NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College

SOIM-UB.0065.005 (C40.0065): ORGANIZATIONAL COMM & ITS SOCIAL CONTEXT

Spring 2012

Instructor Details

Younger, Jeffrey

jyounger@stern.nyu.edu

cell 646-436-3695

Wed 1:30pm – 3:30 pm

KMC 3-107


Many other days/times available by appointment

 

Roger Chen

roger.chen@stern.nyu.edu

(310) 431-8134

-

-

 

Course Meetings

TR, 11:00am to 12:15pm

Tisch T-UC19


Final Exam:

Schedule exceptions
    Class will not meet on:
    Class will meet on:

 

Course Description and Learning Goals

Course objectives: Why are you here?

Effective communicators take the lead in the workplace, and much of your future success in business depends on your ability to manage communication effectively. As part of the Social Impact of Business Core, this course provides the theoretical fundamentals in communication, applies communication strategy to oral and written business assignments, and focuses on how organizations communicate to their varied internal and external stakeholders.

Course basics: Teams, Blackboard and Key Requirements

Just as in the business world, a significant part of this course is based on teamwork and team assignments. You’ll be assigned to teams early in the course, and we’ll discuss the rights and responsibilities of the teams in class. Each team will need to meet on average once a week outside of class, either in person or virtually. In addition, this course requires two team meetings with the professor and/or the teaching fellow. Details will be explained in class.

Course materials will be managed by Blackboard.
PowerPoint lectures, handouts, links and other materials will be posted to Blackboard. You’ll be directed to post assignments to specific Blackboard locations, unless paper versions are needed for class work.

To do well in this course, you need to:

·         Complete all individual and team assignments on time, both graded and ungraded

·         Follow the specific assignment requirements in this course outline

·         Participate in class discussions

·         Contribute to team assignments

Participation guidelines

Participation and professionalism are key factors in this course; this includes: being prepared for class discussions, being on time for class, and attending class regularly. The course involves many in-class activities, which can’t be made up. Be prepared to discuss assigned readings. Participating with your team members is also required, and poor team participation will result in lower grades. Participation also includes timely posting to Blackboard where required. Late assignments, lack of preparation for class discussion or presentations, excessive tardiness, or more than two absences during the semester will result in a lower grade. As in any professional situation, explain any absence to the professor and teaching fellow in advance or as quickly as possible; an email is appropriate.

Laptops are not permitted for class use unless specific directions are given.
Cell phones must be turned off.

Presentation assignment guidelines

Specific instructions will be given for each presentation, explaining what type of visual support, if any, is appropriate; when presentations are due; and how to prepare for the presentation. By reading the assignment carefully, you should have a clear sense of how to approach it. Severalgraded presentations will be either 1) reviewed with the TF or professor or 2) self-evaluated, using supplied forms on Blackboard. Reviews are due within a week of the presentation.

Document guidelines

How your documents are prepared and delivered is very important. Follow these guidelines explicitly:

1.      Business documents assigned for this course should follow business style (single-spaced, no indented paragraphs, double-spacing only between paragraphs,etc.) rather than standard academic style (double-spaced with indented paragraphs.) Check the business format used in the introduction memo, in the textbook and online. If you are still unsure, ask fellow students, your TF or Professor.

2.      IMPORTANT: When you submit any assignment or any attachment, always start with your first name as part of the filename followed by your team number (For example, Alex_Team3_Assign1.doc).

3.      All documents (memos, reports, proposals, emails, etc.) must be in the designated format for each assignment. You will get detailed descriptions of all major assignments.

4.      Most documents and visual aids will be “turned in” by posting to Blackboard. All document assignments must be in a font size of at least 12 points with margins of 1”. 

Any assignment posted after the deadline will be considered late. Assignments and written comments will be returned as promptly as possible.

Additional Help

Contact the professor and/or TF via email and meet with us! We are available and willing to help you succeed. For additional help, try the Internet resources below; look for more of these helpful links on the Blackboard course site:

<http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/> – Guide to Grammar and Writing (explanations, examples, quizzes, FAQs; excellent online assistance)

http://library.nyu.edu/vbl/   NYU Virtual Business Library

www.businessweek.com – Offers additional information to add to what’s in the weekly magazine

 

Undergraduate College Policies

Please see http://www.stern.nyu.edu/UC/CurrentStudents/Academics/PoliciesAndProcedures/CON_021884  for “Teaching and Grading at the NYU Stern Undergraduate College” for more information.

Your final grade will be determined according to the following percentage breakdown.

·         Individual grades - worth 60 points, and

·         Team grades (all team members get the same grade for a given assignment) - 40 points

Participation and attendance are a significant part of the point system. This course includes the Undergraduate College policies for participation and attendance, as well as the ethical guidelines.

Attendance

Class attendance is mandatory and part of a student’s grade.  Excused absences may be permitted only in the case of documented serious illness, family emergency, religious observance or civic obligation. If you will miss class for serious illness or family emergency documentation is required. If you will miss class for religious observance or civic obligation, you must inform your instructor no later than the first week of class. If pre-arranged, actual holiday dates will be excused; missing class due to travel time is an unexcused absence. Recruiting activities are not acceptable reasons for class absence. More than two unexcused absences will negatively affect the final class grade.

Lateness

Students are expected to arrive to class on time and stay to the end of the class period. Chronically arriving late or leaving class early will negatively affect a student’s grade. Students may enter class late only they can do so without disrupting the class.

Participation

Participation is an essential part of learning in this course.  Students are expected to participate in all facets of classroom learning.

Reading/Homework

Students are expected to come to class prepared having read text and assigned readings prior to class. Homework, case studies and other assignments are expected to be completed and handed in on time.

Late Assignments and Make-up Policy

At the discretion of the professor, late assignments will incur a grade penalty unless due to documented serious illness or family emergency.  Professors will make exceptions for religious observance or civic obligation only when the assignment cannot reasonably be completed prior to the due date and the student makes arrangements for late submission with the professor in advance.

