Management Communication Coursework Exercises

The following sample Communications paper is 2522 words long, in APA format, and written at the undergraduate level. It has been downloaded 366 times and is available for you to use, free of charge.

A. Scenario Selection

I have chosen Scenario 1 for this task.

B. Staff Email

Dear all, 

I am excited to announce that TotalLife will be launching the newest product in our portfolio – the Weight Loss Optimizer -- starting next month.  I would like to take this opportunity to share some details about this product.  As you may know, Weight Loss Optimizer came to us from a recent acquisition.  It is a weight loss supplement that has been popular and successful on the market for past two years.  Specifically, two key advantages of Weight Loss Optimizer are: 

1. It is highly effective: As the recent research study has shown, 90% of the research participants achieved significant weight loss within three months and 80% of them have been successful at maintaining their weight with continued use.  Shape magazine also named Weight Loss Optimizer a top 10 weight loss product of the year.

2. It enhances TotalLife’s product portfolio: TotalLife has been known to bring products that promote a healthy lifestyle.  Our Slim Shakes and Lean Energy bars have been very popular since our inception in 2010.  We have been exploring new product categories and weight loss supplement is an area we feel confident and excited about.  Weight Loss Optimizer will be our first and flagship weight loss supplement product.  Our existing customer base presents the best growth opportunity for this new product.

However, I will share two potential disadvantages of Weight Loss Optimizer.  First, as we know with weight loss supplements, we will face customer complaints from those who do not achieve the potential results.  It is difficult to know whether it is indeed the fault of the product or that people did not follow instructions properly.  TotalLife prides us on being customer centric.  In the event of customer complaint, we must respond in an understanding, courteous and timely manner.  We have trained our customer service members to respond in web, email, social and phone channels to handle these situations.  Secondly, given Weight Loss Optimizer’s meteoric rise in market demand, we need to ensure our supply won’t be disrupted, especially during the New Year’s peak season.  Manufacturing expansion was a challenge for the previous owner that limited Weight Loss Optimizer’s growth.  We are confident by working closely with our manufacturing partner, Pills Inc, we will be able to mitigate any supply disruption.  I have asked some of our operations team to be physically on-site at Pills Inc during peak season to ensure we can resolve issues in the quickest manner.

Lastly, I want to thank everyone in the launching of the Weight Loss Optimizer.  Here’s to a great new business! 

C. Stakeholder Email

Dear TotalLife shareholders, 

I am excited to announce that TotalLife will be launching the newest product in our portfolio – the Weight Loss Optimizer -- next month.  I would like to take this opportunity to share some details about this product.  As you know, TotalLife has focused on achieving aggressive growth goals set forth by the board and all shareholders since founding in 2010.  We are confident Weight Loss Optimizer will start a new chapter of growth and success for TotalLife.  

We acquired Weight Loss Optimizer from its previous owner late last year.  It is a weight loss dietary supplement that has been popular and successful on the market for past two years.  Specifically, two key advantages of Weight Loss Optimizer are:

1. It is highly effective: A recent research study has shown 90% of users achieved significant weight loss within three months and 80% of them have been successful at maintaining their weight with continued use.  Shape magazine also named Weight Loss Optimizer a top 10 weight loss product of the year.

2. It enhances TotalLife’s product portfolio: TotalLife is an industry leader of products that promote a healthy lifestyle.  Our Slim Shakes and Lean Energy bars are no doubt leaders in each category respectively.  We have been exploring new product categories and weight loss supplement is an area we feel confident and excited about.  Weight Loss Optimizer will be TotalLife’s first and flagship weight loss supplement product.  Our existing customer base presents the best growth opportunity for this new product.

