Students are entering the workforce at a time of heightened corporate transparency, in large part thanks to social media. The most beloved brands are at times “under fire” for instances of unethical behavior, product recalls, and other instances causing negative PR. When this happens, companies must launch multi-channel campaigns to remain in the good graces of the public and shareholders. These messages will likely include descriptions of corrective actions and/or formal apologies and will be sent in various media forms – and quickly. Regardless of the delivery channel, skillful professional writing is at the heart of these strategies.
Consider Wells Fargo’s re-branding efforts following the 2016 controversy brought about by employees creating fraudulent savings and checking accounts. The following video and print ad showcase various strategies to regain client trust.
To prepare students for the roles that they may take on as professional communicators, consider an assignment which asks students to examine and evaluate an organization’s strategies in response to crisis. Since a new industry or organization seems to be under the magnifying glass at any given time, the activity would invite fresh topics every semester.
Looking for a place to start? Download the report and presentation assignment idea (below), which can be used with Ch. 7 (Negative Messages) and/or Ch. 10 (Proposals & Formal Reports) in Guffey & Loewy’s Essentials of Business Communication, 11e.
Do you assign something similar? Share your approach in the comments!
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