Plagiarism

Representing the ideas of others as your own is plagiarism, whether accidental or by design. Do not plagiarize. A few helpful links: “How to Avoid Plagiarism” from Northwestern University http://www.northwestern.edu/provost/students/integrity/plagiarism.html and “Plagiarism: What It Is and How to Avoid It” from Indiana University <http://www.indiana.edu/~college/plagiarism/index.shtml>.

There are numerous role-playing assignments in this class. Yet while you may assume the role of a corporate player, you may not assume their words, blogs, or web site ideas as your own. All references need to be cited or explained. Please ask if you need more clarification.

 

Course Outline

 

Oganizational Communication      /     Professor Younger     /    Spring 2012

                                                         

Week /Date / Class

Class Topic

Reading
Assignments Due

Writing/ Speaking Assignments Due

Prework

 

 

Prework

Preview: course outline Review: Blackboard

Prework, Assignment 1

Complete student information

Submit by Sun Jan 22, 11pm.

 

WEEK 1:        

 

Tue 1/24

Class 1

Introduction to the course; introduction to communication strategy: corporate communication amidst technological change; how organizations communicate in social context

Read:
The Rise of Generation C"  by Roman Friedrich, Michael Peterson, and Alex Koster, http://www.strategy-business.com/article/11110...OR... found on Blackboard under “Course Documents” > “Online Readings” > “Booz & Company article”.

Be prepared to discuss in class:

To what extent do you think these authors have accurately described your generation?

 

Participation Opportunity (see written assignment):

Post to Bb via “Email > Discussion Board” area by Thu Jan 26 11pm. Feel free to respond to others.

 

Thu 1/26

Class 2

Intro to organizational communication;

aspects of models and theory;

comm. strategy/intent; T.A.I.M.

 

Read:

World Bank Organizational Communication overview;

http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EXTGOVACC/Resources/OrganizationalCommweb.pdf

 

optional reading:
July 2011 from Forbes
Transparency: Social Media Is Forcing You to Tell the Truth

http://www.forbes.com/sites/csr/2011/07/12/transparency-social-media-is-forcing-you-to-tell-the-truth/

Be prepared to discuss:

How do organizations communicate?  
 

 

WEEK 2:

 

Tue 1/31

Class 3

 

Introduction to stakeholder theory and stakeholder communication; Intro to Amazon case and its audiences/stakeholders

 

Read:
-OC text, ch 1, p 2

-GP, ch. 1

-Online Amazon case reading and links

 

Bring examples to class of any Amazon stakeholder communication that you can find. Be unique!

Be prepared to discuss:

How does Amazon communicate with its stakeholders? Which tactics and channels stand out as effective?

 

Thu 2/2

Class 4

Intro to teams & teamwork;

appreciative inquiryfor new teams

 

Intro to assignment 1: team benchmark presentation; discussion of case

Read article and video on teams and teamwork (posted on Bb):

 

Article: Ten Qualities of an effective team player
Video:Good Teams Bad Teams

Teams for the semester will be assigned in class today.

Be prepared to share:

Reflect on a best team story and be prepared to share it with your new team.  Write it up and bring two hard copies to class

Week /Date / Class

Class Topic

Reading
Assignments Due

Writing/ Speaking Assignments Due

WEEK 3:

 

Tue 2/7

Class 5

How to develop and deliver the BIG IDEA for an effective presentation;

presentation delivery techniques for teams;

storyboard planners

Read: GP,
-ch. 6 on delivery

-ch. 2 on intent and

-ch. 3 on message development

 

 

Thu 2/9

Class 6

Impromptus:

Practice Q&A (and listening) to investigate audience preferences

 

Read:
OC text, ch 7
(Appendix I, p 140)

 

WEEK 4:

 

Tue 2/14

Class 7

Team benchmark presentation of Amazon communicationstrategy (4 teams present)

 

 

Assignment 1
team benchmark,

presentationof Amazon communication strategy.

After presentation, teams meet with professor to review video (due within 1 week:

before Class 10, Tue Feb 23)

Thu 2/16

Class 8

 

Complete team benchmark presentations of Amazon communicationstrategy
 (4 teams present);

debrief presentations

 

Assignment 1
team benchmark,

presentationof Amazon communication strategy.
After presentation, teams meet with professor to review video

(due within 1 week:

before Class 10, Tue Feb 23)

 

WEEK 5:

 

Tue 2/21

Class 9

Intro to business writing;

 

Preview assignment 2

 

Business writing strategies: organization, structure and

Plain English

Read:

-SEC, preface; intro;

  and chs 1, 2, 3, and 5
-GP
, ch 4 on structure

  and content;
 

Assignment 2, part 1
As per syllabus, determine the A-I-M of your upcoming document andbring intro to class; bring laptops for in class editing of part 1; incorporate peer feedback

 

Incorporate ideas and prepare draft document before Class 10

 

Thu 2/23

Class 10

Business writing: editing and document design

 

In class editing exercise; peer review

 

 

Read:

SEC, chs 6,7 and 8

OC text, ch 8 (Appendix II, p 153)

Assignment 2, part 2
Editing for “publication”;

bring laptops.

 

 

WEEK 6:

 

Tue 2/28

Class 11

 

Final edit of business document; check for intent, format and quality

 

Read:How to Research a Company

http://www.ehow.com/how_2005384_research-company-interview.html

Assignment 2, part 3/final Final draft of Amazon doc. due by 11pm Wed Feb 29.

 

Companies assigned in class

 

Week /Date Class

Class Topic

Reading
Assignments Due

Writing/ Speaking Assignments Due

Thu 3/1

Class 12

Business research techniques

 

Companies assigned for semester in class

 

 

In class research activity; bring laptops (or share); prepare for team presentations next week.

 

 

 

WEEK 7:

 

Tue 3/6

Class 13

Using visual aids;

Read:GP

-ch 5 on visual aids;;
-review ch 6 on delivery

 

 

Prepare for team presentations next week.

 

 

Thu 3/8

Class 14

 

 

Team presentations (8): company profile;
overview of company and opinion on how well they are using social media within their corporate communication strategy.

