bus303 module1 caseslp persuasive memos

Module 2 Case


Read the following:

  • Writing Memos

Review Purdue’s OWL site on memos; make sure you review all four areas. Accessed February 17, 2011, at http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/590/01/

  • Writing Persuasive Messages

This is a typical business communication textbook chapter on writing persuasive messages from one of the most popular business communication textbooks.

Bowman, J. P. Writing Persuasive Messages. Accessed February 17, 2011, athttp://homepages.wmich.edu/~bowman/c4eframe.html

  • Ethos and Error: How Business People React to Errors

This fascinating article explains how writing errors can destroy your otherwise hard work in being persuasive (and can make a terrible impression on business people in general). If you ever thought small writing errors at work weren’t important, you owe it to yourself to read this.

Beason, L., (2001). Ethos and Error: How Business People React to Errors.College Composition and Communication.53(1), 33 64.

Please read the following case study:

As a manager at Marketing Plus, a small Los Angeles based public relations and marketing firm, you think your company should be offering internships. With all the colleges in the Los Angeles area, you would have a wide audience for an internship program. In addition, your company could use the extra help and perhaps even the creativity of about to graduate college students.

You recently read about Nickerson PME, a 10 person Boston area marketing and public relations firm. Owner Lisa Nickerson offers a year round internship program. She calls participants “associates” to make them feel less like “lowly interns” and more like members of the staff. Her interns receive course credit and work experience but do not earn a paycheck. Instead Nickerson teaches them to perform tasks like preparing press releases and promoting them to clients. The arrangement results in valuable help around the office without draining the budget. Nickerson says, “If you take the time to put together a good program, you don’t have to pay the student. An abundance of students want that type of hands on client experience.”

You believe that Los Angeles college students would be eager to gain experience at a real company and fill in their résumés with solid work experience. The problem is that your boss resists internship programs because he has heard that interns are really employees who must be paid. He told you in a recent conversation that he is unsure of the fine line that separates employees from interns and he doesn’t want to violate any labor laws.

Case Assignment

Write a persuasive email message to Dick Elders founder and CEO of Marketing Plus. Explain how interns are different from employees. Use the Internet to research the topic and learn what six requirements help the government determine whether an intern is an employee who should be paid. Use persuasive strategies you have studied, but stay focused on the conviction that interns do not have to be paid as employees. You are on a first name basis with Dick.

Assignment Expectations

Write a persuasive memo.

Write a summary explaining why you used the principles you used in writing your memo. Your explanation should make use of the Background Info, properly cited and referenced.



Module 2 SLP


Business ethicists claim that the recent spate of business leaders, especially bankers, who have admitted to unethical behavior, is not surprising. In fact, these experts explain that when rewards are high and risks are low, the brain often gives the green light to cheat. So how to stop unethical corporate cultures that arise from such a natural human response?

Mark Frame, a psychology professor at Middle Tennessee State University who specializes in workplace psychology, says to begin by communicating solid business values to stakeholders. “If you advertise that you are trying to be ethical, you’re going to wind up hiring more ethical people. It’s kind of that field of dreams thing: If you build it, they will come,” he says.

But words must be followed by actions, so the next step is to thwart unethical behavior. Operating under the tacit rule that “it’s okay as long as we’re not caught” is insufficient. UC Berkeley professor Barry Staw says companies need to make their stance clear: When employees cross a legal line, they will lose their job and possibly be reported to authorities. Such a strategy invokes fear of punishment over reward for good behavior.

Making ethical choices may not be innate, but people can be taught why making moral choices is ultimately in their best interests, says Dave Mayer, a management professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. He tells his students that the best way to test whether an action is ethical is to ask oneself: Is what I’m planning to do the right thing or is it simply in my own self interest? If the answer is the latter, it’s probably not the best way to go.

Assignment Instructions

Write a persuasive essay based on the case study that answers the following three questions:

  1. If you were in a corporate culture, and you witnessed cheating, what would you do?
  2. How can a business create a culture that encourages its workers to be ethical?
  3. Do you think that ethics begins at home?  Explain.

Be sure to include explanations of how your essay incorporates the ideas of Cialdini and others.  Use references and citations.

SLP Assignment Expectations

Write a persuasive essay using guidelines from Cialdini, Conger, and/or Bowman. Include an explanation of which guidelines you used.  Use proper reference and citation style.


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