5-2 Short Paper: Determining Audience Needs

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As the new technical communications manager for International Gadgets (IG), you have developed a good idea of the various internal and external audiences for communications across the enterprise.

You have learned that IG is organized into five main areas consisting of Research & Development (R&D), Manufacturing, Sales & Marketing, Technical Support, and Finance/Accounting. Each area has its own structure:

  • R&D – New Product Development and Product Enhancement teams
  • Manufacturing – Detroit, Shanghai, and Purchasing teams
  • Sales & Marketing – U.S. Sales, U.S. Marketing, European Sales, European Marketing, Partner Management, and Online Sales teams
  • Technical Support – the exception, as there is only a single team handling this function
  • Finance/Accounting – Corporate Finance and Corporate Accounting teams
  • Human Resources – Corporate HR team with ties to HR representatives at each work site

In addition to the internal departments, IG staff interface with a wide range of external entities and individuals including customers (large accounts, individuals via web sales), distribution partners, component suppliers, subcontractors (design and occasional manufacturing). IG also contracts with Amazon to handle all its product logistics—warehousing, packaging and shipping, and returns.

However, you have noticed that different audiences do not always have the same needs from similar announcements. For example, a communication announcing the launching of a new product means different things to different departments.

In a memo to your communications team, instruct them on ways to discover the needs of the stakeholders in different areas of the company so that a new product announcement will be relevant to them.

Please remember to refer to the Module One Short Paper Guidelines and Rubric document for company background.

For additional details, please refer to the Module Five Short Paper Guidelines and Rubric document.

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