 

 

Assignment 3

8 Teams Present

Submit online (before class):

-Final storyboard planners

-Final slide deck

 

 

Spring Break March 12 - 16

 

WEEK 8:

 

Tue 3/20

Class 15

 

Intro to corporate sustainability issues, concerns, and strategies; strategic corporate communication, and

how it supports corporate image and CSR/sustainability.

 

Read: OC text: ch 3, p 46

 

Read:Strategy and Society: The Link Between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility
Author: Porter
ISSN:0017-8012

Dec 2006, Harvard Business Review

Be prepared to discuss:

Porter and Kramer’s views of integrated CSR. 

 

Thu 3/22

Class 16

 

 

 

 

 

Strategic corporate communication; managing CSR:

Guest speaker (tba)

Read: OC text ch 4, p 68


Review: McKinsey Report:
Valuing CSR and Sustainability

http://commdev.org/content/document/detail/2425(download & view the McKinsey presentation

 

WEEK 9:

 

Tue 3/27

Class 17

Team presentation planning;

analyzing your company’s communication of CSR/sustainability and preparing a presentation for the C-suite; discuss persuasion

 

Read: OC text ch 6, p 117.

Read: Burson-Marsteller research on CSR
http://www.slideshare.net/BMGlobalNews/csr-branding-survey-2010-final

 

 

 

Week /Date Class

Class Topic

Reading
Assignments Due

Writing/ Speaking Assignments Due

 

Thu 3/29

Class 18

 

Persuasion

Read:

-ch 1, p. 15-23 on persuasion

And articles online:
The Necessary Art of Persuasion
and
Harnessing the Science of Persuasion

Teams will work on upcoming presentation

WEEK 10:

 

Tue 4/3

Class 19

 

Team Presentation (4): Assignment 4:

Analysis of CSR/sustainability communication strategy

 

 

 

Assignment 4

4 team presentations

Assignment 5: Response to Q&A due Sun Apr 8

 

Thu 4/5

Class 20

 

Team Presentation (4): Assignment 4:

Analysis of CSR/sustainability communication strategy

 

 

 

Assignment 4

4 team presentations

Assignment 5: Response to Q&A due Sun Apr 8

 

WEEK 11:

 

Tue 4/10

Class 21

Strategic corporate communication;

identifying and responding to corporate issues;
achieving an integrated approach to corporate communication strategy and sustaining an organizational message.

 

Read:OC text: ch 2, p 24.

 

Read:Reputation and Its Risks

HBR Articles, Robert G. Eccles, Scott C. Newquist, Roland Schatz, Vol. 85 Issue 2, Feb 01, 2007.

http://ezproxy.library.nyu.edu:9216/login.aspx?direct=true&db=buh&AN=23691177&site=ehost-live

 

 

 

 

Thu 4/12

Class 22

 

 

Planning for the final presentations: Issues

What are the issues facing your company?  How will you communicate an integrated response?

Which channels of communication will be most effective?

Read:The Strategic Communication Imperative

(online via Proquest)

Author: Argenti
MIT Sloan Management Review. Cambridge: Spring 2005. ISSN:1532-9194
Vol. 46, Iss. 3; p. 83

 

Assignment 6, part 1
Threaded Discussion about issues that affect your company. First post due to BB team discussion board by 6pm, Tue Apr 10; responses to team members thereafter.

 

WEEK 12:

 

Tue 4/17

Class 23

Speaking Impromptus; handling questions

 

 

Assignment 6, part 2

Email to Prof. and TF issue/s affecting the firm that will be used for team presentation; email to Prof/TF (one per team) by Wed Apr 18 by 6pm.

 

Week /Date Class

Class Topic

Reading
Assignments Due

Writing/ Speaking Assignments Due

Thu 4/19

Class 24

Team Dynamics

 

Read:

How to Give Good Feedback

Link posted on Blackboard

Complete:

Peer assessmentin preparation for in class feedback session

Teams will conduct a feedback session in class.

WEEK 13:

 

Tue 4/24

Class 25

Coaching and preparation for final presentations

 

 

Teams meet to work on final presentations; coaching with professor and TF outside of class.

 

Thu 4/26

Class 26

 Final team presentations (3)

 

 

Assignment 7

3 teams present

-Submit slide deck online

-Bring complete planner

 

 

WEEK 14:

 

Tue 5/1

 Class 27

Final team presentations (3)

 

Assignment 7

3 teams present

as above

 

 

 

Thu 5/3

Final Class 28

 

 

Final team presentations (2)

 

Class wrap-up

 

Assignment 7

2 teams present

as above

 

 

Sun 5/6

No class

Final paper due

Recommendations for your company’s overall communication strategy.

 

Assignment 8

Submit by 11pm Sun May 6 via Bb

 

Required Course Materials

Required materials:

1. Organizational Communication and its Social Context (OC text); (online ebook text)
Download Directions: You can locate and purchase the book online from McGraw-Hill Create™ by following these steps: 1. Go to http://create.mcgraw-hill.com/shop/2. Search for and select book by ISBN 9781121431416 3. Add the book to your cart and pay using a credit card.

2. Guide to Presentations(GP)
Munter, Mary; Russell, Lynn. Prentice Hall Series in Advanced Communication, 2nd edition, 2006, available online OR 3rd edition, 2011, available in NYU bookstore.

3. A Plain English Handbook: How to Create Clear SEC Disclosure Documents (SEC). Office of Investor Education and Assistance. (1998).Washington, DC: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Available free online at <www.sec.gov/news/extra/handbook.htm>.

4. Additional readings will be posted on Blackboard for online reading and can also be accessed through links on this syllabus.

 

Assessment Components

Calendar of assignments and due dates 
To track your grade throughout the semester, use the column (grade) to the left of the column with the available points per assignment. All grades will be posted to the Blackboard grade center. Specific assignment details can be found later in this syllabus.

 

Assignment

Due

Points

Grade

*    Prework: complete student info sheet.

