Communication Assessment Report

Proposal memo due: Friday, 23 February 2 March
Peer review of final report: Wednesday, 7 March 28 March
Final report due: Monday, 26 March 2 April

For this assignment, you will select an organization and perform an assessment of how that organization communicates. Your goal will be to propose solutions for communication problems that you identify.

  1. Identify an organization. Think broadly about organizations as you brainstorm which one to work with: organizations can be traditionally social; they can be cultural, religious, or geographic; they can be based on gender, physical need, or ethnicity; they can focus on common professional interests or hobbies; they can be for-profit or non-profit. Consider the communities to which you yourself belong. (For this assignment you don’t have to belong to the organization you ultimately select, but it may make the research easier for you). If you are having trouble finding an organization, consider approaching one of the on-campus organizations listed on the MTU Student Organization Server.
  2. Write a proposal memo. Write a brief memo to me contextualizing and explaining the organization you have selected. Include at this point any potential communication problems you may have identified, and if possible, what your research plan is.
  3. Research. This project will require you to do some field research to get acquainted with communication at your organization. Your field research can take many forms, including interviews, observations, collected documents, etc. Again, you will need to think broadly about potential areas for communication problems: vital communication occurs not only between members within the organization, but it can also occur between the organization and outside audiences. Consider looking at newsletters, websites, online environments, brochures, etc., for potential communication issues.

    In addition to the field research, plan to do additional research work to contextualize your organization’s problem within a larger framework and to identify potential solutions to the problem.
  4. Brainstorm and Problem-Solve. Brainstorm multiple solutions for the problem you identified. When brainstorming, remember to stifle your inner critic: the point is at first to come up with a list of as many possible solutions as you can without paying too much attention to their relative merits; you can then cull back the list later.

    After you have brainstormed all of your possible solutions, rank them accordingly. Consider ranking your solutions by multiple criteria, including their likelihood for success, their difficultly in implementation, their cost, how realistic they are, etc. Finalize which solution or solutions you intend to recommend to your organization in the final report.
  5. Report. Your audience for the final report will be the appropriate contact person within your organization, but your documents will also be CC'd to me. Your documents should be designed and written with the ethos of an aspiring professional in STC—that is, they should showcase mindful and intelligent rhetorical strategies at every turn (in the writing, document design, purpose, etc.). Your report should also demonstrate rhetorical savvy in the way it addresses the communication problem and in the way it suggests a solution.

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