Thom Blaylock

Clinical Assistant Professor

Thom Blaylock is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service.

At Wagner, he teaches professional and public policy communications and is the Clinical Director of the Master of Science in Public Policy Program. Previously, he taught at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. Thom has worked as a writer, editor, and consultant.

Thom received his Bachelor’s from Rice University and a MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts.

This is the end: June 29 will be the last day of your MSPP coursework. Let’s celebrate by completing one last policy analysis project that matters to you. Successfully completing studio requires you synthesize and apply many of the skills you have been honing over the course of the year: data analysis, policy research, communicating to specific audiences with strategic goals, data visualization and the application of economic, public policy and social theories for a single real-world self-directed policy analysis project. Each student’s final deliverables may differ depending on the scope and scale of the chosen project, but all will include at least: 1) a short analysis memo; 2)a 200-word SCQR summary of your memo; 3) a tabloid-sized poster featuring an original piece of data visualization; and 4) a fifteen-to-twenty minute presentation followed by a discussion led by another MSPP student delivered at the June 29th MSPP Conference.

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The goal of the course is to help students get the most out of every form of communication: to change minds with the written word, win allies in person, to sway audiences in presentations, and to get what they want out of the various forms of communication most common in the careers of recent NYU Wagner graduates.  Students will work both individually and collaboratively on a series of communications deliverables including: 1) Issue Briefs; 2) Memos; 3) Oral Presentations; 4) Press Releases; 5) Talking Points; 6) one-pagers; 7) Podcast; 7) A short video; and 8) A final unified campaign putting much of these forms together to enact a change you are passionate about. Each work product will be treated as a case study with specific audiences and a well-defined purpose.

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Communication Skills for Policy Analysts is a seminar course that simulates a fast-paced public policy environment where different stakeholders require a constant flow of written and oral communication work products. Each work product assignment will be treated as a case with a specific audience, background information and real-world situation and will require outside research and collaboration. MS in Public Policy students will draw on knowledge and techniques being learned in their other Fall coursework. There are five graded revised assignments, but a new work product will be due every week that the seminar meets and will include: 1) Issue Briefs; 2) Memos; 3) Oral Presentations; 4) Press Releases; 5) A Social Media Campaign; 6) Research Grant Intent Letters; and 7) Professional Email Communications.

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