Before class
Sun Jan 22 by 11pm

*participation
 

 

*   Response to Booz & Company article

Read before class 1 Jan 24; respond Thu Jan 26 by 11 pm

*participation
 

 

*   Appreciative inquiry - best team

      experience

Bring ideas to class4
Thu Feb 2

*participation
 

 

1.  Team presentation: benchmark

      Amazon Communication Strategy

    

Classes 7 and 8

Tue Feb 14

Thu Feb 16

  8 team

 

2.    Business document: analyze another teams strategy

    

After class 12
pt 1 -  Tue Feb 21

pt 2 -  Thu Feb 23

final - Wed Feb 29 by 11pm

10 indiv

 

3.   Team presentation: company profile

 

Class 14:

Thu Mar 8

  5 team

  5 indiv
10 total:

 

 

4.      Team presentation:  assessment of company communication of CSR/sustainability initiatives

 

Classes 19 and 20

Tue Apr 3

Thu Apr 5

10 team

  6 indiv
16 total:

 

 

5.      Individual written response to Q&A from CSR presentation

After class 20
Sun Apr 8 11pm

 

  6 indiv

 

6.      Team memo on issues

After classes 22 and 23
Part 1: Thu Apr 12

Part 2: Wed Apr 18, 6pm

 

  5 team

 

 

7.  Team presentation:
 issues communication

Classes 26, 27 and  28

Thu Apr 26

Tue May 1

Thu May 3

 

12 team

13 indiv
25 total:

 

 

8.  Final individual document

Post class

Sun May 6

 

10 indiv

 

*    Participation: includes a combination of in-class exercises, activities, quizzes, engagement, impromptus, attendance and overall professionalism

 

Throughout the semester

10 indiv

 

 

Total

100 points

 

 

 

NOTE: 60 points individual; 40 points team

The professor reserves the right to change and reorder content as necessary; any changes will be communicated before assignments are due.

 

Group Projects

Guidelines for Group Projects

Business activities involve group effort. Consequently, learning how to work effectively in a group is a critical part of your business education.

Every member is expected to carry an equal share of the group’s workload. As such, it is in your interest to be involved in all aspects of the project. Even if you divide the work rather than work on each piece together, you are still responsible for each part. The group project will be graded as a whole:   its different components will not be graded separately. Your exams may contain questions that are based on aspects of your group projects.

It is recommended that each group establish ground rules early in the process to facilitate your joint work including a problem-solving process for handling conflicts. In the infrequent case where you believe that a group member is not carrying out his or her fair share of work, you are urged not to permit problems to develop to a point where they become serious. If you cannot resolve conflicts internally after your best efforts, they should be brought to my attention and I will work with you to find a resolution.

You will be asked to complete a peer evaluation form to evaluate the contribution of each of your group members (including your own contribution) at the conclusion of each project. If there is consensus that a group member did not contribute a fair share of work to the project, I will consider this feedback during grading.

 

Grading

At NYU Stern we seek to teach challenging courses that allow students to demonstrate their mastery of the subject matter.  In general, students in undergraduate core courses can expect a grading distribution where: 

Note that while the School uses these ranges as a guide, the actual distribution for this course and your own grade will depend upon how well you actually perform in this course.

 

Re-Grading

Re-Grading

In line with Grading Guidelines for the NYU Stern Undergraduate College, the process of assigning of grades is intended be one of unbiased evaluation. This means that students are encouraged to respect the integrity and authority of the professor’s grading system and discouraged from pursuing arbitrary challenges to it.

If a student feels that an inadvertent error has been made in the grading of an individual assignment or in assessing an overall course grade, a request to have the grade be re-evaluated may be submitted. Students should submit such requests in writing to the professor within 7 days of receiving the grade, including a brief written statement of why he or she believes that an error in grading has been made.

 

Professional Responsibilities For This Course

Attendance

 
Participation

In-class contribution is a significant part of your grade and an important part of our shared learning experience. Your active participation helps me to evaluate your overall performance.
You can excel in this area if you come to class on time and contribute to the course by:

 

Assignments

 

Classroom Norms

 

Stern Policies

General Behavior
The School expects that students will conduct themselves with respect and professionalism toward faculty, students, and others present in class and will follow the rules laid down by the instructor for classroom behavior.  Students who fail to do so may be asked to leave the classroom. 

 

Collaboration on Graded Assignments
Students may not work together on graded assignment unless the instructor gives express permission. 

 

Course Evaluations
Course evaluations are important to us and to students who come after you.  Please complete them thoughtfully.

 

Academic Integrity

Integrity is critical to the learning process and to all that we do here at NYU Stern. As members of our community, all students agree to abide by the NYU Stern Student Code of Conduct, which includes a commitment to:

The entire Stern Student Code of Conduct applies to all students enrolled in Stern courses and can be found here:

Undergraduate College: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/uc/codeofconduct
Graduate Programs: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/studentactivities/involved.cfm?doc_id=102505

To help ensure the integrity of our learning community, prose assignments you submit to Blackboard will be submitted to Turnitin.  Turnitin will compare your submission to a database of prior submissions to Turnitin, current and archived Web pages, periodicals, journals, and publications.  Additionally, your document will become part of the Turnitin database.

 

Recording of Classes

Your class may be recorded for educational purposes

 

Students with Disabilities

If you have a qualified disability and will require academic accommodation of any kind during this course, you must notify me at the beginning of the course and provide a letter from the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD, 998-4980, www.nyu.edu/csd) verifying your registration and outlining the accommodations they recommend.  If you will need to take an exam at the CSD, you must submit a completed Exam Accommodations Form to them at least one week prior to the scheduled exam time to be guaranteed accommodation.

 

Class Schedule

 

rOganizational Communication      /     Professor Younger     /    Spring 2012

                                                         

Week /Date / Class

Class Topic

Reading
Assignments Due

Writing/ Speaking Assignments Due

Prework

 

 

Prework

Preview: course outline Review: Blackboard

Prework, Assignment 1

Complete student information

Submit by Sun Jan 22, 11pm.

 

WEEK 1:        

 

Tue 1/24

Class 1

Introduction to the course; introduction to communication strategy: corporate communication amidst technological change; how organizations communicate in social context

Read:
The Rise of Generation C"  by Roman Friedrich, Michael Peterson, and Alex Koster, http://www.strategy-business.com/article/11110...OR... found on Blackboard under “Course Documents” > “Online Readings” > “Booz & Company article”.

