Assignment 1: Strategic Communications Plan Due Week 4, worth 150 points 

The ability to effectively communicate is one of the most in demand and sought after skills in today’s workforce. As a business professional, you will be expected to not only communicate in a clear and concise way, but to do so strategically. These communication skills are necessary to manage personnel effectively and to drive your organization toward its strategic goals and outcomes. Effective communication starts with planning. By developing a strategic communications plan you will be more intentional in your messages and the actions you ask of your audience.

 

Instructions  Create a strategic communication plan for the professional communication challenge or opportunity of your choice. Your plan has to include the following components and may be written in a professional report format. See the formatting requirements for additional information.

 

1. Description a. What is your challenge or opportunity? b. Why is this professionally important to you? 2. Goal a. What goals or outcomes do you want to achieve with this communication? i. Is it clear, concise, and actionable? 3. Audience a. Who is your target audience? i. What are the professional positions of the audience members? ii. What demographic characteristics will the audience comprise? iii. What is your relationship to the audience?

COM 510 – Business Communications

 

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iv. What background knowledge and expertise does the audience have? v. What does the audience know, feel about, and expect concerning this communication? vi. What preconceptions or biases do you possess that might prevent you from building rapport with your audience? b. What information is available about your audience? i. What research/sources will you use to obtain information about the audience? ii. What conclusions have you been able to draw about the audience? c. What tone will you use to convey your message? i. Is the setting casual or formal? ii. Is the communication personal or impersonal?  4. Key Message a. What is the primary message you must convey to your audience?  i. Is the message compelling and memorable? ii. Is the message clear and concise?  iii. Is the message aligned with your audience’s goals and needs? 5. Supporting Points a. What three to four points, reasons, or justifications support your message? i. What research/sources will you use to obtain facts/data about your message? 6. Channel Selection a. What communication style will you employ (Tell/Sell or Consult/Join), and why? b. What channel(s) will you use to deliver your message, and why will they be the most effective? c. What purpose is served by each channel you have selected? 7. Action Request a. Is your call to action are you making to your audience clear, concise, and easily actionable?

 

Note: You may create and establish all necessary assumptions needed for the completion of this assignment. The scenario is yours to explain.

 

Professional and APA Formatting Requirements Your assignment must follow these general APA formatting requirements: ● Your document must be typed, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides.  ● Resources must be cited using in-text citations and a reference list. ● Your document must include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, your name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date.  ● Professional report format may be used. This includes the use of headers, single spacing, no paragraph indents, and use of bullet point lists. It should be “skimmable.”

 

Grading for this assignment will be based on the following criteria and evaluation standards:

 

COM 510 – Business Communications

 

© 2017 Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University Confidential and Proprietary information and may not be copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of Strayer University. COM510 Student Guide 1174 (03-24-2017) Page 14 of 26

Points: 150 Assignment 1: Strategic Communications Plan

Criteria Unacceptable Below 70% F

Fair 70-79% C

Proficient 80-89% B

Exemplary 90-100% A

1. Description

 

Weight: 10%

Does not or incompletely describes challenge or opportunity and/or may not provide information on why this topic is professionally important/relevant.

Partially describes challenge or opportunity and/or provides some information on why this topic is professionally important/relevant.

Adequately describes challenge or opportunity and/or provides information on why this topic is professionally important/relevant.

Fully describes challenge or opportunity and provides information on why this topic is professionally important/relevant.

2. Goal

 

Weight: 5%

The communication goal is unclear or is not defined.

The communication goal is fairly defined. It is somewhat clear, and may need further refinement to be concise and clearly actionable.

The communication goal is satisfactorily defined. It is mostly clear, is actionable, but could be more concise.

The communication goal is exceptionally well-defined. It is clear, concise, and actionable.

3. Audience

 

Weight: 20%

The communication does not include an audience analysis, draws irrelevant conclusions about the audience, or incompletely addresses the characteristics, motivations, and expertise of the audience. Does not identify the tone to be used to convey message.

The communication includes an analysis of the audience, but this is insufficient. The communication includes some relevant conclusions about the audience, the characteristics, motivations, and expertise of the audience. Identifies only one element of the tone to be used to convey message.

Audience analysis is sufficient to the task. The author thoughtfully considers most of the characteristics, motivations, and expertise of the audience, drawing mostly relevant conclusions. Identifies both elements of the tone to be used to convey message.

