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Corporate Communication Project


The Corporate Communication Project asks students to analyze and address a real-world corporate crisis that has occurred within the last five years. (The class will examine the grounding of several JetBlue airplanes due to ice storms in February 2007 as a case study.) Students will imagine themselves as part of the corporation's PR team and produce three separate but related materials for three distinct audiences:

  • a print press release for news media outlets
  • an internal memo email for employees
  • a video message for customers

All of these materials should address the crisis in a professional, ethical, rhetorically-effective manner. To turn in these materials, students will collect their printed press release and a printout of their internal memo email in a single binder. The apology message will be burned to a CD and turned in separately.

Class-generated notes are available through this link.

Instructor's Note: It is likely that some of the corporate crises students select already have corresponding materials available online. This may present the temptation to borrow heavily from these documents while constructing materials for this project. However, this project requires students to produce original works, so I will check for similarities between any official and student versions of these texts. (This of course does not mean that students are forbidden to draw rhetorical strategies from official materials or other models.)


  1. Crisis Analysis (10% of project grade)
  2. Design Plan (10% of project grade)
  3. Press Release (20% of project grade)
  4. Internal Memo (20% of project grade)
  5. Video Message (20% of project grade)
  6. Materials Analysis (10% of project grade)
  7. Postmortem (10% of project grade)

Course Information

Intro. to Professional Writing
ENG 204-004
MO 204
TR 12:30-1:45

Instructor Information

Dr. Jeremy Tirrell
Office: MO 150
Office Hours: TR 9:00-11:00 (and by appointment)

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