Be prepared to discuss in class:

To what extent do you think these authors have accurately described your generation?

 

Participation Opportunity (see written assignment):

Post to Bb via “Email > Discussion Board” area by Thu Jan 26 11pm. Feel free to respond to others.

 

Thu 1/26

Class 2

Intro to organizational communication;

aspects of models and theory;

comm. strategy/intent; T.A.I.M.

 

Read:

World Bank Organizational Communication overview;

http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EXTGOVACC/Resources/OrganizationalCommweb.pdf

 

optional reading:
July 2011 from Forbes
Transparency: Social Media Is Forcing You to Tell the Truth

http://www.forbes.com/sites/csr/2011/07/12/transparency-social-media-is-forcing-you-to-tell-the-truth/

Be prepared to discuss:

How do organizations communicate?  
 

 

WEEK 2:

 

Tue 1/31

Class 3

 

Introduction to stakeholder theory and stakeholder communication; Intro to Amazon case and its audiences/stakeholders

 

Read:
-OC text, ch 1, p 2

-GP, ch. 1

-Online Amazon case reading and links

 

Bring examples to class of any Amazon stakeholder communication that you can find. Be unique!

Be prepared to discuss:

How does Amazon communicate with its stakeholders? Which tactics and channels stand out as effective?

 

Thu 2/2

Class 4

Intro to teams & teamwork;

appreciative inquiryfor new teams

 

Intro to assignment 1: team benchmark presentation; discussion of case

Read article and video on teams and teamwork (posted on Bb):

 

Article: Ten Qualities of an effective team player
Video:Good Teams Bad Teams

Teams for the semester will be assigned in class today.

Be prepared to share:

Reflect on a best team story and be prepared to share it with your new team.  Write it up and bring two hard copies to class

Week /Date / Class

Class Topic

Reading
Assignments Due

Writing/ Speaking Assignments Due

WEEK 3:

 

Tue 2/7

Class 5

How to develop and deliver the BIG IDEA for an effective presentation;

presentation delivery techniques for teams;

storyboard planners

Read: GP,
-ch. 6 on delivery

-ch. 2 on intent and

-ch. 3 on message development

 

 

Thu 2/9

Class 6

Impromptus:

Practice Q&A (and listening) to investigate audience preferences

 

Read:
OC text, ch 7
(Appendix I, p 140)

 

WEEK 4:

 

Tue 2/14

Class 7

Team benchmark presentation of Amazon communicationstrategy (4 teams present)

 

 

Assignment 1
team benchmark,

presentationof Amazon communication strategy.

After presentation, teams meet with professor to review video (due within 1 week:

before Class 10, Tue Feb 23)

Thu 2/16

Class 8

 

Complete team benchmark presentations of Amazon communicationstrategy
 (4 teams present);

debrief presentations

 

Assignment 1
team benchmark,

presentationof Amazon communication strategy.
After presentation, teams meet with professor to review video

(due within 1 week:

before Class 10, Tue Feb 23)

 

WEEK 5:

 

Tue 2/21

Class 9

Intro to business writing;

 

Preview assignment 2

 

Business writing strategies: organization, structure and

Plain English

Read:

-SEC, preface; intro;

  and chs 1, 2, 3, and 5
-GP
, ch 4 on structure

  and content;
 

Assignment 2, part 1
As per syllabus, determine the A-I-M of your upcoming document andbring intro to class; bring laptops for in class editing of part 1; incorporate peer feedback

 

Incorporate ideas and prepare draft document before Class 10

 

Thu 2/23

Class 10

Business writing: editing and document design

 

In class editing exercise; peer review

 

 

Read:

SEC, chs 6,7 and 8

OC text, ch 8 (Appendix II, p 153)

Assignment 2, part 2
Editing for “publication”;

bring laptops.

 

 

WEEK 6:

 

Tue 2/28

Class 11

 

Final edit of business document; check for intent, format and quality

 

Read:How to Research a Company

http://www.ehow.com/how_2005384_research-company-interview.html

Assignment 2, part 3/final Final draft of Amazon doc. due by 11pm Wed Feb 29.

 

Companies assigned in class

 

Week /Date Class

Class Topic

Reading
Assignments Due

Writing/ Speaking Assignments Due

Thu 3/1

Class 12

Business research techniques

 

Companies assigned for semester in class

 

 

In class research activity; bring laptops (or share); prepare for team presentations next week.

 

 

 

WEEK 7:

 

Tue 3/6

Class 13

Using visual aids;

Read:GP

-ch 5 on visual aids;;
-review ch 6 on delivery

 

 

Prepare for team presentations next week.

 

 

Thu 3/8

Class 14

 

 

Team presentations (8): company profile;
overview of company and opinion on how well they are using social media within their corporate communication strategy.

 

 

Assignment 3

8 Teams Present

Submit online (before class):

-Final storyboard planners

-Final slide deck

 

 

Spring Break March 12 - 16

 

WEEK 8:

 

Tue 3/20

Class 15

 

Intro to corporate sustainability issues, concerns, and strategies; strategic corporate communication, and

how it supports corporate image and CSR/sustainability.

 

Read: OC text: ch 3, p 46

 

Read:Strategy and Society: The Link Between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility
Author: Porter
ISSN:0017-8012

Dec 2006, Harvard Business Review

Be prepared to discuss:

Porter and Kramer’s views of integrated CSR. 

 

Thu 3/22

Class 16

 

 

 

 

 

Strategic corporate communication; managing CSR:

Guest speaker (tba)

Read: OC text ch 4, p 68


Review: McKinsey Report:
Valuing CSR and Sustainability

http://commdev.org/content/document/detail/2425(download & view the McKinsey presentation

 

WEEK 9:

 

Tue 3/27

Class 17

Team presentation planning;

analyzing your company’s communication of CSR/sustainability and preparing a presentation for the C-suite; discuss persuasion

 

Read: OC text ch 6, p 117.