Audience analysis is thorough.  The author thoughtfully considers the characteristics, motivations, and expertise of the audience, drawing highly relevant conclusions. Identifies both elements of the tone to be used to convey message.

 

4. Key Message

 

Weight: 15%

The key message is unclear and/or is illogical. It does not align with the goals/needs of the audience.

The key message is fairly clear, concise, and logical. It may be somewhat compelling and memorable and aligns somewhat with the goals/needs of the audience.

The key message is mostly clear, concise, and logical. It is sufficiently compelling and memorable and is sufficiently aligned with the goals/needs of the audience.

The key message is completely clear, concise, and logical. It is exceptionally compelling and memorable. It is wellaligned with the goals/needs of the audience.

5. Supporting Points

 

Weight: 15%

The communication does not provide three or four points, reasons, or justifications to support the key message, and does not list sources to be used to support the message.

The communication provides three or four points, reasons, or justifications that support the key message to some degree, but this support is incomplete, and may not list relevant sources to be used to support the message.

The communication provides three or four points, reasons, or justifications that support the key message sufficiently, and lists mostly relevant sources to be used to support the message.

The communication provides three or four points, reasons, or justifications that clearly support the key message in a compelling manner, and lists entirely relevant sources to be used to support the message.

COM 510 – Business Communications

 

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6. Channel Selection

 

Weight: 10%

The communication does not identify or incompletely identifies the communication style and/or communication channel(s), while failing to provide sufficient rationale for the channel selection(s).

The communication identifies the communication style and communication channel(s), but to an insufficient degree. Rationale for the style and channel selection(s) explains the chosen method of delivery insufficiently.

The communication identifies the communication style and communication channel(s) sufficiently. Rationale for the style and channel selection(s) explains the chosen method of delivery adequately.

The communication style and communication channel(s) are thoughtfully chosen. Rationale for the style and channel selection(s) explains the chosen method of delivery in a compelling and thorough manner.

7. Action Request

 

Weight: 15%

The request made of the audience is unclear, or action cannot be taken based on the communication.

The request made of the audience is fairly clear, but may not be actionable.

The request made of the audience is sufficiently clear and is actionable.

The request made of the audience is thoroughly clear and easily actionable.

8. Write in a professional manner using proper grammar, mechanics, spelling, formatting, and citations.

 

Weight: 10%

Writing does not meet minimal standards.  Tone is not professional.  Communication is wholly lacking in logic, clarity, and/or consistent formatting.  Contains many spelling, mechanical, formatting, citation, and/or grammatical errors.

Writing is satisfactory.  Professional tone is developing.  Shows moderate logic, clarity, and/or consistent formatting.  May contain more than a few spelling, grammar mechanical, formatting, or citation errors.

Writing could be improved, but meets acceptable standards. Tone is professional. Shows logic, clarity, and consistent formatting.  May contain few or no spelling, mechanical, and/or grammatical errors. There may be a small formatting or citations errors.

Writing is excellent. Tone is professional and sophisticated.  Shows logic, clarity, and consistent formatting.  Contains no spelling, mechanical, or grammatical errors, and formatting and citations meet standards.

 

 

 

Assignment 2: Written Communication Due Week 9, worth 200 points

 

Business managers use written communication every day. Opportunities for written communication in the business world include everything from reports, memos, and documentation to emails, instant messaging, and social media. Effective written communication can help build and grow business relationships, accelerate results, solicit input and feedback, and rally personnel toward shared goals. Your ability to write messages that are clear and concise, while positioned strategically and presented professionally, will distinguish you in your field.

 

In this assignment, you will develop a written communication for the challenge or opportunity scenario you have identified. The written message needed to fulfill this assignment will depend on your scenario.

 

Instructions  Compose a written communication based on your Strategic Communications Plan.

