May 2011 - Business Communication



Business Communication


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Business Communication with Cengage Learning


ABA Responds to Critics of High Calorie Sports Drinks

05-30-2011 7:38 AM

A new study found negative effects of high calorie sports drinks on children. Study authors say that children don't need the calories, caffeine, and other stimulants. This shouldn't come as a big surprise but has warranted this response from the American Beverage Association.

This isn't the first time that a study has put the American Beverage Association on the defense. A study on diet soda was highly criticized by the ABA on Good Morning America:

Source: Putting Health Before Headlines from American Beverage Association on Vimeo.

Discussion Starters:

  • Considering the recent study about high calorie sports drinks, in what ways does the ABA's response meet criteria for persuasive communication? In what ways was their response effective and ineffective?
  • Looking at the video above, how do you assess the ABA's approach about the diet soda controversy? Do you buy their argument and criticism of the study?

Assignment Idea:

  • On the ABA's website, you'll find several articles defending beverage makers and explaining new initiatives that support health, for example, their "Clear on Calories" section.  What parts of the ABA's messages do you find most convincing?  Least?

Posted by Amy Newman

Obama Writes 2008 Instead of 2011: Could It Happen to Any of Us?

05-25-2011 1:15 PM

In a guestbook at the Westminster Abbey in London, President Obama wrote a lovely sentiment -- and then signed the date: 24 May 2008.  The format (day, then month) is standard in Europe, but the date is three years off.  Perhaps the President was thinking about more wistful times?

Obama 2008

Discussion Starter:

  • To what extent should this error reflect on the President? A post on New York Magazine's website reads, "President Obama Has No Idea What Year It Is."  What do you think of the criticism?

Posted by Amy Newman

Apple and Foxconn Respond to Explosion at Foxconn Plant

05-20-2011 11:30 PM

More bad news today at Foxconn, the Taiwanese manufacturer of electrical components and maker of Apple's iPod, iPhone, and iPad. An explosion at an assembly plant in China caused the death of two employees and left 16 more injured.

Video source.

Apple was quick to offer condolences: “We are deeply saddened by the tragedy at Foxconn’s plant in Chengdu, and our hearts go out to the victims and their families."  

Foxconn also offered this statement to All Things Digital:

"We can confirm that at approximately 7 pm on May 20, there was an explosion at our Chengdu campus. At this point, we can also confirm that there were two fatalities with injuries to 16 other employees. We are working with medical officials to provide treatment to the injured employees and we are working with government and law enforcement officials to contact the families of all employees affected by this tragedy.

"The situation has been brought under control by the fire department and the cause of this explosion is being investigated by local police officials. Foxconn is cooperating fully with that investigation. Production has been suspended at the site of the explosion until the completion of the investigation. The safety of our employees is our highest priority and we will do whatever is required to determine and address the cause of this tragic accident."

Foxconn was in the news in late 2010 when employee suicides called the company's labor practices into question. In June 2010, Apple's Steve Jobs defended working conditions, saying, "Foxconn is not a sweatshop." With this latest incident, Foxconn and Apple have had more than their share of communication challenges.

Posted by Amy Newman

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Ric Elias on the Life (and Business) Lessons he Learned as His Plane Crashed

05-06-2011 2:51 PM with no comments

Ric Elias has had a successful career in business.  From starting his career in General Electric's financial management program, to his starting his own business, Red Ventures, Elias has climbed the ladder to the corner office.  He says he enjoys the competition of the business world.  But it took a major event to help Elias realize all that was important in life.  Elias was a passenger on Flight 1549 when it crashed into the Hudson River back in January 2009.  In this Ted Talk, Elias shares the life lessons he took from that experience.  It is a moving talk, to be sure, but also one with important lessons for life and the business world:

Posted by admin

Tips For Aspiring Young Entrepreneurs

05-06-2011 2:49 PM with no comments

Erin Albert, author of the new book Single. Women. Entrepreneurs., wants more young women to consider starting their own businesses.  At Entrepreneur she offers up five tips on how to prepare for startup:

1. Get educated.

2. Get "intrapreneurial."  ("Thinking and acting like an entrepreneur while working for someone else")

3. Get comfortable with failure.

4. Get out there.

5. Get fully committed.

Read Albert's explanations for these important steps here.

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Managing Stress in the Corner Office

05-06-2011 2:48 PM with no comments

Stress can severely impair anyone's ability to make good decisions under pressure.  So Justin Menkes argues that one of the most important skills that business leaders must develop is the ability to manage adrenaline.  Top leaders avoid panic when adrenaline rises.  Menkes argues that they "manage their stress in such a way that it actually increases their focus and clarity."  In this Harvard Business Review IdeaCast, Menkes spoke about how some leaders have learned to succeed while facing near constant stress:

Posted by admin