Read: Burson-Marsteller research on CSR
http://www.slideshare.net/BMGlobalNews/csr-branding-survey-2010-final

 

 

 

Week /Date Class

Class Topic

Reading
Assignments Due

Writing/ Speaking Assignments Due

 

Thu 3/29

Class 18

 

Persuasion

Read:

-ch 1, p. 15-23 on persuasion

And articles online:
The Necessary Art of Persuasion
and
Harnessing the Science of Persuasion

Teams will work on upcoming presentation

WEEK 10:

 

Tue 4/3

Class 19

 

Team Presentation (4): Assignment 4:

Analysis of CSR/sustainability communication strategy

 

 

 

Assignment 4

4 team presentations

Assignment 5: Response to Q&A due Sun Apr 8

 

Thu 4/5

Class 20

 

Team Presentation (4): Assignment 4:

Analysis of CSR/sustainability communication strategy

 

 

 

Assignment 4

4 team presentations

Assignment 5: Response to Q&A due Sun Apr 8

 

WEEK 11:

 

Tue 4/10

Class 21

Strategic corporate communication;

identifying and responding to corporate issues;
achieving an integrated approach to corporate communication strategy and sustaining an organizational message.

 

Read:OC text: ch 2, p 24.

 

Read:Reputation and Its Risks

HBR Articles, Robert G. Eccles, Scott C. Newquist, Roland Schatz, Vol. 85 Issue 2, Feb 01, 2007.

http://ezproxy.library.nyu.edu:9216/login.aspx?direct=true&db=buh&AN=23691177&site=ehost-live

 

 

 

 

Thu 4/12

Class 22

 

 

Planning for the final presentations: Issues

What are the issues facing your company?  How will you communicate an integrated response?

Which channels of communication will be most effective?

Read:The Strategic Communication Imperative

(online via Proquest)

Author: Argenti
MIT Sloan Management Review. Cambridge: Spring 2005. ISSN:1532-9194
Vol. 46, Iss. 3; p. 83

 

Assignment 6, part 1
Threaded Discussion about issues that affect your company. First post due to BB team discussion board by 6pm, Tue Apr 10; responses to team members thereafter.

 

WEEK 12:

 

Tue 4/17

Class 23

Speaking Impromptus; handling questions

 

 

Assignment 6, part 2

Email to Prof. and TF issue/s affecting the firm that will be used for team presentation; email to Prof/TF (one per team) by Wed Apr 18 by 6pm.

 

Week /Date Class

Class Topic

Reading
Assignments Due

Writing/ Speaking Assignments Due

Thu 4/19

Class 24

Team Dynamics

 

Read:

How to Give Good Feedback

Link posted on Blackboard

Complete:

Peer assessmentin preparation for in class feedback session

Teams will conduct a feedback session in class.

WEEK 13:

 

Tue 4/24

Class 25

Coaching and preparation for final presentations

 

 

Teams meet to work on final presentations; coaching with professor and TF outside of class.

 

Thu 4/26

Class 26

 Final team presentations (3)

 

 

Assignment 7

3 teams present

-Submit slide deck online

-Bring complete planner

 

 

WEEK 14:

 

Tue 5/1

 Class 27

Final team presentations (3)

 

Assignment 7

3 teams present

as above

 

 

 

Thu 5/3

Final Class 28

 

 

Final team presentations (2)

 

Class wrap-up

 

Assignment 7

2 teams present

as above

 

 

Sun 5/6

No class

Final paper due

Recommendations for your company’s overall communication strategy.

 

Assignment 8

Submit by 11pm Sun May 6 via Bb

 

Assigments

Participation assignments:

NOTE: graded as participation

►Pre-work: Complete student information sheet

This info form is online via Blackboard. Please complete one and upload it under Blackboard Assignments.

Response to Booz & Company article

Task: Read the Booz & Company article, "The Rise of Generation C" by Roman Friedrich, Michael Peterson, and Alex Koster, http://www.strategy-business.com/article/11110OR found on Blackboard under “Course Documents” > “Online Readings” > “Booz & Company article”.

Read and be prepared to discuss in class on our first class, Tue Jan 24:

·         To what extent does this article describe you and people you know?

·         To what extent do you think these authors have accurately described your generation?

·         To what extent do you think your generation will affect the way organizations communicate?

Deliverable: Do you agree or disagree with what the article says about the impact on business?

Use your considered opinion as the starting point of a short Word document that explains why you agree or disagree (150 words, more or less). Post the document to Bb assignments by the syllabus calendar time/date. Use the Discussion board (as directed) to build a lively discussion thread by the due date.

Appreciative inquiry - best team experience

In class 4, you will be meeting your team for the first time. This is the team you will be working with throughout the rest of the semester. As preparation for getting off to a strong start, you will be participating in an introductory appreciative inquiry exercise in class. 

Task: Reflect on a team experience where you performed at your best. It can be any team from a work or school project or volunteer experience. Capture the essential elements of that experience and be prepared to share it with your new team. What was the impact of that team experience? What were your strengths on the team? How did the team operate? What descriptive adjectives characterize your performance? Try to be as specific with the details as you can.

Write a brief paragraph and bring it to class with you to help you participate effectively in this exercise; turn a hard copy of this document in to the TF at the end of class.

Graded assignments

IMPORTANT:
Read the necessary background for Amazon case posted on Blackboard

 

Assignment 1

Team presentation concerning Amazon stakeholders

Amazon is expanding its line of e-readers and changing the rules of media access. How should Amazon best communicate its message to specific stakeholders? In other words, what communication strategy should Amazon pursue? In addition to overall strategy, what possible tactics or channels should they employ?

Assume that you are a member of the Amazon.com Corporate Communication Department and on the team focusing specifically on the Kindle Fire and the new Kindle Lending Library. Your team has been tasked to prepare a strategy for communicating with an assigned stakeholder group.

You have been asked to review a specific stakeholder to explore ways that Amazon could either partner with or form a closer bond to gain support from that stakeholder. You will have to analyze Amazon’s position (your company). You’ll also have to analyze the stakeholder’s position, which may be found in their various communications about Amazon or the Kindle. Extrapolate the stakeholder’s position by reviewing related communication as well.

