Question 1 (10)
Read the following email by Tenda. Analyse the message in terms of effective or ineffective communication practice. Provide five (5) explanations to support your reasoning.
“It has come to my attention that many of you are lying on your timecards. If you come in late, you should not put 8:00 on your card. If you take a long lunch, you should not put 1:00 on your timecard. I will not stand for this type of cheating. I simply have no choice but to institute an employee monitoring system. Beginning next Monday, video cameras will be installed at all entrances to the building, and your entry and exit times will be logged each time you use electronic key cards to enter or leave. Anyone who is late for work or late coming back from lunch more than three times will have to answer to me. I don’t care if you had to take a nap or if you girls had to shop. This is a place of business, and we do not want to be taken advantage of by slackers who are cheaters to boot. It is too bad that a few bad apples always have to spoil things for everyone.”
Two (2) marks to indicate that the communication is ineffective, based on barriers to effective communication – (2 marks)
Eight (8) marks for any four reasons with relevant explanations provided, indicating ineffective communication in the context – (8 marks).
Question 2 (10)
Your company was one of the first to use podcasting as a business communication tool. Executives frequently record messages (such as monthly sales summaries) and post them on the company’s intranet site; employees from the 14 offices in Europe, Asia and Africa then download the files to their music players or other devices and listen to the messages while riding the train to work, eating lunch at their desks, and so on. Your boss asks you to draft the opening statement for a podcast that will announce a revenue drop caused by intensive competitive pressure. She reviews your script and hands it back with a gentle explanation that it needs to be revised for international listeners.
Analyse the following statement. Identify at least five (5) areas for improvement and rewrite those sections, demonstrating an understanding of the impact of communicating effectively and acknowledging a diverse and multicultural work environment.
“Howdy, comrades. Shouldn’t surprise anyone that we took a beating this year, given the insane pricing moves our knucklehead competitors have been making. I mean, how those clowns can keep turning a profit is beyond me, what with steel costs still going through the roof and labour costs heating up – even in countries where everybody goes to find cheap labour – and hazardous waste disposal regs adding to operating costs, too.”
Two marks each for presenting and reasoning five (5) weaknesses in the draft podcast text which could be problematic – (10 marks).
Question 3 (10)
Rifilwe is taking on the role of a team leader for the development of a new communication policy at ZZ Publishing Company. Rifilwe needs to facilitate team behaviour during the development of the new communication policy. Consider the five stages proposed for group/ team development, as well as the aspects which could impact team development and communication.
Consider each of the following scenarios to establish during which stage of group/team development Rifilwe would need to take action. (3 marks)
a. During the stage, Rifilwe will notice that expectations for individual member performance and group interaction emerge.
b. During the stage, Rifilwe will typically experience that work is done individually or collaboratively.
c. During the stage, Rifilwe should ensure that the team engages in some form of post-project analysis of success.
One (1) mark for each correct stage – (3 marks)
Explain five (5) approaches which could be used by Rifilwe to facilitate conflict, should any develop within the team. Which approach would be most suitable? – support your answer. (7 marks)
One (1) mark to explain each approach and two (2) marks to indicate the most suitable approach with reason to support choice – (5 x 1 plus 2 = 7 marks)
Question 4 (10)
Reading is more difficult on small screens, and users’ ability to comprehend what they read on cell phones (mobile devices) is lower than it is on larger screen. In addition to making different design and layout choices, one should adapt one’s approach to writing to assist mobile readers.
You are required to reason how the following five techniques could be applied to optimise the writing of effective messages for cell phone (mobile phone) users reading short messages communicated by your organisation.
Technique 1 – focusing on linear organisation.
Technique 2 – focusing on information.
Technique 3 – focusing on message/ documents.
Technique 4 – focusing on subject lines and headings.
Technique 5 – focusing on paragraphs.
Two (2) marks for each technique explained as a solution to writing effective cell phone messages – 10 marks.
Question 5 (10)
Assume you are a news anchor for a local television channel presenting election results from different provinces or districts as well as tweets from your viewers.
In your own words differentiate between a linear and a nonlinear presentation.
Would a linear or a nonlinear presentation be more appropriate? Motivate your answer. (3 marks)
How would you integrate the tweets into your presentation? (1 mark)
Question 6 (10)
Your organisation is currently facing a crisis over negative reports appearing in the local press regarding potential tender fraud involvement. The current public relations agency seems ill-equipped to handle this crisis and you are asked to guide the communication team with a suitable solution in how to compile a press release.
Explain in your own words the key elements of a nine-item framework as a standard outline for a press release to connect with the media.
One (1) mark each for correctly explaining each of the nine items typically found in a press release framework (9 marks), and one (1) mark structuring them in the correct order – 9 + 1 = 10 marks.
Question 7 (15)
With your understanding and knowledge of non-verbal communication codes during verbal communication and presentations, develop a video presentation of five (5) minutes to demonstrate your ability to optimise non-verbal communication codes in your verbal presentation. Use a topic that you have researched well or know well.
Upload the video presentation to YouTube. Then copy the video’s URL link into your Word document as the answer (solution) to this question.
Consider the rubric provided, indicating how your presentation will be assessed and what is required in terms of content, non-verbal code use, verbal skills and timing.
Answers to Above Questions on Business Communication
Answer 1: An analysis of the given email by Tenda indicates that there are both the effective as well as ineffective communication practices that are evident. With respect to the ineffective communication practices, it is evaluated that the tone of the message is negative and there is lack of empathy in the entire message. With respect to the positive aspects are concerned, the message is clear and direct, and there is the specification of concrete actions for improvement.
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