 

Part 1 1. Develop Your Written Communication a. State your key message clearly i. Do not “bury the headline” — the main point should be presented directly ii. Your key message must be clear and concise

COM 510 – Business Communications

 

© 2017 Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University Confidential and Proprietary information and may not be copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of Strayer University. COM510 Student Guide 1174 (03-24-2017) Page 16 of 26

b. Provide the necessary information and build credibility i. Provide an appropriate amount of background information for the audience, given the type of communication ii. Get to the point without unnecessary verbiage iii. Build your position as an expert or trusted colleague c. Support your key message with three or four supporting points/reasons i. Supporting points should be appropriate for the context and needs of the audience ii. Reasons should be compelling and relevant d. Employ either the Consult/Join or Tell/Sell techniques e. Clearly relay to the audience an actionable request 2. Write Professionally a. Communication should be clear and concise b. Communication should build logically c. Sentences should flow smoothly, using appropriate transitions and varying sentence structure d. Employ appropriate formatting for ease of reading and clarity of message (headers, bullet points, etc.) 3. Demonstrate Professional Presence a. Be authentic and genuine in your communication b. Use the appropriate tone and vocabulary for your audience c. Establish rapport to connect with your audience and grow the relationship

 

Part 2

 

4. Channel and Style a. Explain why you chose the specific channel you used for the written communication b. Explain what style you employed in your written communication and why (Sell/Tell or Consult/Join) 5. Use Feedback to Refine Your Communication a. Describe or list the feedback you received on your written communication from the week 6 Discussion Board b. Explain how you used the feedback to revise and improve your message

 

 

Professional and APA Formatting Requirements Your assignment must follow these general APA formatting requirements: ● Your document must be typed, double-spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with oneinch margins on all sides. ● Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, your name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date.  ● The business written communication portion should be consistent with professional standards. For example, a business memo will have a subject line, does not indent paragraphs, etc. A business email will have a relevant subject line and will include a greeting, paragraphs, perhaps a bulleted list, a signature line, etc.

 

Be sure each of these areas is addressed.  Grading for this assignment will be based on the following criteria and evaluation standards:

 

COM 510 – Business Communications

 

© 2017 Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University Confidential and Proprietary information and may not be copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of Strayer University. COM510 Student Guide 1174 (03-24-2017) Page 17 of 26

Points: 200 Assignment 2: Written Communication

Criteria

 

Unacceptable Below 70% F

 

Fair 70-79% C

 

Proficient 80-89% B

 

Exemplary 90-100% A

1. Develop Your Written Communication

 

Weight: 25%

The author does not include or does not state clearly and concisely, the key message.   The author does not offer or offers insufficient support for the key message.  The author does not provide all necessary information or fails to build credibility.  The request made of the audience is unclear, or action cannot be taken based on the communication.

The author’s key message is reasonably clear and concise, and offers one or two supporting reasons.  A minimal amount of necessary information is provided.  Some attempt has been made to build credibility.  The request made of the audience is fairly clear, but may not be actionable.

The author’s key message is sufficiently clear and concise, and three or four supporting reasons are sufficiently compelling, appropriate, and relevant.  The author provides a moderate amount of necessary information and makes a reasonable attempt to build credibility.  The request made of the audience is sufficiently clear and is actionable.

The author’s key message is clear and concise.  Three or four supporting reasons are compelling, appropriate, and relevant.  All necessary information has been provided and successfully builds credibility.   The request made of the audience is thoroughly clear and easily actionable.

2. Write Professionally

 

Weight: 20%

The written communication is not satisfactorily professional.  It is unclear and/or not concise, and is presented in an illogical order. Sentences do not flow easily throughout the document. Insufficient formatting has been used to make the document easier to read and understand and business formatting standards are not implemented.

The written communication is somewhat professional.  It is fairly clear and/or concise, and is presented in a fairly logical order. Sentences flow easily throughout some of the document. Formatting has been used to make the document easier to read and understand, but the formatting is applied inconsistently and does not consistently use best practices for the type of business writing that it is.

The written communication is professional.  It is mostly clear and/or concise, and is presented in a mostly logical order. Sentences flow easily throughout most of the document.  Formatting techniques are mostly consistent  and aligned with best practices for the type of business writing and help the reader quickly understand the message.

 

The written communication is highly professional.  It is completely clear and/or concise, and is presented in a thoroughly logical order.  Sentences flow easily throughout the entire document. Formatting techniques are consistent throughout, utilize best practices for the type of business writing, and help the reader quickly understand the message.