Based on what you learn about your team’s specific stakeholder, you need to recommend a communication strategy for Amazon’s corporate communication department. Should the company develop a strategy to gain cooperation and support? Or, if the stakeholder group is unlikely to choose partnering and cooperation, clarify why no communication strategy will actually be able to achieve those goals. Perhaps a partial approach may be plausible and desirable. How specifically will your communication team proceed? 

Your team will present its recommendations as a presentation to the head of Corporate Communication for Amazon.

Task:  Prepare a team presentation for your boss, the Vice President of Amazon’s Corporate Communication department. Your task is to recommend a strategy for communicating with a specific stakeholder group, which you will be assigned in class. 

Use the AIM model to help you as you construct your plan; your boss, the VP of Corporate Communication, will need to be convinced that your communication strategy will work. In order to persuade, explain the interests and power of your stakeholder as it relates to your communication strategy.

Audience:  The Vice President of Amazon’s Corporate Communication department and other staff members of the department who are working on both the Kindle Fire project and the new Kindle Lending Library.

Intent:  (i.e., What you want the audience to do, think or say as a result of your communication). You decide!

Message:  You decide! 

Deliverable:  A team presentation lasting 7 minutes, with 2-3 minutes afterwards for questions; each team member must speak. No PowerPoint bullet slides are permitted, but you may use PowerPoint to show projected photographs, maps, charts or illustrations. 

Evaluation:  The team will be evaluated on effectiveness of AIM strategy.

NOTE on follow up: Within 1 week after your presentation, your team will meet with the professor outside of class to discuss your presentation. Set up a date and time with the professor.

 

Assignment 2:
Business Document: Analysis of another team’s Amazon communication strategy

For this assignment, you are asked to provide feedback for another team on their recommendations for a communication strategy for their particular Amazon stakeholder audience.

Task:  Your task is to write a response to the presenting team with a cc to the professor and TF addressing their recommendations.

Is their strategy feasible? Can you see any problems that might occur with implementing their strategy? What could be the benefits of that strategy?  Find examples from their presentation to support your opinion. Make sure that you focus on their strategy.  Do notaddress delivery techniques but instead address the assigned team’s strategic plan.

Deliverables:  Your business document should be no longer than one and a half pages. This assignment has three stages so that you can focus on different aspects of business writing for each stage. The only version that the professor will grade is the final one, but completing the drafts will count towards participation.  To receive credit for participation, submit each draft document before the class meeting.

a.      Planning - First draft consists of your planning only. List the AI and M and draft the opening paragraph. Utilize BIF structure and include a preview intended to guide the reader through your upcoming points. Bring a hard copy of this intro to class and submit to Bb as well.

b.      Drafting - Your second piece is a full working draft. Focus on planning, organizing, using the correct business document format, using Plain English and writing an effective subject line. This document is also due in class and should be submitted to Bb as well. In class we will revise and edit, focusing on readability and document design as covered in the SEC handbook.

c.       Publishing - Your completed document – which is the only one the professor will see and grade – is due both as (1) a Turnitin assignment submission on Bb, and also as (2) an email to the team being reviewed. Use a complete business format. Check the course calendar for the correct submission dates.

 

Assignment 3:
Team presentation: Company profile

Task:  For the rest of this semester, your team will work together to prepare and deliver a set of presentations focusing on the corporate communication strategies of a selected firm. For future presentations about your firm, you will present as members of the company’s corporate communication department; however, for this assignment you are presenting as yourselves to the class.

What is your company story?

Your team presentation should inform the class about the most important aspects of the company. Use the corporate research form to research interesting and useful company data. Use the following 5 questions to focus and organize your presentation:

·         What is the company’s financial status?

·         What is the business they are in?

·         What is their standing / reputation compared to their competitors?

·         What is their corporate promise?

·         What social media are they using?

Craft an interesting informative message about your company that provides a context for the class to understand your later presentations. This assignment should incorporate the use of credible information sources, appropriate media resources and information about the C-suite of the team’s company.

Audience:  your classmates.  You have interacted with each other for several weeks.  What do you think will be the most effective strategy to inform your peers about your company?

Your intent:  Recall that an effective business communication requires an intent: What do you want the audience to specifically think, say or do as a result of your communication? Remember that the intent is not the message itself but the desired audience response.

Time limit:  maximum 8 minutes for the presentation including Q&A. Plan your presentation to allow up to 2 minutes for questions. A well structured presentation of 6 minutes should give your audience a clear idea of the company. Share the speaking time equally.Convey one overriding message (aka, your big idea) that encompasses all points and explains the “essence” of your company. No data dumping!

Visual aids: Use minimal visual aids; avoid using dense text slides. Think visually, not verbally on your slides. Consider necessary slides that enhance your main points.

Deliverable 1:  An 8-minute team presentation including Q&A. All team members must speak, and speaking time should be distributed equally.

Deliverables to upload to Blackboard: Upload your completed presentation planner (found on Blackboard > Course Documents > Handouts > Planners) and ppt.
Deliverable A3b: 
Self -eval

 

Assignment 4: 
Team presentation: your company’s sustainability and CSR initiatives

Task and Audience:
The global head of Corporate Communication wants your team to provide a status report and assessment of how the firm presents itself to its multiple stakeholders.

Your presentation should respond to the following questions:

·         How effectively does the company communicate its CSR initiatives or sustainability to major stakeholder groups?

·         How does the company support its overall image as a socially responsible firm?

·         What recommendation/s would you make to enhance communication of the sustainability and CSR initiatives?

Make sure that your measure of effectiveness incorporates how well these initiatives support the company’s overall mission and strategic plan.

Consider the communication channels used and the frequency of messages to relevant stakeholders.

Your audience is the head of global corporate communication, other corp. comm. directors from different locations, and interested executives.  Be aware of what they can be expected to know.

Deliverable 1:  A 10-minute team presentation with 2-3 minutes for closing questions (Note also that questions may come at any time). All team members must speak, and speaking time should be distributed equally.

