Integrated Communication Strategies (Jan-May 2009)

Module Outline

Lecture notes


21st January

Introduction to Strategy in Communication

4th February

Research in communication (part 1)
Research in communication (part 2)

11th February
We will carry on with the lecture on Research (parts 1 and 2), then we will look at part 3.
Students are requested to start contacting possible interviewees for the audio assignment on a typical day in the life of a PR person.
Students were given an assignment on corporate identity and corporate image. The class was divided in 2 groups. Those who were absent are requested to contact their classmates and to join the groups to participate in the assignment. The teams should prepare to present their findings on common traits (of either corporate identity or corporate image of UOM) in front of the class based on their interviews and collected material.
The following assignment was also given in class. To be submitted on an individual basis on 18th February.

18th February

Teams to present their findings on the corporate image and identity of UOM.
Assignment on Unison to be submitted.
Class discussion on Communication and Public Opinion

Important notes

  • The assignment on Unison should be submitted at the earliest by all those who have not yet submitted (either by email or in my pigeon hole).
  • The audio interviews should be done in 2 weeks’ time, i.e. by 4th March. Students should let me know when they have been able to schedule an appointment with their interviewee to make arrangements to collect the audio recorder. This assignment is to be done on an individual basis. Students should ensure that their interviewee is a communication professional whose activities are primarily (at least 80%) concerned with either public relations, press relations or internal communication or all of these.
  • Please complete the exercise on UOM’s corporate identity and image and the questions given in class for next week, i.e. 25th February.

25th February
Teams to present their final findings on the corporate image and identity of UOM.
Teams will then be asked to prepare a draft proposal for a PR plan to reposition the university.
Class discussion on: Internal Communication
Students should let me know when they plan to meet their interviewee for the audio assignment.

Update (24th Feb): class for tomorrow is exceptionally cancelled due to very low projected attendance. Henceforth, students are requested to send me a mail in case they are not able to attend.
However, students should still do their audio interview as requested for next week (4th March). Please let me know in advance when you need the audio recorders.
The teams should also complete the assignments on the image and identity of UOM for next week.
And, of course, please read the notes on Internal Coms.

4th March
Class will be in the Mediacom Studio (2nd floor of Faculty of Agriculture building).
Students should present their findings on the image and identity of UOM. You can use powerpoint slides or PDF files (on a pen drive) for use as presentation aids. We will use the computers available in the facility.
I will also show you how to edit your audio interviews on the computers. All students should have their interviews ready.
The questions from the exercise (Cutlip) should also be completed.
Lecture/discussion on the Internal Coms theme.

11th March
Class in the Mediacom Studio. Students will need to finalise their audio editing.
Each group should have finished the first phase of the assignment on UOM’s corporate identity and image (to revise their findings based on class discussions, i.e. synthesise and categorise major traits and bring these in class. This will allow us to move on to the next phase, i.e. drafting of a PR plan.
Discussion/comments/questions on Internal Coms to be completed.
Lecture/discussion on Corporate Social Responsibility
Case Study on CSR on the Times 100 website: This case study describes how the work Amway does with UNICEF supports its Corporate Social Responsibility strategy.

18th March
Class in the Mediacom Studio. We will listen to all audio interviews and discuss these.
Students should complete the Amway case study (to be submitted) and the MCQ on Internal Coms (for discussion).
All teams to bring also their final findings for the assignment on UOM. They will be expected to work on a draft PR plan.
Lecture/discussion on Corporate Social Responsibility.

1st April
Class in the Mediacom Studio. We listen to and discuss remaining audio interviews.
All teams are expected to bring their draft PR plan to discuss the way forward.
Lecture/discussion on Crisis PR Management.

8th April
Class in the Mediacom Studio.
Lecture/discussion on Media Relations
Students should select a case of recent crisis communication in the local industry and provide a press review of the articles published in the media about it. Write a summary of the crisis situation, how it was handled, and the impact it had on the organisation.
Indicate how successful the organisation has been in managing the crisis and its impact, what were the mistakes that were made (if any), how should the organisation have handled these according to you?

15th April
All teams should bring their final PR Plan for UOM for grading.
All students should present their selected case of recent crisis communication in the local industry on an individual basis. Prepare a brief powerpoint with the relevant information (summary of crisis situation, how it was handled, impact on organisation, ability to manage, mistakes made, what should have been done, etc.)
In class, we will select the cases for which we will invent a new episode in the crisis. Teams of 2 students will then have to prepare a mock press conference for the 22nd April. All students should be aware of all cases so that they can act as journalists and ask pertinent questions at the press conference.

If possible, I will ask the Journalism group to come on the last session (29th April) and to act as journalists for a grand press conference to be prepared by the whole class after we have selected one particular crisis.

Addendum: The PR plan should use the findings of your situation analysis to prioritise communication objectives and then determine strategies to be deployed to achieve the most important ones (with detailed information on targeted audiences, channels and messages to be conveyed).

22nd April
No class. All teams should prepare for the mock press conference for next week (29th April).
To recap: There will be two teams:
– one led by Vanessa for the Apavou Hotels Group
– one led by Kristel for Air Mauritius

The fictitious episode for both is the closure of one hotel for each company (Air Mauritius owns Coton Bay Hotel in Rodrigues) and firing of all employees of the hotel due to very bad levels of tourist arrivals and bookings for the hotel leading to massive losses.

Each team should be composed of four members, all of which should make a presentation at the conference. Members should assume the roles of:
– CEO
– HR Manager
– Hotel Manager
– PR/Communications Manager

Journalism students will be present for the exercise.
When one team presents, the other team’s members should also act as journalists.

Any questions about the exercise should be communicated to me as early as possible.


Interesting online resources
NCRS Project – Communications and Engagement Strategy (a sample Communication plan)
Internal Branding: A University’s Most Valuable Intangible Asset
A blog about crisis PR
A website about PR with info on crisis PR
A website with A Primer for Crisis PR
A blueprint from Northern Illinois University for Crisis Communication Plans
Managing the media (a handbook for activists)

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