Online Assignment #2 – Part 1

Online Assignment #2 – Part 1

Due:  Wednesday, Nov. 11 by 6:30 p.m.


The first online project related to a “best practice” company, whose values and ethics seemed to be in line with yours.  You had selected a company from one of the “most admired” or “best places to work” lists.


For this project, you’ll be discussing a company that has made a mistake (or mistakes) and how the CEO/top executive communicated during the negative situation or crisis.  I believe we can learn a lot from both the mistakes and the successes.


Thus, in this second online project, you’ll research and discuss an organization that’s been in the news sometime within the past year.  The news would relate to some type of business problem or business crisis.  Your assignment:  to select a company that faced (or is still dealing with) a challenge or crisis, and to discuss whether you believe its leader is doing an effective or ineffective job in his or her communication efforts.  Do some digging, in terms of what the CEO is saying and in what forums?  Primarily internal or external, or both?  Does he or she seem to be proactively communicating, or primarily responding?  As you look for examples, consider these questions.  You don’t need to address all of them; these are just ideas to get you started in your evaluation and analysis:

  • How did the business press cover the situation (and in particular, aspects of the leader’s communication)?
  • Did the leader demonstrate two-way communication and active listening?
  • Was the leader visible during the crisis/situation?
  • Did the leader say or do something that generated additional negative attention (besides the problem itself)
  • Did the leader demonstrate clear communication, honesty and candor?
  • Did the leader seem to focus on one audience (e.g. investor), while neglecting others (e.g. customers, employees, partners)?  Or focus on all audiences equally and consistently?
  • Did the company seem to be just as active in communicating about the challenge/problem as it does when it has good news?
  • Did the leader seem to be stronger and more active during one phase of the situation (e.g. right when it happened) or equally strong (or weak) throughout the situation?



It can’t be a company where you worked or now work.It can’t be a company you have addressed in a prior assignment (e.g. online assignment #1, not your current team project).

The Assignment: Be sure to include and address ALL the following.  It should be in narrative form (and in a Word document).

  1. Start by writing the company name as the title of your Discussion thread.
  2. In your Word document, give a brief (one or two paragraph) recap about what the company did or didn’t do. What was the mistake, challenge or crisis?
  3. Then, discuss your assessment of the leader’s communication skills and effectiveness. Be specific.
  4. Use one outside resource to validate your position. It can be .a quote from the CEO, a quote from someone else, a story, a sentence or paragraph from a news article, a video clip, an audio clip.
    1. List your source and include a link to it.


Requirements/Grading Criteria

  1. Length and format: Word document that is less than 1 page, double space, 12 point Times New Roman
  • Be sure to adhere to these format guidelines. Be sure to include the link to your source.
  1. Complete and on time: It follows all requirements outlined in the Assignment description, above.  It must be posted on Blackboard (Discussions) before the deadline.
  2. Quality: It is well-written and well-organized.



Deadline: Your assessment should be posted no later than6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 11.

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