Phoenix Advertising, with its main headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, serves clients that include banks, insurance companies, and retail chains.
You're the vice president of human resources management at Phoenix. You report directly to Gregory S. Forest, the company president. Mr. Forest advises you that in the last month, four clients have complained about the advertising work produced by the Roanoke, Virginia branch of the agency. He reminds you that the clients served from the Roanoke branch are vital to the overall success of Phoenix Advertising.
Mr. Forest also explains the little he has been able to learn about the situation at the branch: In the last three months, two of the top management people-an art director and an account executive-have left the agency. Three of the graphic designers and four of the copywriters are threatening to quit because they feel their creative efforts are being rejected or revised without consultation. They want to be part of a collaborative team, not to simply produce work that the art directors and account executives can alter arbitrarily.
In an attempt to increase revenues, the branch is accepting new clients without evaluating the effects of the new accounts on the current project workload. As a result, without notice or compensation for the additional hours, all salaried employees are required to work long hours several days each week. Employee morale and productivity are declining day by day.
Part A: Interoffice memorandum
Begin by creating facts, figures, and people to flesh out the above background information and your position in the company. The following questions are provided to jumpstart your prewriting, but you must expand on them to brainstorm thoroughly. In addition to listing details, alsofreewrite about the Phoenix Advertising agency and its executive team.
•How large is the agency? How many branches does it have? Where are the branches located?
•What's the company's mission? How does each branch relate to that mission?
•What are the company's primary business goals?
•What do clients need from Phoenix Advertising?
•Who are the people on the executive team (other vice presidents of other departments)?
•Who's in charge of the agency's accounts in all the branches? •Who knows about policies for accepting and assigning new accounts?
•Who knows about the policies for collaborative work among account executives, art directors, graphic designers, and copywriters?
•Are any other branches losing clients?
•What are their names and positions?
•What would an organizational chart of your department look like?
•What policies have you established for the agency about overtime for salaried employees? Are branches allowed to have different policies? Under what conditions?
•What are the compensation and benefits packages for the positions of art director and account executive at the branch level? Do they depend on the location of the branch and local competitors or is there a general agency package for each position?
After your meeting with Mr. Forest, you realize you need information from other members of the executive team. Using the ABC method, draft one interoffice memo to be sent to the entire executive team. Briefly summarize in one paragraph the situation with the Roanoke Branch. Explain how the situation affects Phoenix Advertising as a company and why it demands immediate attention. In a separate paragraph explain the actions you need different team members to take (who must provide what information). Tell the team when (specific date) and how they should get the information to you (report, e-mail, etc.). Close your memo with an appropriate final line or two. Make sure you copy the president on the memo.
Part B: E-mail
If necessary, brainstorm further about your department, your staff, and the agency's policies about overtime.
Invent e-mail addresses for yourself and another person in your department. Use the company name as the "host" rather than general commercial providers like AOL or Yahoo. Include all necessary components such as the @ symbol.
Using the ABC method, draft an e-mail of three to four paragraphs in which you assign the staff person in charge of payroll to provide you with payroll statements from the Roanoke branch for the last 12 months. Use your own judgment about what, if any, information that person needs to know about the Roanoke situation to complete the task. Include a request for a summary of the agency policies and the branch policies regarding overtime and compensation/ benefits packages. Explain clearly what you need that person to do, the date you need the information, and how you want the person to convey the information to you.
Be sure you follow the format of the sample e-mail, using the new content you've written for the assignment. Use a specific subject line formatted in title case.
Referring to the evaluation criteria for the exam, revise your work carefully. Check for directness, emphasis, sentence variety, and coherence, making appropriate word choices for your audience and the type of correspondence. Edit grammar, spelling, and punctuation carefully. Read through your revised memo and e-mail backwards, first word by word, then sentence by sentence, and then paragraph by paragraph.
Word by word.In this way you can locate spelling errors. Be alert you may see the word here in your essay, a correctly spelled word. But also check the words on either side. Did you mean here in terms of location or did you mean the sense of hearing?
Sentence by sentence.By looking at each group of words separately from the context, you can more easily locate run-on sentences or fragments, compare the length and structure of each sentence for variety. Also check the connections between sentences are the coherent?
Paragraph by paragraph.Locate the controlling idea of each paragraph and compare them with your primary focus for the memo and e-mail. Does the paragraph help to develop that focus in some specific way? Compare it with the controlling ideas of the paragraphs before and after it. Do they follow in logical order?
When you’re satisfied with your revisions, type your final memo; begin a new page in the same document for the e-mail. Use Times New Roman, font size 12. Format your document for left justification, and leave a ragged right margin.