Phoenix Advertising, with its main headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, serves clients that include banks, insurance companies and local businesses such as restaurants and shops. You’re the vice president of human resources management at Phoenix, and you report directly to Gregory S. Forest, the president of the company.
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 Roanoke branch and its clients are vital to the overall success of the company.
Mr. Forest explains what he has learned about the situation at the Roanoke branch over the last three months. Three graphic designers and four copywriters have threatened to quit because their creative contributions on projects are being rejected or revised without their input. They want to be part of a collaborative team, not to simply produce work that the art directors and account executives can alter arbitrarily. These changes to projects have also caused tension between the creative teams and account managers, causing an art director and an account manager to leave the agency.
In addition to the four clients who complained, others haven’t renewed their contracts with Roanoke. Several have posted poor reviews of the Roanoke branch on social media sites, leading to a drop in profits.
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 1: Interoffice Memorandum to Executive Team
Write an interoffice memo to the executive team of Phoenix Advertising
Use the ABC method of development
In one paragraph, summarize the situation at the Roanoke branch
Explain how the situation affects Phoenix Advertising as a company and why it demands immediate attention.
In a separate paragraph, assign each member of the team a different fact-finding task.
Give the executives instructions for reporting back to you (memo, email, report, and so on) and a deadline.
Conclude your email with an appropriate final line or two, thanking them for their cooperation in this matter.
Copy the president
Part 2: Email to Payroll Office at Roanoke Branch
Write an email to the person in charge of payroll at the Roanoke branch of Phoenix Advertising. If necessary, brainstorm further about your department, your staff, and the agency’s policies about overtime.
Invent email 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 email of three to four paragraphs.
Briefly acknowledge that you are aware of the problems at the Roanoke branch.
Assign the staff person in charge of payroll to provide you with payroll statements from the Roanoke branch for the last 12 months.
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 email, using the new content you’ve written for the assignment. Use a specific subject line formatted in title case. Do not use an email app for this part of the exam.
Part 3: Letter to Phoenix Advertising’s Social Media Director
Write a business letter to the social media director of Phoenix advertising. If necessary, brainstorm further. Draw on your own experience reading reviews and other online content.
Create Phoenix Advertising letterhead.
Use proper business letter format including an attention line, a salutation, three to four paragraphs using the ABC method, and a signature block. Use a script font to emulate a signature.
Acknowledge the importance of the social media team’s work for the company
Briefly summarize the areas of concern at Roanoke that Mr. Forest has brought to your attention.
Explain that you’ve read the clients’ comments online, and create 2-3 examples of critical or negative postings.
Ask the social media director to research these and any other posts, and to come up with a plan to respond and to rehabilitate the Roanoke branch’s reputation in the business community.
Give the director instructions for reporting back to you (memo, email, report, and so on) and a deadline.