 

3. Demonstrate Professional Presence

 

Weight: 15%

Does not demonstrate, or demonstrates incompletely, a level of professional presence.  The written communication lacks an authentic voice, uses an inappropriate tone for the type of

Demonstrates a passable level of professional presence.  The written communication has a fairly authentic voice, uses a somewhat appropriate professional tone for the type of communication, and

Demonstrates a moderate level of professional presence.  The written communication has an adequately authentic voice, uses a mostly appropriate professional tone for the type of communication, and

Demonstrates a high level of professional presence.  The written communication has an authentic voice, uses an appropriate professional tone for the type of communication, and employs contextually appropriate vocabulary

COM 510 – Business Communications

 

© 2017 Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University Confidential and Proprietary information and may not be copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of Strayer University. COM510 Student Guide 1174 (03-24-2017) Page 18 of 26

communication, and contains inappropriate vocabulary in context. Document does not help to build confidence in the author while maintaining clarity for the audience.

employs contextually appropriate vocabulary that attempts to build confidence in the author while maintaining clarity for the audience.

employs contextually appropriate vocabulary that helps to build sufficient confidence in the author while maintaining clarity for the audience.

that helps to build confidence in the author while maintaining clarity for the audience.

4. Channel and Style

 

Weight: 15%%

The student does not describe their channel and style choice or does so ineffectively.

The student satisfactorily describes their channel and style choice. It may lack some clarity or sound reasoning to support the decision.

The student adequately describes their channel and style choice rationale. It is mostly logical and sound.

The student fully describes and makes a highly logical and sound channel and style choice decisions that are fully explained and supported.

5. Use Feedback to Refine Your Communication

 

Weight: 15%

The student does not describe feedback received.  The student does not explain how feedback was used to revise and improve the written communication.

The student satisfactorily describes or lists feedback received.  The student partially explains how feedback was used to revise and improve the written communication.

The student adequately describes or lists feedback received.  The student sufficiently explains how feedback was used to revise and improve the written communication.

The student accurately describes or lists feedback received.  The student fully explains how feedback was used to revise and improve the written communication.

5. Write in a professional manner using proper grammar, mechanics, spelling, and formatting.

 

Weight: 10%

Writing does not meet minimal standards.  Tone is not professional.  Communication is wholly lacking in logic, clarity, and/or consistent formatting.  Contains many spelling, mechanical, formatting, and/or grammatical errors.

Writing is satisfactory.  Professional tone is developing.  Shows moderate logic, clarity, and/or consistent formatting.  May contain more than a few spelling, grammar, mechanical, or formatting errors.

Writing could be improved, but meets acceptable standards. Tone is professional. Shows logic, clarity, and consistent formatting.  May contain few or no spelling, mechanical, and/or grammatical errors. There may be a small formatting error.

Writing is excellent. Tone is professional and sophisticated.  Shows logic, clarity, and consistent formatting.  Contains no spelling, mechanical, or grammatical errors, and formatting meets standards.

 

 

 

Assignment 3: Verbal Communication Due Week 10, worth 220 points

 

From quick conversations to phone calls, meetings, formal presentations, and sales pitches, you must employ effective verbal communication skills at all times. While verbal interactions are extremely common, they can also be stressful. Every interaction contains the potential for success…and the danger of failure. To be “on your game” at all times requires purposeful practice, reflection, and adjustment based on input and feedback. No matter what your verbal communication skills are, you can improve them. In this assignment, you will develop and deliver a verbal communication for the scenario you have identified. Your communication should match your challenge or opportunity. For example, if your challenge is an interview for a new position, you may choose to record yourself answering a few key questions that might be posed by the interviewer.

 

For the purposes of this course, your video presentation should not exceed five minutes. (Your scenario might require a much longer presentation, but limit your response to the key five minutes in this case.)

 

COM 510 – Business Communications

 

© 2017 Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University Confidential and Proprietary information and may not be copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of Strayer University. COM510 Student Guide 1174 (03-24-2017) Page 19 of 26

Instructions  For Part 1, create and deliver a verbal communication (recording your presentation for submission to your instructor) that aligns with your Strategic Communication Plan.

 

For Part 2, reflect on your presentation, and document your preparation and how you used feedback to refine your verbal communication.

