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Linda M. Perry


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AEC 4052 Communication Campaign Strategies > Projects > Environmental Scanning & Issue Tracking

Environment Scanning and Issue Tracking
AEC 4052 Communication Campaign Strategies

I. Individual Issue Tracking

Each member of your campaign team will scan for issues that can affect your client and/or campaign. As you scan the environment for these issues, identify one that is important to your organization and that you personally can track all semester. You will need to settle on an issue by Jan. 27, when team directors will report the issues to be tracked.

Each member of your team will track an issue throughout the semester and prepare an annotated bibliography. As you track your issue over the semester, write a brief summary of each news clip or report as you would for top management. Add the complete citation for each summary, using modified (see below) APA style. NOTE: Each team should agree on format at the beginning of this process so that you do not have to do a lot of editing later in the semester.

Here is an example of an annotated bibliography entry. (Note the added retrieval date and that the summary does not start with "this article says." The example below may appear double-spaced in some browsers. For this assignment, you may single-space the citations and annotations.)

Pittman, Craig (2013 January 27). Florida's aquifer models full of holes, allowing more
water permits and pollution. Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved May 16, 2013, from
To trace the source of pollution in Silver Springs, scientists in April 2010 dropped
30 pounds of fluorescent dye into wells and sinkholes a few miles away. The
results suggest the state has issued thousands of water-pumping permits
while underestimating their impact. The state bases permitting decisions on a
computer model that assumes the aquifer flows at a steady rate through layers
of sand and gravel. The dye showed widely varying flow rates and that pollution
reaches the aquifer much faster than previously thought. The faulty models have
resulted in over-pumping, a depleted aquifer and springs, and hundreds of

As the issue and your monitoring progress, your summaries need only contain updated or new information and developments. You should have about 12 of these by Feb. 26.

The individual issue tracking report: Write an overall summary of 400 to 500 words of your issue, including its historical development. Electronically submit your annotated bibliography and overall summary to your research director and your instructor by March 12. The overall summary should be double spaced. The bibliography may be single-spaced. An abbreviated version of your overall summary will be included in Section 3 of the team report (see below). The individual reports do not need title pages.

Be prepared to discuss with your team your issue's significance to your client.

II. The Team Analysis and Report

The team should discuss all the issues tracked by individual members and assign priority to the issues. In prioritizing issues, consider the potential impact of the issue on the organization's mission and its stakeholders. Identify the top issue for analysis.

The team report will include an analysis of the top issue tracked by your team and will recommend strategies to manage that issue's impact on your client. The team report should have the following sections, with all but the annotated bibliography double spaced:

(1) An executive summary: While it will appear first in the report, following the title page, the executive summary should be prepared last. It should briefly summarize the report’s main findings and recommendations and be no longer than one page, double-spaced.

(2) Introduction: Write a concise paragraph introducing the topic and purpose of the report. The introductory paragraph should appear on the same page as the next section.

(3) All issues considered: List the issues identified in your team's environmental scan and the team member who followed each one. Explain how you arrived at your conclusions about the priorities assigned. Include the full summary of the top issue and abbreviated summaries of the rest.

(4) Analysis of top issue: Analyze the top issue and its potential impact on the organization and its stakeholders. Identify any activists involved in the issue. Identify any action already undertaken by the organization and the stakeholders involved in the top issue. If you can discern none, say so. The analysis should include an issue-forecasting section outlining whether and/or how the issue will continue, change, affect public opinion, mobilize opinion leaders and activists, and/or result in legislative action (1-2 pages).

(5) Issue management analysis and recommendation: Drawing on scholarly literature and past classes, propose action that your organization should undertake to manage the top issue's impact on your client's mission and stakeholders (1-2 pages).

(6) Annotated bibliographies: Compile the annotated bibliography for the top issue, single spaced using hanging indents, into one section. If one or more issues cause serious concern, you may include the annotated bibliography for it/them as well.

(7) Reference list: Append a bibliographic list of the works cited to support your analysis and recommendation. Note: This is not a repeat of the information in the annotated bibliography. It is for scholarly articles used to support your analysis.

An electronic draft of the issues analysis report is due on March 24. The final report should be packaged for presentation to your client and is due at the time of your presentations.