As a marketing consultant, you will need to consider various scenarios that could impact your client, and as a result you will need to work with your client to develop a communication strategy that will enable the client to address situations. This project is designed to help you understand the types of strategies that your clients could adopt to address their various audiences. Milestone Three Scenario Your chosen company (Starbucks Coffee Company) has approved a policy to address discrimination in the workplace. Examples of possible discrimination topics include gender, racial, religious, or age discrimination. In Module Five, you will submit the discrimination communication strategy for the presented scenario. For the communication strategy, select either a defensive or offensive communication strategy, or you may choose an approach that utilizes a combination of these strategies. Your strategy will depend on the nature of the message along with the target audience Examples of Corporate Communication Strategies a) Defensive strategies: These are communications that tend to be reactive, with information transmitted after something has happened. Often this is in reaction to “bad” news, and the resulting publicity causes a response. It can also be undertaken when a corporation simply does not want to be perceived as generating publicity about an event. By way of example, a corporation may have made a donation to a particular charity or provided help during a disaster, but it does not want to be perceived as trying to generate favorable publicity. However, due to increased publicity, it “reluctantly” has to confirm its action. b) Offensive strategies: These are communications that are usually proactive, with information transmitted before the media has reported an event or even before something has occurred. This can be to pre-empt bad publicity over something that has happened, or to make an announcement about an issue or event that will reflect favorably on the corporation. For the assignment, the following critical elements must be addressed: I. Communication Context: Provide an overview of the scenario that your communication strategy will address, in the context of the company you have selected for your final project. (Starbucks Coffee Company) II. Communication Need: Considering both internal and external audiences, explain the stakeholder management issue(s) that must be addressed due to this scenario. What specifically caused the need for the identified communications? III. Internal Communication: a) Explain the type of internal communication and the purpose for the internal communication that you have chosen (i.e., informational, educational, and/or persuasive). Detail your process for selecting the type of communication that will address the scenario. Provide justification as to why the chosen strategy is appropriate for the scenario. b) Identify the intended target audience for the internal communication, and then explain why they have been selected as the target audience. Provide justification for selecting the identified target audience. c) Develop a draft communication that could be sent to the identified internal target audience addressing this scenario. Ensure that the appropriate tone and message are communicated in your draft communication. IV. External Communication: a) Explain the type of external communication and the purpose for the external communication that you have chosen (i.e., informational, educational, and/or persuasive). Detail your process for selecting the type of communication that will address the scenario. Provide justification as to why the chosen strategy is appropriate for the scenario. b) Identify the intended target audience for the external communication, and then explain why they have been selected as the target audience. Provide justification for selecting the identified target audience. c) Develop a draft communication that could be sent to the identified external target audience addressing this scenario. Ensure that the appropriate tone and message are communicated in your draft communication. V. Conditions Communication Strategy: Summarize the communication strategy utilized to address this scenario. Why was it the best approach for this scenario? What alternative strategies did you consider, and why was your approach the best option? Provide justification to support your communication strategy. Guidelines for Submission: Double-spaced Word document, 12-point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins, APA format. Page length requirements: 3–5 pages, not including title page and references.
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MKT 690 Milestone Three: Discrimination Communication Strategy Guidelines and Rubric
As a marketing consultant, you will need to consider various scenarios that could impact your client, and as a result you will need to work with your client to
develop a communication strategy that will enable the client to address situations. This project is designed to help you understand the types of strategies that
your clients could adopt to address their various audiences.
Milestone Three Scenario
Your chosen company has approved a policy to address discrimination in the workplace. Examples of possible discrimination topics include gender, racial,
religious, or age discrimination.
In Module Five, you will submit the discrimination communication strategy for the presented scenario. For the communication strategy, select either a defensive
or offensive communication strategy, or you may choose an approach that utilizes a combination of these strategies. Your strategy will depend on the nature of
the message along with the target audience
Examples of Corporate Communication Strategies
a) Defensive strategies: These are communications that tend to be reactive, with information transmitted after something has happened. Often this is in
reaction to “bad” news, and the resulting publicity causes a response. It can also be undertaken when a corporation simply does not want to be
perceived as generating publicity about an event. By way of example, a corporation may have made a donation to a particular charity or provided help
during a disaster, but it does not want to be perceived as trying to generate favorable publicity. However, due to increased publicity, it “reluctantly” has to
confirm its action.
b) Offensive strategies: These are communications that are usually proactive, with information transmitted before the media has reported an event or even
before something has occurred. This can be to pre-empt bad publicity over something that has happened, or to make an announcement about an issue
or event that will reflect favorably on the corporation.
For the assignment, the following critical elements must be addressed:
I.
Communication Context: Provide an overview of the scenario that your communication strategy will address, in the context of the company you have
selected for your final project.
II. Communication Need: Considering both internal and external audiences, explain the stakeholder management issue(s) that must be addressed due to
this scenario. What specifically caused the need for the identified communications?
III.
