Topic outline

  • In Week 6, the groups come together to present their projects and thus their analysis and recommendations to communication situations. 

    We'll meet in two classrooms, Y228a or U356 depending on your group from 13.15 until 16.00. More information on this closer to the date. 

    Room Y228a (with Siddhant Ritwick): Groups 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 12, and 15; 

    Room U356 (with Aleksi): Groups 3, 4, 7, 10, 13, 14, and 16.

    • Assignment icon

      Project instructions


      1. To analyze an authentic internal or external communication situation (problem/challenge/crisis)
        In your analysis, you are expected to take a strategic approach towards communication and draw on relevant communication models dealt with during the course: Competing Values Communication Framework (CVCF), Strategic Contingency Model (SCM), Toulmin’s CDW argumentation model, sensitive message patterns, and persuasive patterns.

      2. Provide recommendations to the organiziation in question
        You need to provide management with communication recommendations based on your analysis and findings. So, the audience for this presentation and executive summary is NOT classmates, but the top management of the organization in question.

      Your role: internal or external consultants

      Audience: the audience for this presentation and executive summary is NOT classmates, but the top management of the organisation in question.

      Your aim is to focus on the communication aspects of the situation.

      The project has 2 deliverables:

      1. A 15-minute team presentation (50% of the overall grade of the assignment): This consultant presentation should briefly explain the project objectives, background of the communication situation, present your communication recommendations, provide analytical evidence to support them, and draw pertinent conclusions.

      2. A 1-2-page executive summary (50%): This should give a clear overview of your analysis and recommendations. It will include project objectives, situational analysis, communication challenges, analysis of these challenges, key findings, and your recommendations. 

      What does the project involve?

      Your group will need to:

      1. Identify an organizational communication situation (e.g. problem / crisis / challenge). It could be an incident within your own organization (work / Aalto)? Choose something local, small, recent and manageable.

      2. Analyze stakeholder communications by using at least one primary source (original data gathered from interview(s), a survey etc.) and two or more secondary sources (e.g. news / articles / press releases / blogs / company statements / company intranet). Both the primary and secondary sources of data can be from outside the case company. So for example, a primary source of data could be a survey with the fellow students about the company's credibility, and the secondary source of data could be a news article and some social media posts)

      3. Comment on what aspects of the communication(s) were/were not successful (your analysis and findings).

      4. Provide recommendations on how the communication(s) could have been improved and if appropriate how your recommendations could be / have been implemented. In your recommendation, remember to draw from the materials in the 'Readings' folder, as well as other sources.

      Primary data: You could get primary material, for example, by conducting a survey, or by interviewing a business professional, an expert in the field, co-workers, other students, fellow managers or personnel.

      Key questions to be addressed

      1. What written and spoken messages (secondary data) were involved in the situation overall and why did you choose specific messages for closer analysis? Were some important messages missing? Were there unnecessary, confusing, or harmful messages that might have been avoided?

      2. Why was each message sent (purpose)? What communication objective was each message intended to fulfill? Did each message fulfill its objective?

      3. Who sent and received each message? Did various individuals and groups receive information they needed, or did not need?

      4. What was the timing of each message? Was the timing effective?

      5. What recommendations would you suggest in this situation? How would they have worked? Why would they have worked? How could they have been implemented? What should have been done in the situation? 

      Communication project proposal

      You need to submit a project proposal during Week 2 of the course. This short and concise project proposal should answer the following questions:

      1. What communication situation have you chosen? Why?
      2. What spoken / written messages were involved overall? 
      3. Which messages have you chosen to focus on? Why?
      4. What primary sources will you use?
      5. What analytical models do you intend to use (CVCF, SCM, BNM, other)? Why?

      All members of the group will receive the same grade for both the presentation and executive summary unless the assignment B2 (Reflection paper) indicates significant differences in the individual contribution of group members.

      You'll find the evaluation rubric for the executive summary in the Executive Summary submission box.

      Evaluation criteria for Executive Summary

      The grading criteria for this assignment are:

      • Reader focus (20)
      • Content selection (40)
      • Structure (10)
      • Skim value (20)
      • Language (10)

      Please check the evaluation rubric available in the submission box before starting to work on the assignment and again before you submit it. You'll find the grading detail for the presentation in the subsequent submission folder. 

    • Assignment icon

      The grading criteria for the final team presentation are:

      • Audience focus (25)
      • Content selection and structure (40)
      • Slide design value (25)
      • Language (10)

      Evaluation rubric for project presentation

      Grade 5 (target performance): The presentation has an excellent audience focus throughout. It is clearly and logically organized. The recommendations are crystal clear and based on a well-justified, theory-driven analysis of the communication problem / challenge. Compelling evidence is used throughout. The audience would know what to do, or what they should have done, and why.

      The delivery is professional and engaging. The presentation has been clearly been well rehearsed. The visuals are clear and easy to follow and support the spoken message. The language is accurate and expressive. The group is able to answer the questions of the audience convincingly. 

    • Assignment icon

      In this individual assignment, you are asked to reflect on your learnings during the course. In your reflection, I'd like you to write about the following things:

      1. What were your three key takeaways regarding the group project? What did you learn? 

      2. How did the communication project change your view or perspective to analyzing internal and/or external communication of companies? If personally nothing changed for you, how does the project experience relate to your previous knowledge and experiences in your studies or work?

      3. How do you feel about the project and topics of the course in general? Interested? Enthusiastic? Curious? Bored? Indifferent?

      4. If given more time to do a similar project, what would you do differently? Why?

      5. How can you make use of the information, experience, and opinions shared in this course? What skills would you still like to improve after the course (in the upcoming courses or in the context of work)?

      6. Give short, anonymous feedback to your group and its members: what worked, and what could have been done differently? What part of the project are you the most proud of?

      ... and any other points you wish to raise regarding your learning on the project, in your group, and individually. However, try to be expressive yet concise with your answer: Treat the text as a business text in terms of clarity and tone, and remember to use the different reader-friendly writing tools.

      You can also use creative approaches in your text to describe your learning. Recommended length 2 pages.