Book: Business Communication: Process & Product, 9th Edition

Mary Ellen Guffey, Dana Loew

Task 1:


You are a manager of a research company. Your research team has developed a transition package that allows a gas-powered engine to transition to running on biofuels. The availability and low cost of biofuels make the transition package a potential game changer in the automobile market. You have named the product Sparkit.

In addition to tests completed by your staff, you have partnered with a large automobile producer to ensure the transition package works with many different types of vehicles. The large automobile producer remains a partner in the product as a result of their involvement, and you anticipate that future vehicles from the producer may use the technology when initially built. With the producer’s assistance, you anticipate 50% of cars currently on the road can potentially be retrofitted with your product. The producer has created a guide for your sales force to ensure that Sparkit is not sold to customers whose cars are not compatible with the product.

This is the first big product developed by your company. Your sales and service teams do not have current relationships with potential buyers. One potential risk is that purchasers may choose to install the transition package on their own rather than choose a knowledgeable automotive professional to install it. You anticipate there may be issues with installation as a result.

The success of Sparkit relies upon an external partner, Autojor, who manufactures a filter critical to the proper operation of the transition package. As the result of a natural disaster, Autojor recently lost a manufacturing plant that was responsible for producing 25% of your inventory. You will need to work closely with this partner to ensure their manufacturing operation is able to continue supporting the just-in-time environment to meet sales demands. Your contact’s name at Autojor is Mateo Kalani.

You have received a customer complaint via the company’s social media page. The customer is extremely dissatisfied, and the complaint has negatively impacted the company’s image. The customer’s complaint is as follows: “I bought and installed Sparkit. It doesn’t work! The instructions do not match my engine’s layout, and now my car doesn’t work at all. This was supposed to save me money, but now my car won’t run. I’ll have to put more money into getting it fixed. This is ridiculous. I have told all my friends, and now I am telling the world—do not buy this product! If you do, you will regret it.”


Create a portfolio of communication documents based on the scenario above by doing the following:

In A-E, you’re developing and delivering messages as the manager (1st person) in the familiar form (e.g., make the emails look like an email). In Fa-Fb, take off your manager’s hat, and evaluate/appraise the communication (3rd person) you delivered in A-E in terms of strategies (Fa) and methods (Fb). Therefore, the only prompts that may require direct textbook citation are Fa-Fb

  1. Compose a motivational email to internal staff that discusses two advantages and two disadvantages of the product and explain how to mitigate the disadvantages should they occur.
  2. Compose an informational email to external stakeholders (i.e., investors, shareholders) that discusses two distinct organizational and/or financial impacts the product will create.
  3. Compose a consumer-facing blog post that highlights three distinct benefits of the product and informs the consumers what sets this product and/or business apart from others in the industry.
  4. Compose a persuasive letter to the business partner to discuss their challenges in meeting your production needs.
  5. Compose responses to the customer complaint about the product that was posted on the company’s social media page by doing the following:
    1. Develop a public response that acknowledges the customer complaint and improves the company image within the social media page.
    2. Develop a direct private message with a proposed adjustment (resolution) for the customer.
  6. Evaluate the communication strategies and methods (i.e., email, letter, blog, and social media) used in items A–E by doing the following:
    1. Explain how the communication strategies support or do not support the desired outcomes and provide examples to support your conclusion.
    2. Explain how the four communication methods effectively or ineffectively serve the target audience and provide examples to support your conclusion.
  7. Acknowledge sources, using in-text citations and references, for content that is quoted, paraphrased, or summarized.
  8. Demonstrate professional communication in the content and presentation of your submission.

Task 2:

  1. Using the same scenario above from Task 1, design a multimedia presentation (e.g., Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple Keynote) (suggested length of 5–7 slides and 7–10 minutes) in which you motivate the current company employees from your chosen scenario about the product by doing the following:
    1. Summarize the product from the chosen scenario for the current company employees.
      1. Identify three important points regarding the product from the chosen scenario.
    2. Create a written script of you presenting it. 7-10 minutes in length
  2. Write an executive summary (suggested length of 1 page) based on your multimedia presentation.
  3. Acknowledge sources, using in-text citations and references, for content that is quoted, paraphrased, or summarized.
  4. Demonstrate professional communication in the content and presentation of your submission.