Internal Communication:
a) Explain the type of internal communication and the purpose for the internal communication that you have chosen (i.e., informational,
educational, and/or persuasive). Detail your process for selecting the type of communication that will address the scenario. Provide justification
as to why the chosen strategy is appropriate for the scenario.
b) Identify the intended target audience for the internal communication, and then explain why they have been selected as the target audience.
Provide justification for selecting the identified target audience.
c) Develop a draft communication that could be sent to the identified internal target audience addressing this scenario. Ensure that the
appropriate tone and message are communicated in your draft communication.
IV.
External Communication:
a) Explain the type of external communication and the purpose for the external communication that you have chosen (i.e., informational,
educational, and/or persuasive). Detail your process for selecting the type of communication that will address the scenario. Provide justification
as to why the chosen strategy is appropriate for the scenario.
b) Identify the intended target audience for the external communication, and then explain why they have been selected as the target audience.
Provide justification for selecting the identified target audience.
c) Develop a draft communication that could be sent to the identified external target audience addressing this scenario. Ensure that the
appropriate tone and message are communicated in your draft communication.
V. Conditions Communication Strategy: Summarize the communication strategy utilized to address this scenario. Why was it the best approach for this
scenario? What alternative strategies did you consider, and why was your approach the best option? Provide justification to support your communication
strategy.
Rubric
Guidelines for Submission: Double-spaced Word document, 12-point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins, APA format. Page length requirements: 3–5
pages, not including title page and references.
Critical Elements
Communication Context
Communication Need
Internal:
Type and Purpose
Internal: Target Audience
Internal:
Draft Communication
External:
Type and Purpose
External: Target Audience
External: Draft
Communication
Proficient (100%)
Provides an overview of the scenario
using the chosen company to provide
appropriate context for the situation
Explains the need for both internal
and external communications
addressed to appropriate audiences
and outlines the stakeholder
management issues
Provides an explanation of the type
of internal communication providing
justification for selection, and
provides support by explaining the
communication’s purpose
Identifies the target audience and
provides an explanation of
justification
Provides an appropriate draft internal
communication that appropriately
addresses the scenario
Provides an explanation of the type
of external communication providing
justification for selection, and
provides support by explaining the
communications purpose
Identifies the target audience and
provides an explanation of
justification
Provides an appropriate draft
external communication that
appropriately addresses the scenario
Needs Improvement (75%)
Provides a limited overview of the
scenario and does not fully utilize the
chosen company to provide
appropriate context
Provides a limited explanation of the
need for communication, and does
not fully address both internal and
external audiences, and/or does not
fully outline the stakeholder
management issues
Provides limited explanation of the
type of internal communication with
little to no justification, and does not
fully explain its purpose
Not Evident (0%)
Does not provide an overview of the
scenario
Value
5
Does not explain the need for internal
and external communication and
does not outline the stakeholder
management issues
10
Does not explain the type of
communication or its purpose
10
Does not identify a clearly defined
target audience or provides a limited
justification for that selection
Develops a draft internal
communication that does not fully
address the scenario
Provides limited explanation of the
type of external communication with
little to no justification, and does not
fully explain its purpose
Does not identify the target audience
or does not justify the selection
5
Does not develop a draft
communication addressing the
scenario
Does not explain the type of
communication or its purpose
20
Does not identify a clearly defined
target audience or provides a limited
justification for that selection
Develops a draft external
communication that does not fully
address the scenario
Does not identify the target audience
or does not justify the selection
5
Does not develop a draft
communication addressing the
scenario
20
10
Communication Strategy
Articulation of Response
Provides a clear summary of the
communication strategy that is
supported with adequate evidence to
justify the approach adopted
Submission has no major errors
related to citations, grammar,
spelling, or syntax
Provides a limited summary of the
communication strategy, and does
not provide a complete justification
for the approach adopted
Submission has major errors related
to citations, grammar, spelling, or
syntax that negatively impact
readability and articulation of main
ideas
Does not provide a summary of the
communication strategy with
justification
10
Submission has critical errors related
to citations, grammar, spelling, or
syntax that prevent understanding of
ideas
5
Earned Total
100%
Impact of Corporate Communications
Corporate communication includes not only messages to everyone outside the company but also messages
sent to everyone within the company. Examples include newsletters, advertising campaigns, web presence,
social media and public relations initiatives, to name just a few. What is included in those communications
can have far-reaching implications for the corporate brand.
Many have come to expect instant and helpful communication from corporations at all times. When a
company does not communicate promptly, truthfully, or efficiently, consumers are quick to respond, and
that response can be damaging to a brand. Understanding the consequences of corporate communications
can help companies design effective communication plans that help to avoid negative consequences.
Events that have a negative impact upon the brand can also affect internal audiences. This can lead to a loss
of morale, reduced production, and eventually disenchantment with the corporation. That in turn can impact
the brand and its external stakeholders. By way of example, if consumers approach a corporation with
concerns and complaints, it would not be unreasonable to expect some form of response. If, however, the
corporation does not provide appropriate communication to address the concerns, those customers could
end up feeling unimportant. If, as is likely, these same consumers share their opinions using their social
networks and review websites, those concerns will permeate to a much broader audience. Not only will the
unhappy customers take their custom elsewhere, but their opinions could dissuade others from trying the
brand as well.
