Topic outline

  • On Week 3, the second 'session' of the course is organized in the form of self-study. I will not be able to be there with you in class, and thus this topic will be covered with readings and a related assignment B1 on 'Bad News Messaging'.

    In addition to the readings below, please check the 'Readings' folder for readings 3 and 4, that you may find useful in constructing your text. 

    Below you'll find the assignment; as the assignment substitutes the second session of the course, it will be graded either pass or fail. 
    • In this assignment, you are required to write two short messages: 1) a bad news message (BNM) to employees within your organization, and 2) a short and concise social media post about the events.

      Please upload your bad news messages (pdf) to this submission box for grading (pass/fail).

      Case: Xtreme Sport Insurance (XSI)  

      Adapted from a case written by the Communications Management Group, Nanyang Business School, Singapore.

      You are a management trainee who has recently joined the young and dynamic team at XSI. The HR director asks you to prepare an email for her that she can send out to all personnel in the organization.


      Xtreme Sport Insurance Nordic is the Scandinavian HQ of Xtreme Sport Insurance, a global insurance company specialising in comprehensive insurance packages for companies offering adventure sports such as paragliding, whitewater kayaking, sky diving, ice climbing and deep diving. Good insurance cover for companies offering extreme sports to their customers is vital and XSI prides itself on the personal, customised, service that it offers its clients. XSI Nordic’s young and dynamic sales personnel spend a great deal of their time travelling all over the Nordic countries and beyond in order to ensure corporate clients receive the best possible customer service. The specialised nature of their products means that a highly customised approach is essential.

      The fitness centre - a much-loved perk
      The company has gained a reputation for offering employees a very attractive benefits package. This includes an on-site fitness centre which is used regularly by about 60% of all employees. About a third of them are fitness addicts who train every day, the other two thirds are less frequent, but regular users. The fitness centre is well equipped and supervised by a professional trainer. The fitness centre is an attractive perk for the type of talent the company wishes to attract: young, energetic and sporty.

      Cutting back on expenses
      Currently, XSI is bracing itself for an expected global economic slowdown and is looking for ways to cut non-essential costs and realign available resources to sustain continued long-term growth. The Nordic office has been asked to participate by finding ways to cut back on its operating expenses. XSI Nordic management has decided that funds for the development of new insurance products catering to the needs of extreme sport providers must be safeguarded. Also, in-house training courses for insurance specialists are regarded as essential for the organisation’s continued success.

      Closure of the fitness centre

      After careful consideration, the senior managers of XSI have reached the conclusion that closing the fitness centre is the least harmful option. The money that will be saved can then be channeled to more essential areas.

      In an effort to mitigate the expected negative response to the closure of the centre, management have made arrangements with an exclusive health club, UltraFit, located very near the XSI offices, to offer membership at a substantially reduced rate to XSI employees who want to continue with their exercise routines. The club has all the standard keep-fit equipment as well as an indoor climbing wall, a small lap pool, massage service, sauna and steam room. Membership fees are expensive but XC has managed to negotiate some very attractive packages for XSI employees. 

      Since employees are seldom in the office at any one time, the HR director decides to send an email to inform the staff of the closure of the fitness centre in a month’s time and the arrangements that have been made with UltraFit.

      1) Write the email message the HR director could send out to XSI staff (internal messaging).

      2) After the employees heard about loosing such an important and much-loved fringe benefit, they were very vocal in their personal social media accounts, which attracted some attention and raised concerns from external parties, such as customers and stakeholders of XSI. Now your task is to write a concise, dynamic, and assuring message, that you could post on the company social media, e.g. LinkedIn page. Try to be kind and assuring, as well as professional and brief. 

      Use the material found below, and the readings 3 and 4 in the course folder 'Readings'.

    • Mizrahi, J. (2015). Writing for the workplace: Business Communication for Professionals. Chapter 5: Social Media and Text Messages, pp. 55-66. Business Expert Press, NY. 

      Please read this book chapter, and use it as a guiding tool in the second part of the assignment.