However, I will share two potential disadvantages of Weight Loss Optimizer.  First, we may face customer complaints from those who do not achieve the weight results.  It is difficult to know whether it is indeed the fault of the product or that people did not follow instructions properly.  TotalLife prides us on being customer centric.  In the event of customer complaint, we will respond in an understanding, courteous and timely manner to mitigate any interference it may cause to other customers.  Secondly, given Weight Loss Optimizer’s meteoric rise in market demand, our challenge is to ensure undisrupted supply in all distribution channels.  We have prepared an operations team working closely with our supply chain partners to ensure a smooth launch and ongoing operations, especially during peak season to ensure we can resolve issues in the quickest manner.

We are very excited to have Weight Loss Optimizer be the growth force for TotalLife.  Here’s to a great new business!  Thank you!

D. Blog entry

Have a New Year’s resolution to lose weight but don’t have time to go to the gym?  Want to get into those skinny jeans again?  TotalLife is excited to introduce – the Weight Loss Optimizer.  It is a one-of-the-kind dietary supplement specifically designed to achieve weight loss for all adults.  No doctor’s prescription necessary.  Specifically, it’s fast, easy and results are sustained!

1. Fast: In the latest research study, 90% users saw at least 15 lbs weight loss within three months.  Most users start seeing the results as soon as the first few weeks!

2. Easy: Weight Loss Optimizer is a dietary supplement.  Just take the suggested dose once a day with a meal and the excess pounds will come right off!  There is no need to change your diet or eating habit.  Weight Loss Optimizer works by increasing your own body’s metabolism so the calories you take in will burn faster!

3. Sustained results: We understand that maintaining the weight is as important as initially losing the weight.  Weight Loss Optimizer is effective in that regard as well.  Our extensive research has shown that 80% users are able to keep the weight off with continued use.

Don’t just take our word for it.  Read the customer testimonials below: 

“This is the best diet pills out there.  I’ve tried everything and nothing else works.”

“I can’t believe I lost 50 lbs in 5 months. I’m a different person!”

“I went from a size 16 to size 8. Amazing!”

E. Business partner letter

Dear Susan:

I received your note today regarding your concerns on the shortened manufacturing lead time.  Let me begin by saying – I agree(d)!  When the idea was first proposed to me by the manager of manufacturing, I was less than enthusiastic.  However, once I reviewed (at my own speed) the reasons upon which the recommendation was based I acquiesced.

First, the shorter the lead time, the more product that is available to ship to distributors and/or other customers.  By virtue of the success of the product, it will behoove the company to get as much of it as it can on the street, so to speak.  This also bodes well for any customers who suffered delays as a result of an unanticipated surge of orders which, in turn, bogged down manufacturing.  So, we will realize profit and brand value.

Second, the manager advised that TotalLife plant is more than capable to handle these types of production numbers and, in a sense, wasn’t this the reason we decided to merge?  I had to admit that he was, of course, correct.  Thinking along these lines a little further, the goal to up the product presence on the market or simply saturate it with the Weight Loss Optimizer was another reason that our companies’ marriage was forecasted to be productive and promised to be profitable as a result thereof.   

Those were a couple reasons I begrudgingly acknowledged.  I’m sure you’ll come up with more.  In any event, once I was over my embarrassment, I figure that we do absolutely need to ramp up production, shorten lead time and do what we can in other areas to optimize production of the Weight Loss Optimizer – live up to its name in a sense.

Further, it makes sense that we stay in front of sales.  That is, since we have the luxury of an already-established TotalLife customer base combined with the extensive number of customers you brought with you who are already dedicated to the product and, then, considering the results of our research, it is safe to assume that sales will be substantial. It is not prudent to have a backlog in sales for a new product that is being so diligently promoted.  And, it goes without saying that the existing customers are probably looking forward to quick fulfillment of orders to overcome the previous shortages of a product that is so desired.

Please do not consider this letter as discrediting your concerns in any way.  Because I do not.  Cost of the increased run time along with scheduling and all the other headaches that come along with this type of adjustment are potentially boundless.  Believe me, I had the same thoughts.  But in the end, shorter lead times will not only increase profits but re-establish both our companies as pioneers in the health industry as well as a company that consistently offers dependable, provable and successful weight loss products.  Those are kudos optimized!  (Not to mention that the shareholders have spoken and it may be that you and I just get to make sure things run smoothly rather than how they run. . . . )  Drop me a note so I know that the one person who knows more about the Weight Loss Optimizer than anybody else is ready to ramp things up!  Thanks, Susan.

