 can use the same lead-in or tagline)
  • One sentence description of photo subject written in present tense.
  • One sentence description of event written in past tense.

Here’s an example:


Nature’s Classroom — Local botanist Charles Rose explains how to distinguish species of trees by leaf patterns. He led a group of outdoor enthusiasts on a wildflower walk at Bull Skull Hollow last Tuesday.

Points: High School Journalism Workshop  & Exodus Release Party 11 @ 8 points each. Captions for the  other 2 photos  are worth 12 points each because you must look up the information and synthesize it. Total of 112 points.

Captions must be written in complete sentences. Use correct grammar, spelling, and AP Style for dates, titles, abbreviations.

Type your captions on a Word document and print to turn in. Make sure to put your name on the paper.

Length: Minimum of 25 words, 100 word maximum for each caption. Use

I’ve noted general information about the overall event after the main header for the photo collection. Information about each specific photo in the space BEFORE the photo. I’ve separated photos and info by inserting lines.

Event: Samford High School Journalism Workshop

When: September 8, 2011

What: Attended by 300 area high school students and journalism / yearbook advisers

1. Who: JMC Department Chair Dr. Bernie Ankney & NBC-13 reporter Chris Pollone, keynote speaker


2. Welcome by JMC Department Chair Dr. Bernie Ankney


3. Ankney, introducing the schools in attendance.


4. Who: Kaitlyn McCulley, alumnus of Samford JMC, reporter, CBS-42

Topic: Broadcasting Basics: Analyzing a TV News PackageIMG_4052

5. Who: Carla Jean Whitley

Managing Editor, Birmingham magazine

Topic: Magazine Journalism


6. Who: Dr. Dennis Jones, Samford JMC professor who teaches in the magazine track

Topic: Introduction to Newspaper Layout


7. Who: Marty Swant

Reporter, The Birmingham News

Topic: Intermediate Newspaper Reporting


8. Who: Dr. Jon Clemmensen

Samford JMC professor

Topic: Starting & Publishing a Literary Journal


9. Who: Donovan Harris

Samford JMC alum and member of JMC Advisory Council

‎Director of Design and Production at The Progress Farmer Magazine

Topic: Introduction to Magazine Design


Exodus Magazine Publication Party

April 30, 2014

10. Who:

Left: Erin Shaw, Design Assistant

Right: Anna Cox, Editor in Chief


11. :

Left: Staley McIlwain, Photo Editor

Right: Logan Heim, Editorial Assistant


Wendell Berry at Samford

12. Who: Wendall Berry

When: February 27, 2012



#BoneVoyage Party

13. Shelby County Humane Society Shelter Partners Program

When: November 12, 2011

More info here:


Summarize, write, edit, tweet: Part 2

Same as last week:

Write tweets for these 5 stories–after you’ve read the story and are certain you know what it’s about. Stay within 100-120 characters.

It’s important to correctly summarize the story. Be careful about misplaced modifiers.

Spelling counts.

Write in the active voice.

Eliminate unnecessary words.

50 points







Example tweets for JMC 300 Lab October 23, 2014

For JMC 300 Lab: October 16, 2014

Week 8: Writing in the active voice.

Subject – verb – object.

Omit unnecessary words.

Twitter is a great resource to learn how to write actively, directly and succinctly.

Assignment Directions:

Read each of the following articles and write a tweet in the active voice that summarizes a key point from the article. Your tweet should be a sentence that both summarizes the actual content and would most likely cause the reader to click to read more. Avoid click-bait phrases, though. Keep your tweet at no more than 120 characters to allow room for a link and possible retweets.

Use this tool: to count the number of characters.

Practice Articles:

Once you are sure your tweet is 110-120 characters, copy and paste the tweet into a Word document with your name on it.

Use the number that corresponds to the article to number your tweets.

1. Article:

2. Article:

3. Article:

4. Article:

5. Article:

6. Article:

7. Article:




PRSSA Summit Notes and Take-Aways

The PRSSA Summit took place on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 in the Alabama Power building in downtown Birmingham. The summit was attended by students from universities across the Southeast. The summit focused on social media. While it was a good experience to hear some tips from current PR professionals, the summit made me feel that Samford has a superior program to many of those offered at the state schools represented. I found that, as a student of Samford’s JMC department, I had a much better grasp on current PR trends, practices and skills. Below are some of the major take-aways that I took from the experience. 


The introductory speaker gave some general pointers on how to use social media effectively. He suggests that you “cultivate the network that makes you smarter.” That is follow, and repost sources that contribute to your knowledge and interests. Pigott also believes that “social media is successful when it is driving customers to other platforms.” This means that social media should primarily serve as a connecting point to drive traffic further into your company. 

Pigott’s final statement is that “social media is the disruptive technology of today” and it should be used accordingly. 


 Scott Weasley suggested some PR blogs to follow and repost in order to improve your online rapport. His suggestions are listed below.

Industry blogs for PR:


Brandon Wilson lead a break out session on how to write a resume. His advice is listed below.

Writing a resume:


1. Use your resume real estate wisely

2. Be active on paper

3. Focus on impact, not just experience (employers are hiring accomplishments and achievements NOT your prior company)


1. Use overly clever email addresses

2. Include references

3. Lie or overstate accomplishments


The Keynote speaker, Julie Hood, was very insightful and presented several thoughts that were inspirational to me. 

She spoke on the characteristics of an effective and successful communications professional. Some of the main characteristics are listed below. 

A top communicator is:

  • An integrator
  • A systems designer
  • A master of analytics
  • A publisher and developer
  • A student of behavioral studies

Many of these characteristics highlight the importance of analytics, data and numbers. Hood said “the demands for data and metrics have never been higher.”

Another interesting topic that Hood discussed is the importance of internal communications. As a company, PR is usually focused on external communication, but Hood stressed the importance of internal communication to present a unified front to the public. She said that “the importance of internal communication of company values is clear communication of Values. This helps to manage global workforces making interaction with customers and service uniform.”


For students and others interested in public relations and media.