Until recently, large, public-facing corporations have been able to remain neutral on the political, social and cultural issues that divide Americans. Now, however, an increasing number of consumers expect these companies to take a stand on such issues as the #MeToo movement, immigration, LGBT rights, treatment of animals, gun control, fair trade, and professional athletes kneeling during the national anthem. Indeed, these politically-engaged consumers, who tend to have relatively large amounts disposable income, often buy a product or a service because they agree with the stand that a company has taken on one or more such issues. Conversely, these same consumers can decline to buy a product or service because they disagree with a company’s stand on one of them, or if a company hasn’t taken a stand at all.
In this scenario, you are a young marketing executive two or three years in to your career. You have been tasked with writing a business report for senior managers on the trend described (please pick only one specific issue), above, because these managers at your firm want to understand the cause or causes of this trend. They also want you to recommend an action (please provide your solution to “how to take a stand” on this specific issue) or actions that your firm should take to indicate its stance on a divisive issue of your choice.
This writing assignment gives us the chance to learn about a trend unlikely to weaken or disappear during your professional lifetimes. In fact, although this trend now affects consumer-facing companies, it is likely to spread to wholesalers such that businesses purchasing goods and services from them will do so – or not – on the same basis as some consumers do now.
To gain first or additional experience in:
structuring the information in a report
formatting a report
composing an accompanying email
those sentence-level practices introduced so far
editing a first, ungraded draft such that the second, graded draft is virtually free of surface errors – that is, errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation
Length and Format: 1000+ words net of the memo and bibliographic material; double-spaced, using Times Roman 12 pt. type.
Gelles, David, “The Moral Voice of Corporate America”
Gelles, David, and Claire Cain Miller, “Business Schools Now Teaching #MeToo, N.F.L. Protests and Trump”
Mintz, Rich, “Companies: Don’t Be Afraid to Take a Stand: It Can Be Good for Your Brand”
plainlanguage.gov, “Federal Plain Language Guidelines”
Rodríguez Vilá, Omar, and Sundar Bharadwaj, “Competing on Social Purpose”
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