F. Customer response

Hi – first of all, thank you for being a valued customer of the Weight Loss Optimizer product.  When I hear your frustration that you have not yet seen weight loss, it concerns me that even one customer is dissatisfied with the product; however, even more importantly, is the fact that you are in the throes of what many perceive as a healthful yet challenging undertaking.  The last thing you need are product complications!  Let’s work through this together.  

It is my understanding that you have been using the Weight Loss Optimizer for one week so far.  While I can certainly appreciate your desire to see the benefits as quickly as possible (I was questioning the accuracy of my scale after only two days of taking the supplement!), as I found and the label advises, it could take up to four weeks before the initial results are noticeable.  So, since your intended weight loss may be a couple weeks out, I hope you continue the daily dose for up to three months.  In fact, I insist that you accept 60 days’ worth of the supplement as a gift from the company.  If after that time, you are still dissatisfied with the product, we will provide a full refund of any money you spent on the same, no questions asked.  In the meantime, I have enclosed my business card containing my contact information should you have any questions.  I will be in touch with you in approximately three weeks so we can visit about this again.

G. Evaluation of communication strategies effectiveness

Whether or not communication in any realm is successful is fundamentally based on the response garnered therefrom.  In other words, if the response is commensurate with the anticipated request for action, the strategy was effective.  While this may be the most simplistic approach to evaluating, it is certainly the most apt.  Evaluating communications potentially betters communication techniques such that they are more effective, engage the audience, allocate resources and clearly sets forth its intent.  

Several aspects of a communication can be scrutinized to assess effectiveness.  First, whether or not the desired outcome is achieved, is, as mentioned above, an excellent indicator of effectiveness.  In the first communication, a letter to staff, it seems that the mode of communication (an email) is somewhat impersonal and does not provide the vehicle with which the excitement and the importance of the merger.  A face-to-face meeting, such as a staff meeting or offsite gathering of sorts, may have been more appropriate to convey the news of such import and still establish a feeling of prosperity.  The desired outcome may be perceived but it may not rise to a very high level.  The tone of the email (appropriate to staff) is probably the reason anything close to a desired outcome is achieved.

The email to the shareholders is a bit problematic as, consistent with the suggested mode of communication with the staff, it appears to be somewhat patronizing and advising of events after the fact.  It is unclear what the email is motivating the shareholders to do.  Theoretically, they have already voted on the merger and are well aware of the new product line since it was the impetus to the merger.  Further, information as relevant as the topic of this email should be delivered via a corporate meeting.  It is more personal but it is also more professional.  Remember, the shareholders are probably the most important group of stakeholders to a business based on their capital interests.

Considering the response to a customer complaint, there are not many choices in terms of modes of communication in this situation.  It is important, as is the case here, that a personal touch is the flavor of the contact.  The tone is engaging, yet empathetic, and the offer of free product along with the refund if the product fails symbolizes faith in the product and the importance of the customer to the business.  It is the best that can be done for a crabby customer.

H. Evaluation of communication modalities effectiveness

Again, effectiveness, whether it is based on modalities, construct, content, etc., is better measured through responses thereto – desired or not.  Nevertheless, as mentioned above, a staff meeting may be a better course of action when interacting with employees and a shareholders’ meeting for communicating with stockholders.  In both areas, then questions and answers may ensue which could be crucial in a dedicated staff and placated investors.  

There might be something to be said for the lack of formality in the letter to the partner; however, depending on personalities and/or how sensitive this individual may be, a more formal letter may put her off, make her dig her heels in and lead to a lower level of cooperation.

Communication is a minefield. It has the potential to create a safe, profitable existence or blow a business out of the water.