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Linda M. Perry

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AEC 4052 Communication Campaign Strategies > Projects Situation Analysis

Situation Analysis
AEC 4052 Communication Campaign Strategies

Before beginning this assignment, you must first apply for the position and team in which you want to work. Once you are on a team, you will help analyze the situation that has led to your client's need for a communication campaign. Your campaign plan will be based on your research findings.

1. The Report

Your research mission is to understand your organization, its relationships with its publics, its goals, its culture and the opportunity or problem that calls for a strategic communication campaign.

You should utilize at least six sources and, following APA style, cite your sources throughout the report. Using APA style is explained in this tutorial. Use the client's existing publications, including its annual reports and websites, for most of your sources. Each page of a website can count as an individual source. One of your sources for the section on the target audience should be demographic data. Also monitor news outlets for news articles about your organization. Be very careful not to plagiarize your client's publications or news articles for this and all subsequent assignments!! You must rewrite, paraphrase from, and cite all sources used. Of course you may (and should) use compelling direct quotes, which are enclosed in quotation marks, or inset if longer than 40 words. Quotes should be attributed within the text, with a citation given. However, don't over-quote. Use mostly your own words.

Your team's narrative report should be about 10 to 12 pages, typed and double-spaced. The research section must be objectively written in third person, with any judgment words or opinion attributed in the text and a citation given. The analysis section, which includes analyzing the problem you have identified, should be supported by the facts presented. The report is due Feb. 12. Include the following (summarized in the checklist below):

I. Title Page: Give the report's title, the organization's name, the names of everyone in your group, and the date of submission.

II. Abstract or Executive Summary:
This part of the report should be done last, but it appears immediately after the title page. The abstract is a succinct, one-page summary of your report. It should be limited to one page only and should include a purpose statement, a scope (range of information) statement and a summary of essential information (research findings), including the succinct problem or opportunity statement.
Later, when we complete the proposal part of the campaign plan, your proposed solution will be added to the abstract/executive summary.

III. Narrative Report:

A. Introduction:
Write a concise paragraph introducing the topic and purpose of the report. The introductory paragraph should appear on the same page as the background section.

B. Background: Thoroughly describe the organization's origins, history; what the organization is today, what it does; the relationship of parent and any subsidiaries; numbers and types of key publics; geographic areas in which it operates; and any other information important to understanding the organization. Be sure to use citations throughout this section and to get enough information on your organization's publics for the opportunity/problem section of the report. The excellent report will also be based on at least one interview with someone affiliated with the organization. (3-5 pages)

C. Organizational Philosophy, Mission and Goals: Using citations throughout, describe how the organization views its role in society, the organization's basic mission or reason for being (usually articulated in a mission statement), its culture, its aspirations and its goals. Goals may be inferred. You should ask someone within the organization about its culture. (1-2 pages)

D. The Situation Description: Include the situation's background/history, including other communication already undertaken; the cause and relevant facts about the situation; its significance to the organization; its likely duration and effects if nothing is done; and the key publics most affected or involved, including other groups or organizations. Using a SWOT analysis, identify challenges and any known impediments to a solution. Be sure to use citations throughout and address everything on the checklist below. If, for example, no communication has been undertaken to date or there is no known impediment, say so. Formulate a concise problem (or opportunity) statement. A problem statement should state succinctly, in one sentence, what the problem is and why it is a problem for the organization. It should be labeled as the problem statement. Don't forget to include it in the abstract. Note: A problem is not an opportunity. It's a problem, so call it what it is. Without going into detail about strategies and tactics, describe how a communication campaign might help resolve the situation to the mutual benefit of all involved.

Finally, identify the proposed target audience and give its demographics. The excellent report will have at least four demographic elements. List the media channels that this audience uses most for industry information. (3-5 pages)

IV. Works cited: The reference list should be in APA style.

The situation analysis will become part of the campaign planbook, as will the grade. The report is due Feb. 12, and the rewrite is due with the draft planbook on March 31.


Research Grade Sheet

Title Page
_____ Follows the guidelines given in lecture on page design.
_____ Contains title, organization's name, author's name, and date of submission.

_____ Appears immediately after the title page.
_____ Is limited to one page.
_____ Includes statements as to the report's purpose and scope.
_____ Includes a succinct summary of essential research findings.
_____ Includes the concise problem or opportunity statement.

_____ Briefly introduces topic and states purpose of the report.

_____ Origins, history.
_____ What the organization is today, what it does.
_____ Relationship of parent and any subsidiaries.
_____ Numbers and types of key publics.
_____ Geographic areas in which it operates.
_____ The section is factual, with judgment terms and opinion attributed in text,
with citation.
_____ Citations used appropriately.
_____ Other relevant information ______________________

Organizational Philosophy:
_____ How the organization views its role in society.
_____ The organization's basic mission (mission statement).
_____ Organizational culture.
_____ Aspirations and goals.
_____ The section is factual, with judgment terms and opinion attributed in text,
with citation.
_____ Citations used appropriately.

Situation Description:
_____ At least one problem or opportunity that can be solved with communication
_____ Background/history, including other communication already undertaken.
_____ Cause of and relevant facts about the situation.
_____ Significance of the situation to the organization.
_____ Likely duration of the situation and effects if nothing is done.
_____ Key publics most affected or involved.
_____ Any known impediments to a solution, with SWOT analysis.
_____ Citations used appropriately for factual information.
_____ Succinct, labeled problem statement, addressing what and why, given in
one sentence.
_____ How communication would help resolve the situation.
_____ Target audience identified, with at least four demographic elements.
_____ Media channels most used by this audience.
_____ Conclusions and stated opinions are supported by the facts presented.

_____ The report is objective and written in third person.
_____ The writing is concise.
_____ The writing is clear.
_____ The writing is well organized, with section headings and transitions
between sections.
_____ The writing is free from grammatical errors.
_____ The writing is free from spelling errors.
_____ The writing is free from capitalization errors.
_____ Punctuation is used correctly.

___________ Content, including citations throughout, and
meeting specifications (70)
___________ Bibliography, with at least six sources (5)
___________ Writing, grammar, spelling (25)
___________ TOTAL (100)