Company: du (Telecommunications)
Length: 1000 Words
The purpose of this assignment is for you to explore communication efforts of a specific company and critically analyze them. You will choose one company/organization/agency in the UAE that has a strong communication department and will explore how they communicate with their publics. You will also explore how media portray the company and reflect whether media stories match the organization’s narrative. Lastly, you will evaluate if their communication is strategic and integrated, and make recommendations of how organizational management can improve their integrated strategic communication efforts.
Your report should include the following parts:
1) Review of organizational strategic communication efforts, including background of the organization, mission and vision, what it is trying to achieve, PR materials the use and what these materials focus on (news releases, feature stories, brochures, posters), advertising and marketing efforts (how they promote themselves and how they try to make their services/products competitive); how they use social media accounts (support your arguments with examples of their posts). Lastly, mention the current PR/advertising/marketing efforts based on your interview.
2) Media audit (discussion of how reporters from newspapers wrote about the organization), mentioning the 4-5 key reporters that wrote about the organization, the issues they focused on. Attach 10 latest articles about the organization as an appendix (in the very end of your report).
3) Analysis: Discuss the weaknesses and strengths of the organization’s strategic communication efforts, and make suggestions for improvement, based on ideas and concepts discussed in class throughout the semester. This is one of the most important parts of the paper, so please give enough thought for critical analysis and recommendations.
How to do it:
First, you will choose one organization and identify its website. Looking at the website, try to understand how the organization presents itself. Look for its mission and vision statements. Then study the section that is reserved for the mass media (usually the section on the website is called “media room” or “newsroom” or “for media”). Read the recent press releases (from year 2016-now). Then, explore what channels and tools their communication department uses (pay special attention to public relations efforts, marketing, and advertising). Reflect, whether their PR, advertising, and marketing are indeed integrated. Also, think whether their efforts are strategic, and what makes the strategic, or what could make them more strategic.
Second, you will read what mass media write about the organization. It is called media audit, and it is a common task for entry-level PR professionals. You can use the Lexis-Nexis database and the websites of major newspapers in the UAE (The National, Gulf News, Khaleej Times, etc.) to search for articles. Your goal is to find at least the last 10 newspaper/magazine articles. Make sure to identify the key reporters. Also, look how publics discuss the organization on social media, and explore what is the nature of those posts (positive/negative/complaints/praises/etc.)
Last, make an effort to contact the communication department and ask them about their strategic communication efforts/current PR projects and their target publics.