Discussion 1

Reflection and Shared Practice: Know Your Workplace Audience

Even with the sender and audience (receiver) clearly identified, the flow of communication is rarely neat. The audience filters the communication and reacts. Thus, if your message does not factor in the audience’s perspective—including knowledge, interests, needs, and expectations—you are less likely to achieve the intended purpose of your communication. When the purpose is to persuade or influence, you will undoubtedly have to overcome objections.

To prepare for this Discussion:

Review this week’s Learning Resources, especially:

  • Quintanilla, K. M., & Wahl, S. T. (2020). Business and professional communication: KEYS for workplace excellence (4th ed.) Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
    • Chapter 11, “Informing and Persuading”
    • Chapter 12, “Speech Design”

Post a cohesive response based on your analysis of the Learning Resources and your professional experience. Be sure to discuss the following:

  • Using a past or current employer, identify the various audiences with whom the organization must communicate. Be sure to include both internal and external stakeholder groups and summarize their basic communication needs (types of information they need, how frequently they need communication, what formats they would likely need it, etc.).
    * If you do not have employment experience, please use volunteer or civic experience.  You may use Walden University or an organization in which you can readily identify the various audiences.
  • Based on your analysis, explain how each specific group’s communication needs differ.
  • Provide an example of an external communication from an organization that you found in the news media.
    • Summarize the communication, including the intended audience, the purpose and a summary of the communication.
    • What questions or concerns do you have after reading the communication?
    • What recommendations do you have that would improve the communication (i.e., make it more effective for its intended audience)?
  • Evaluate at least two specific best practices for mass communication for external stakeholder groups. To what extent do you think they apply to internal communications?

Be sure to support your ideas by connecting them to the week’s Learning Resources, as well as other credible resources you have read; or what you have observed and experienced.

General Guidance: Your original post, due by Day 3, will typically be 3 or 4 paragraphs in length, as a general expectation/estimate. Refer to the Week 4 Discussion 1 Rubric for grading elements and criteria. Your Instructor will use the rubric to assess your work.

Read a selection of your peers’ postings.

Respond to at least two of your peers’ postings in one or more of the following ways:

  • Offer another stakeholder that relies on communications from the organization, and explain how their needs may differ further from what your peer identified and how you would suggest the organization address that stakeholder’s needs.
  • Compare your example of an external communication with what your peer presented and explain what you learned about stakeholder communications.
  • Offer an additional best practice to your peer and explain why you think it is a best practice for communication and in what scenarios.

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights that you have gained as a result of the comments that your peers made.

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