Corporate Branding
The process of corporate branding consists of a set of activities undertaken by the company to build
favorable associations and positive reputation with both internal and external stakeholders. Developing a
brand has become increasingly important in today’s connected environment. Externally, legal rules
regarding corporate disclosure are forcing a greater degree of transparency and openness than ever before.
Internally, employees, customers, and investors seek greater clarity and understanding of a company’s
commercial and non-commercial activities. Everyone is therefore seeking knowledge of the company
behind the brand, of its core competencies and social responsibility (van Riel & Fombrun, 2006).
Public Scrutiny
As TheEconomist reported in “When the Jobs Inspector Calls” (2012), corporations that manufacture items
in poor countries are likely to encounter public scrutiny of their entire supply chain. If there is any hint of
harsh working conditions, campaigners and worker groups, such as unions wary of competition from lowwage countries, will pounce on the hint of scandal. If such situations are found, sensational headlines can
tarnish a brand and cause irreparable damage to the company.
Such groups have targeted brands like Nike, Gap, and Coca-Cola following revelations of poor and/or
harsh working conditions in factories in the East (“When the Jobs Inspector Calls,” 2012). As an example,
during the ‘90s, Nike was criticized for sourcing its products in factories and countries where low wages,
poor working conditions, and human rights problems were rampant. This criticism was generated following
a number of scandals and public relations nightmares relating to underpaid workers, child labor, and poor
working conditions in suppliers based in Far East countries such as Indonesia, Cambodia, Pakistan, and
China. During a speech in 1998, the Nike CEO stated, “The Nike product has become synonymous with
slave wages, forced overtime, and arbitrary abuse” (as cited in Locke & Romis, 2007, “Nike and Its Global
Suppy Chain” section, para. 2). Nike was therefore forced to address the situation in order to restore its
reputation as one of the world’s leading suppliers of sports clothing.
Primark is a leading UK retail outlet with a reputation for selling budget-priced clothing that is sourced
from 600 major suppliers in 16 different countries, and all the items are made specifically for Primark (Lee,
2011). In 2008, the BBC aired a documentary that showed poor working conditions in Indian factories
supplying Primark, exposing child labor by featuring “an 11-year-old Indian girl at a refugee camp sewing
sequins on a shirt ordered by Primark” (Lee, 2011, “Problem” section, para. 2). The ensuing controversy
led to mass boycott and protests. Primark indicated it had no knowledge of such conditions and
immediately cancelled all contracts with that supplier. Child protection groups argued that this action was
actually likely to cause greater hardship for those involved and that the company should instead try to
improve working conditions for such workers (Lee, 2011). Primark is still one of the most popular retail
outlets in the UK, but will its brand be forever linked with the exploitation of child labor?
Consequences of Bad Publicity
Bad publicity can emerge at any time over almost any issue, leading to a corporation being portrayed as
irresponsible, dishonest, or only looking out for its own best interest. When an organization fails to live up
to its brand image, customers, employees, and partners may question the truthfulness of all of the
organization’s current and future messages, leading to a loss of trust by key stakeholders. Mistrust
expressed by word of mouth and through social media can take years to repair. Regaining the trust of
stakeholders can be difficult and time-consuming. Such bad publicity can have a negative impact upon
sales and revenue, especially if buyers and/or storeowners express their negative opinions and cease to sell
items from the corporation in question. Brand equity can suffer long-term damage as a result of such
publicity, which is especially evident if a corporation has had to recall products because of safety or health
hazards. In such cases, some buyers could avoid the brand altogether for a long period of time.
Conclusion
If effects illustrated above are left unchecked and the issues are not addressed with clear and appropriate
communications, the corporation could very quickly find itself losing money. Unmotivated employees are
likely to take longer to complete tasks, causing costs to rise. The marketing budget will probably require an
increase due to declining sales and publicity. Customer loyalty is likely to fall, and the potential consumer
base could all too easily shrink as the brand’s reputation goes downhill. Ultimately, poor communication
can mean reduced corporate revenues. Consequently, an integrated communication plan is required to
ensure that all corporate communications are carefully managed in terms of their content and timing in
order to avoid such pitfalls.
References
Lee, M. M. (2011, May 16). Reacting to bad publicity over sweat shop issue: The case of Primark. Journal of
International Management. Retrieved from
http://journalofinternationalmanagement.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/reacting-to-bad-publicity-over-sweatshop-issue-the-case-of-primark/
Locke, R. M., & Romis, M. (2007, January 1). Improving work conditions in a global supply chain. MIT Sloan
Management Review. Retrieved from http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/improving-work-conditions-in-aglobal-supply-chain/
van Riel, C., & Fombrun, C. (2006). Essentials of corporate communications. Florence, KY: Routledge.
When the jobs inspector calls. (2012, March 31). The Economist. Retrieved from
http://www.economist.com/node/21551498

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