 

Part 1 1. Develop and Deliver Your Verbal Communication a. Use an impactful opening statement to engage, set context, and/or create relevant meaning for the audience b. Use compelling stories/statistics/facts to support your key message c. Where appropriate, make your request of the audience clear and actionable d. Use visual aids (where necessary) that support and complement your verbal communication, but which do not drive the conversation e. Limit recordings to no more than 5 minutes

 

2. Demonstrate Professional Presence a. Be authentic and genuine in your delivery b. Use the appropriate tone and vocabulary for your audience c. Use body language and eye contact effectively d. Speak concisely with clarity and confidence e. Build rapport and connect with your audience to grow the relationship f. Dress appropriately and employ an appropriate camera frame (with a neutral background that is free of distractions) g. Employ only professionally presented and appropriately prepared visual aids, if used

 

Part 2

 

3. Reflect on Your Presentation Preparation a. Describe the approach you took to plan for your presentation b. Explain how you rehearsed for the presentation c. Offer suggestions for how you might better prepare in the future 4. Use Feedback to Refine Your Communication a. Describe or list the feedback you received on your verbal communication from the week 8 Discussion Board b. Explain how you used the feedback to revise and improve your message and/or delivery

 

Professional and APA Formatting Requirements Your assignment must follow these general APA formatting requirements: ● Your document must be typed, double-spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with oneinch margins on all sides.  ● Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, your name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date.  ● The format should be consistent with professional standards. If slides are used, apply slide design best practices (minimal text, appropriate images/charts, and proper grammar and spelling) for an appropriately professional presentation.

 

Be sure each of these areas is addressed.  Grading for this assignment will be based on the following criteria and evaluation standards:

 

COM 510 – Business Communications

 

© 2017 Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University Confidential and Proprietary information and may not be copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of Strayer University. COM510 Student Guide 1174 (03-24-2017) Page 20 of 26

Points: 220 Assignment 3: Verbal Communication

Criteria

 

Unacceptable Below 70% F

 

Fair 70-79% C

 

Proficient 80-89% B

 

Exemplary 90-100% A

1. Develop and Deliver Your Verbal Communication

 

Weight: 25%

The student does not include an impactful opening statement and/or does not use compelling stories/statistics/facts.  Student does not make a clear and actionable request of the audience. Visual aids, if used, do not complement or support the verbal communication. Recording is longer than five minutes.

The student attempts to make an impactful opening statement and/or uses somewhat compelling stories/statistics/facts.  Student makes an actionable request of the audience but the request lacks clarity. Visual aids are somewhat complementary and support the verbal communication to some degree. Recording may be more than five minutes.

The student’s opening statement is adequately impactful and/or uses mostly compelling stories/statistics/facts.  Student makes a sufficiently clear and actionable request from the audience. Visual aids, if used, are mostly complementary and support the verbal communication. Recording is no more than five minutes.

The student’s opening statement is highly impactful and/or uses extremely compelling stories/statistics/facts.  Student makes an entirely clear and actionable request of the audience. Visual aids, if used, are entirely complementary and support the verbal communication. Recording is no more than five minutes.

2. Demonstrate Professional Presence

 

Weight: 25%

Student does not demonstrate, or demonstrates incompletely, a level of professional presence. The verbal communication is inauthentic or uses an inappropriate tone and contextually inappropriate vocabulary is used.  Student fails to build confidence with the audience and does not achieve rapport. Student’s appearance and demeanor are not professional. Visual aids, if used, are unsatisfactory and unprofessional in look and feel.

Student demonstrates a passable level of professional presence. The verbal communication may be lacking a completely authentic voice, uses a fairly appropriate professional tone for the audience, and uses fairly contextually appropriate vocabulary that helps to build some confidence in the student while maintaining clarity for the audience.  Student attempts to build rapport with the audience and is fairly professional in appearance. Visual aids, if used, are lacking in professionalism and presentation.

Student demonstrates a moderate level of professional presence. The verbal communication is mostly authentic, uses a satisfactorily professional tone for the audience, and uses vocabulary that is largely appropriate in context.  Student builds confidence and rapport with the audience while maintaining clarity. Student is mostly professional in appearance.  Visual aids, if used, are satisfactory and professional in look and feel.

Student demonstrates a high level of professional presence. The verbal communication is authentic, employs an appropriately professional tone for the audience, and makes use of vocabulary that is appropriate in context. Student successfully builds confidence and rapport with the audience.  Student is professional in appearance and presentation.  Visual aids, if used, are professional in look and feel.

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