Communication Audit Comm 652 Lawrence Grayson Esq. Communication Audit was a very interesting course.

We learned that a communication audit is basically a test. Does the intended audience receive the sender¶s message? What worked, and what didn¶t? The purpose of the course was to explore the effectiveness of organizational communication by analyzing real-time actual plans and approaches in light of business objectives. After analyzing, we would propose strategies for enhancing or implementing the communication practices. Brilliantly facilitated by our instructor, the lessons learned in Communication Audit gave me the ability to break down multiple messages and analyze effectiveness and make sound recommendations. During class, we would routinely analyze current events in order to critically look at the communication strategies at work. On one occasion, we examined the Derek Jeter 3000 debacle. On July 9, 2011 Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees secured his place in baseball hall of fame by hitting his 3,000th base hit. Even more spectacular was that the rare feat came by way of a home run. That meant that some lucky fan caught a baseball that was worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The fan that caught the ball defied the present-day individualistic mindset of society and gave Derek Jeter the ball without asking for anything in return. The fan¶s selfless act didn¶t go unnoticed by Jeter or the Yankees. The fan was given priceless Jeter memorabilia and expensive luxury suite tickets for the remainder of the season. Unfortunately, the IRS decided to tax the young fan on the potential value of his newfound fortune. The press went crazy. It was soon discovered that the fan was a recent college graduate with tens of thousands of student

loan debt and could in no way afford to pay off the IRS¶s bill for his luxury items. The Yankees¶ PR department contacted Derek Jeter and asked if he would be willing to pay off the fan¶s IRS bill. Jeter said no, citing that the fan gave him the ball of his own accord. Jeter immediately began to receive negative PR from his cold response. However, Miller Lite realized that Jeter¶s refusal to help the fan created a great PR opportunity for the beer distributor. Miller Lite paid the IRS bill and the fan¶s student loans. More important, Miller Lite communicated the benevolent act through a press release where the company praised the fan¶s character and worked in the company¶s tag line by stating that he exemplified what it means to live the ³High Life´. The Jeter case study was one of many case studies that helped us conceptualize the purpose and the methodology behind performing a communication audit. The major project of the course involved performing a communication audit on the newly established 7th Street Public Market in Charlotte. The class broke off into groups and each group conducted several site visits at the uptown market and other markets where potential vendors sold their wares. We interviewed potential vendors and asked a series of questions in order to effectively analyze the communication practices of the 7th Street Public Market. The complexity of the project was realized by all of us when we found out that each group would contribute to the final product, which would be delivered to the executive director, Christy Shi. In the end, Communication Audit proved to be a valuable resource for me. I now have the ability to walk into any organization and accurately audit various communication practices, analyze their effectiveness and make sound recommendations that will benefit

the organization as they communicate to their audiences. After all, my capstone project will take the form of a professional communication audit.

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