Creative Corporate Communication is designed specifically as a unit of the Edexcel BTEC qualification about 'Presenting Business Information'. It contains a brief overview of business communication concepts and definitions. This overview is followed by a brief assessment activity. This unit focuses on how to companies get their message across to consumers in the most creative way. The various types of corporate communication are discussed such as mission statements, logos and packaging, and a task is provided at the end.
The goals are to provide an overview of corporate communication and to explore through illustrations and exercises the varying methods businesses use to reach their customers. While not explicitly stated, it appears that the learning goal is for students to be able to define, analyze, and evaluate the strategies associated with some of the major forms of creative corporate communication (e.g., mission statements, packaging, logos, etc.).
Target Student Population:
High school or college-level marketing students with at least a Principles of Marketing course foundation
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
A general understanding of marketing as given in a Principles course. Students with a keen sense of observation, good analytical skills, and basic searching skills should excel at this assignment. Students with weaknesses in any of the aforementioned areas could pose a problem in completing the assessment tasks associated with this assignment.
Type of Material:
The recommended use of this module is an individual out-of-class homework assignment. The module is straight-forward and fairly self-contained. The assessment at the end of the module provides an opportunity for instructors to gauge how well students understand principles of communicating effectively in business. This material is written as review, and its major task requires outside research. It could also used as an individual or group assignment, with classroom discussion once completed.
No special requirements are needed.
Evaluation and Observation
The module provides a decent review of the topic of corporate communication. It is a quick reference to the major methods used, and identifies several large companies to illustrate the points. The module also provides a link to a review presentation of guerilla marketing, as well as links to several sites housing media examples of communication. The module lists some of the methods of corporate communication, but fails to recognize that corporate communication has changed drastically in the last few years. There is no mention of communication tools such as blogs, microblogging, rss feeds, social media, websites, mobile media, etc. Perhaps the authors had not intended to delve so deeply, but the title of the module leads one to believe that they may be covered.
The module provides a clear, but incomplete, demonstration of each concept. For example, the explanation of a mission statement is limited to the following definition: "...aim to encapsulate what the business is about and what it wants to be associated and identified with. The mission statement is used not only to communicate an external identity but to bind together staff in a common culture and identity." It would be helpful to provide additional information such as alternative definitions, examples, reasons why this is an important element of corporate communication, and pros/cons of practical use.
Another concern is that the module does not tackle creativity as a concept. I was hoping that the module would provide more information and guidance as to what made the communications creative. More information about creativity would be of great interest to both students and instructors.
The biggest problem with the site is depth. It has good foundation information, but lacks in addressing each communication method in detail and the associated activity must be completed off-site.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The module provides a very clear and concise description of marketing communication, and includes colorful photos as ways to illustrate several of the points. The provided links to several television/other media sites are helpful for students to research/review additional examples of the communication techniques used. The biggest strength of this assignment is that it is very easy to write assignments for. It provides a basic framework where students can begin exploring some of the different elements of corporate communication.
The information provided is similar to what one would find in the summary of a text chapter on the subject, and is therefore limited as an additional teaching tool. Although the site does have one small spot of interactivity, the remainder of the questions posed are rhetorical, thus requiring an instructor or classmate to bounce ideas off of. The activity provided appears to be well designed to assist the student in learning this topic, however, it, too, is most likely found at the end of the text chapter. As noted in the content quality section, a comprehensive view of creative corporate communication is not provided, thusly affecting the overall potential effectiveness of this module. However, if the goal is to provide a brief overview of SOME of the more traditional (e.g., offline, below-the-line, standard, etc.) forms of creative corporate communication, it does the job.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Very easy to use with no technical problems encountered. The assessment questions at the end of the module are clear, to-the-point, and appear to measure student understanding of the concepts addressed in the module. The question with the pop-up dialog box about Heineken was a unique and interesting way to engage the students. The module is self-contained in that the site address/assignment could be given to the student and he/she would have little question as to what is required.
Many of the business highlighted, as well as the media links provided, are examples of British companies' communication efforts. Though usability is not adversely affected, instructors may wish to incorporate companies that relate more directly to their target student population.