Deliverables to upload to Blackboard:  your PowerPoint slides and team planner

Deliverable A4b -  individual self-evaluation form

 

Assignment 5
Respond to a specific question from the Q&A segment of the team presentation on your company’s sustainability and CSR initiatives

Select any question your team was asked during the presentation or a question from the in class peer review sheets. Write a detailed response as a follow up to the questioner. This is an individual assignment and you can answer any question whether you answered it or not.

Audience:  The audience member who asked the question; cc the Professor and TF.

Task:  Write a short and succinct (2-3 paragraphs in business document format) response to the question asked during the presentation. Make sure your document uses the T.A.I.M. strategy.  Submit your document (1) to Bb and (2) to the questioner.

 

Assignment 6
Team memo on issues, part 1 and part 2

Part 1: Threaded discussion to team on company issues

Task:  For this assignment, each team member identifies a specific pressing or emerging public issue that concerns the team’s company.  Post your thoughts to the team through Bb discussion thread on your Group Pages.  These posts will be a preliminary step towards selecting the content for the final presentations on the company’s major communication-related issues.

Your intent:  In an individual post, inform the rest of your team about an issue that is critical to the company. You are NOT looking for day-to-day operational business problems but a pressing public issue. An issue will undoubtedly involve the interests of one or more concerned (or soon to be concerned) stakeholder groups. Important: refer to the PowerPoint presentations and readings on issue identification to clarify your understanding. Or, ask the professor or TF.

Deliverable:  Post your specific thoughts to your team in the “Group Pages” (Blackboard > Email / Groups) describing the issue and its importance as well as why it would be interesting to the class; please write clearly and concisely as you engage in a stimulating persuasive exchange with your classmates. Make sure that the issue you post is one that can be addressed by Corporate Communication. Consider that Corp Comm would not directly address stock prices; however, issues could be related to transparency in reporting financial information.  Similarly, Corp Comm would not be party to ongoing product marketing efforts but may be involved if related communication issues arose. Respond to at least 1 or 2 posts of team members as you determine your final presentation topic.

Part 2: Team email on company issues

Task:  As a result of class discussion and the exchange of posts in part 1, your team should have a good sense of which stakeholder-driven issue/s you want to address in the final presentation. For this assignment, the team will jointly compose one email message that will clarify which issue/s has/have been chosen. Use all writing techniques discussed in class.

Your objective:  Inform the professor and teaching fellow about the chosen issue and justify the team’s choice.

Format:  Consider the best way to prepare an effective short document that is sent by e-mail and keep in mind the principle of “high skim value”.

Deliverable:  Send the e-mail directly from your team to the professor and teaching fellow; copy team members (one per team).

 

Assignment 7:

Team final presentation: Company issues

Task:  For this assignment, your team will deliver a persuasive presentation to the C-Suite recommending a communication strategy that addresses the primary issue/s your company is facing.  As we discussed in class, how an organization responds to issues relates directly to stakeholder relationships and this consideration should be a central part of your presentation.

Assume that your team comprises a task force that has been assembled by the Head of Corporate Communication. Your team should analyze a primary issue/s facing the organization, which stakeholder groups are involved and recommend a communication strategy for the company.

Audience:  the CEO and other members of the C-suite. Include compelling information that will be most effective in supporting your position. Be aware of what they can be expected to know.

Your objective: to persuade your audience that your issue-response plan will be strategically sound and tactically address critical stakeholders.  Your company most likely has strategic and responsive communication strategies in place.  Determine which are effective and provide examples with your recommendation.

Time limits: maximum 20 minutes for the presentation, including 5 minutes for questions, which may come at any time. You must all share the speaking time including Q&A.

Visual aids:  Use visual aids, but avoid using dense text slides. Think visually, not verbally on your slides. Have a flash drive as a backup (always!).

Deliverables must be uploaded to Blackboard before you speak:

·         Your completed team presentation planner (one per team)

·         Your completed individual presentation planner

·         Your slide deck (one per team)

 

Assignment 8:

Final document assignment

Task:Addressing an executive at your current company (or an Amazon exec if you prefer) determine the top communication priority that the company needs to address and recommend a specific strategy going forward. Offer persuasive support, specific examples, and justifications.

Background:  In the three presentations concerning your company, you have considered several questions about how your company communicates to its stakeholders:

1.         How effectively is the company using social media to create value?

2.         How effectively is the company communicating its sustainability and CSR initiatives?

3.         How can the company best communicate issues it is facing now and/or in the future?

Based on these three presentations, and using any other information you have learned about the company, what would you prioritize in an overall communication strategy for your company? Why is this specific priority (or priorities) important? Again, be sure to support your recommendations with specific examples and persuasive justifications.

If you wish, you can also use Amazon as a reference point for communication strategy.

Audience:  You may address any appropriate company executive who is positioned to take action on your recommendation.

Format: Draft an email, memo or letter in appropriate business format. A subject line must be included.

Learning Objective:  This assignment gives you the chance to demonstrate your mastery of organizing information effectively in a business document.

Deliverable:  Your final document should be in business style. You can write 1-2 pages but no more than 2 pages. Your document will be evaluated using the criteria that we have studied all semester: organization, format, Plain English, readability, document design, etc. Check the evaluations of your other documents this semester so that you can demonstrate your improvement. Check the rubric as well.

Important reminder about plagiarism:  Cutting and pasting from any existing written materials, online or printed, including a website, without attribution constitutes plagiarism. If you include any text from existing materials, it must be attributed. Note that upon submission the document will be automatically vetted via “turnitin” software.

Participation and professionalism

Participation consists of a combination of significant contributions to class discussions, in-class exercises, activities, quizzes, engagement with your team and with the class, impromptu speaking and/or writing opportunities, and attendance. It includes your overall professionalism and engagement throughout the semester.

►Quizzes

There may be one or two short quizzes, each worth a point or two. While they may be announced in advance, I strongly recommend that you stay up to date on all assigned readings as pop quizzes are a definite possibility.

►Impromptu speaking

The class will provide numerous opportunities for individual impromptu one-minute speeches in class on current topics.

►Impromptu writing

Impromptu documents are not only challenging, but very typical of the type of document most demanded in the workplace. There may be one impromptu in-class email writing assignment.

 

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