plans to build a new nuclear power station at Torness in Scotland
In order to create an appropriate proposal, you are required to analyse the key issues and stakeholders involved, develop a strategy, recommend tactics and summarise how communications activity will be evaluated.
What headings should I use in my report?
On page 4 of the assessment brief, you will find a list of items your report is expected to cover, with more detail then provided on page 5. Try to deduce from this list, as well as from the marking grid, some potential headings you could include in your report. Some of your headings may be similar to the headings provided in the brief itself. Your report’s headings may evolve over the course of this module as you continue to learn more about the various aspects of PR (lectures) and writing a PR brief (tutorials). Keep a rolling list of headings you may want to use. Tutorials will address different sections of the report so make sure you attend and engage in these sessions.
If I choose the public ‘EDF Energy employees at Torness’ won’t all employees be pleased that the company is expanding and there are more jobs? What communications will need to be managed if people are happy?
The ‘EDF Energy employees’ option was created for students who may be interested in internal communications and internal PR. This option will give you practice devising an internal relations/communications plan for employees. Remember that the assignment doesn’t just have to be about transforming negative perceptions into positive perceptions—employees will still need to be engaged by their employer to understand how the changes to the power station will affect their day-to-day life at work. What is important is that you segment this group in the same way you would the other two options. In the lecture on audiences, we explored how you could segment stakeholders, and how you can segment employees by attitude. Remember that the communications proposal you develop would be for CURRENT employees, not newly recruited employees.
The objectives in the brief don’t appear to be SMART. Can I amend them for my assignment?
Yes, it does say in the brief that the PR objectives are general guidelines only – for you to confirm.
Has the power station already been built?
No, the power station has not already been built. There is a power station at Torness, but the brief states that the new power station would built ‘next to the existing power station’.
What is the difference between stakeholders and publics?
Stakeholder theory (see Freeman’s definition in lecture 3) is different to Grunig’s ‘situational theory’ in which we find a definition of ‘publics’.
What is the difference between ‘latent’ and ‘aware’ publics?
Latent publics are those that are not yet ‘aware’, but those that have the potential to become aware at some point.
What tone should I adopt? Should I say ‘we will do this’ or ‘EDF should do this’?
You are acting for an agency that is trying to win this work. Your language needs to explain that you would do this work, if appointed by EDF.
When setting our objectives for our assignment, should we refer to theory?
You just need to show that you’ve used some theory to create the objectives (rather than fully-explaining the theory in detail). For example, you could say whether your objectives are cognitive, affective or conative.
Use Harvard-style references where necessary too so that it’s clear where your theory is sourced from.
Would you recommend to the PEST and SWOT for specifically the nuclear energy sector in particular or the energy sector as a whole?
Try to make both as specific as you can to this particular brief e.g. this power station in this location.
Does the SWOT analysis need to be on EDF energy in general or the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of a power station at Torness?
I suggest that you try to make this as specific as you can to this particular brief e.g. this power station in this location. Of course, some of these local strengths may be similar to EDF’s national or international strengths though.
Where in my assignment should I apply stakeholder or ‘publics’ theory- before or after I tell you the stakeholder option I have chosen?
You can apply theory related to stakeholders and/or publics anywhere in the assignment. Only use theories which support your argument and the ‘flow’ of your piece (i.e. make sure your piece hangs together well).
What is the required structure of the proposal?
We have a lecture specifically on how to plan a campaign, which may be helpful.
However, there is no exact format that you must follow with this assignment, as long as you incorporate the points that your assignment is expected to cover (on pages 4 and 5).
Can we use propose some of the activities that EDF already undertakes?
Assume that your brief is real and that you and EDF already know about everything you read on the EDF site. You therefore need to develop ideas above and beyond anything that already exists.
Imagine that you are developing this proposal to present to EDF – they will not want to pay for ideas that they already have!
Where should the objectives section be positioned within the report?
The objectives section can be positioned wherever you would like it (eg. after the background section or stakeholders section), as long as it flows logically.
How do I prioritise stakeholders/publics?
You are really encouraged to think about the smaller groups within these broad stakeholder categories. For example, within the ‘residents’, can you identify smaller and more specific groups – perhaps residents who share similar characteristics? How could you analyse the group as a whole to identify smaller groups of people who might share certain interests?
What does ‘critical’ use of planning tools mean?
Critical use of the planning tools just means considering (critiquing rather than criticising) your use of the planning tools i.e. choosing which to use and explaining why.
What style of writing should we adopt?
You’re not being marked on your academic writing style, just your use of Harvard referencing to explain the points you make in your proposal.
How do I reference a speech or a newspaper article?
See the library website for advice on use of UWE Harvard referencing.
Do I need to reference prices?
Your prices just need to be realistic, so you should explain your sources where possible. Don’t worry too much whether they are higher or lower than you expected. The budget is a maximum – you don’t need to spend all of it.
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