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Alison Jaenicke From: Marcus Lee Subject: Rhetorical Analysis of the 2011 Deutsche Telekom Corporate Responsibility Report Date: January 24, 2012 Purpose The purpose of this document is to analyze how well Deutsche Telekom communicates to its target audience through its 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report. Summary In June of 2011, Deutsche Telekom (DT), the telecommunication company that owns and operates T-Mobile, the cell phone company, produced a Corporate Responsibility (CR) Report for the time period of March 2010 through February 2011. This report is the result of an extensive effort to include not only issues regarding ecology (which is what the initial reports were intended for), but also reports on social and economic issues within the company, expanding the audience the report reaches and allowing for the company to save time and money from issuing three different reports. Interestingly enough, this report was created exclusively online to better serve the demands of their stakeholders and intended audience. Although a printed version is now available, the version found on the website is somewhat the same. Discussion With respect to who DT is targeting, they seemed to do a good job in having the report accessible on the web. But for people who may be interested outside of their target audience – those who may not have access to the computer – the report fails to meet their needs. In the “About this report” section of the document, the report quickly addresses its target audience, which in many respects seems to be broad as it says it means to address “analysts and investors” and individuals in “nongovernmental agencies” as well as people in “science, research, education, and politics.” Such wording would make the average reader believe they are targeting specific groups, but in many respects they have found a large group of people for which this report is intended. The language in the document is definitely meant for the groups DT mentioned, mostly because of terms relating to different economic and environmental topics around the globe. In defense of the report, there are sections marked off for certain topics, so a person interested in that topic can easily skip anything they not find appealing to them. Yet the report should be well rounded, taking into account the fact that somebody who may want to read up on “Strategy and Management” may also want to read “Climate and Environment.” Therefore, while the diction may differ, the language should remain the same. Each section should not feel like a different foreign language. Even though the document may have been written for a well-rounded, educated group, the language should be simplified for all groups who read the report as a whole. Therefore, everything should be explained in detail. The document does do a good job in helping the reader solve any and every problem they may have with Deutsche Telekom. Since the document was initially written for ecological purposes and expanded to economic and social issues, the company has taken steps to improve upon a 1
target audience and answer more questions regarding any topic any group may have. Since it is a corporate report, it addresses issues regarding any individual in any culture. The social issues relate not only to the employees and managers, but to people in the community in various cultures. The environmental responsibility takes effect on a global scale, not just in areas where DT plants are located. Economic issues list the effects in Europe and the United States, as well as the impact telecommunications has on different global cultures. If a reader finds the group they belong in, the subject explains multiple issues, along with question and answer portions. In DT’s plan to be sustainable and environmentally friendly, while saving money for other projects, they have reached an organizational goal by making the report exclusively for the web, which options for printing available. A company cannot talk about being “green” or eco-friendly and then print off thousands of these report. Such a report is not only appealing to their target audience, but to customers who are technology savvy and like to use their T-Mobile products for web-based things. A team culture is put off from this document, most notably from the people that were interviewed within the report. However most or all of those people were managers, so there is definitely a hierarchy system in place. More employee input should have been included. More employee photos should have been shown during an average workday. The only people that were speaking were managers. On page thirty-three of the document, there is a list of contacts as far as DT itself, and then companies listed for concept/design, photos, production, printing, and other companies that had a hand in making the document. There was definitely a well thought out effort and collaboration on the production of the report, all doing their part to include accurate information. DT has associated T-Mobile mostly with the colors of white and pink, which is dominant on the pages of the report. Most large text is in a basic font but stands out due to the pink lettering on the white background. The paragraphs are mostly in black, but the font on some pages (6-7; 1011; etc) seems squeezed in. There was much more white space the publisher could have taken advantage of, but left open, possibly for appeal to the reader. Some pages (8-9; 14-15; etc) use more of an open concept, letting graphics or photos dominate the page with writing spaced out. This may be appealing to a younger audience, but not a group that want to get right to the facts. There is a huge difference from the website version and the pdf/brochure version, especially with regards to graphics. The pdf/brochure has plenty of pictures to go along with text. However the website version includes charts, graphs, or maps for each section, as well as a video explaining what everything means. The pdf/brochure version contains accurate information about all topics, but the website seems to go in much greater detail of what is intended by the company. Conclusion While technical communication at its roots starts with an application, a booklet, or a brochure, DT has expanded that to web dominated technical information that appeals to an audience that is technologically educated and able to gain the information at will. Web version: http://www.cr-report.telekom.com/site11/en/index.php PDF: http://www.e-paper.telekom.com/cr-report-2011/epaper/ausgabe.pdf