case study/critique – 100 points

You’re saving yourself $213.60 by writing this report yourself … not to mention the time wasted worrying about academic integrity violations! Celebrate its completion by going out to dinner with all the money you saved.

Research and analyze a professional organization’s use of social media over a set period of time, of your choice. This could be a corporation, company, non-profit, club, government entity, or brand. (Hint: Consider writing about an organization that you might like to work for in the future.) Write a report, designed for print, that examines the organization’s use of social media to raise awareness, drive desire, encourage use, make a purchase, and/or create loyalty. This should be a professional organization, not an individual.

Analyze the organization’s use of the social media by examining its presence on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat, Twitter, YouTube, and any other platform that it uses.

Be factual and analytical. Avoid opinion that you cannot or will not back up with evidence. (Note that this doesn’t mean you have to be irrefutably right about everything; it only means that you should provide evidence that your claims, ideas, or points are credible.) Include the following sections:

  1. cover page | Design a color cover that includes a descriptive title with the name of the organization, your name, date, and at least one original visual that complements the report. An original visual is an image that you create or compose yourself. If you use an existing image in it, it should be unrecognizable in the final image. It can be a photograph, screenshot, graphic design, or montage. Use a style and content appropriate for the tone of the report. 5 points.
  2. introduction | Introduce the organization, what it does, any significant recent news about it, its products or services, and why/how social media is important to its business. Compare it with competing organizations. Describe the industry it operates within, as well as norms/standards for social media use in that industry. Be succinct. 20 points.
  3. use of social media use and purpose | Summarize the organization’s history and current use of social media along with the overall strategic focus. Describe how each social media platform listed above is used; provide examples (screenshots if possible). If the organization does not use a specific platform, try to deduce why it doesn’t use it. Is it using the different platforms in unique ways or does it duplicate the form of other organizations or competitors? Is it using the same message across different platforms or creating unique messages? A chart(s) that presents numbers of followers and frequency of posts or other analytics about the organization’s social media use would be a good idea. 30 points.
  4. assessment and recommendations | Assess the organization’s overall social media use in light of our readings, your research of the industry, your understanding of social media from a user’s perspective, social media psychology and/or behavior (as we’ve discussed it), and scholarship on social media. Make three or more recommendations based upon your assessment and research. Use a social media SWOT analysis that looks at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats associated with the organization’s use of social media which would lead to your recommendations. 30 points.
  5. references | Provide source information for your industry research, primary research, and at least two quality scholarly sources less than three years old. Cite your references in any citation style you choose, but be sure to include all relevant information for a reader to analyze the credibility of the source. URLs are not sufficient. 10 points.
  6. je ne sais quoi | 5 points.

colorFormat requirements are minimal:

  • Pay attention to visual design, including typeface, visual cues, graphic placement, and page layout. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but these elements should be appropriate for a print medium.
  • Single-space, double-space between paragraphs.
  • Use subheadings

Submit this report printed in color and bound or stapled AND on Canvas by the due date.

The instructions above offer a grading rubric based on the sections of the report. Those sections will be evaluated based on the criteria in the syllabus, stated here:

A 100-90% | An A-project is one that might lead to a promotion in a professional environment. It reflects the author’s careful consideration of audience and purpose. It demonstrates strict adherence to the assignment instructions. It is complete, presented in an appropriate and engaging style, arranged logically, memorable, and visually appealing. It is visually cohesive and balanced. It introduces and credits sources properly. It avoids visual or textual clichés. If visuals are required, they are original, well-composed, and well-edited (cropped, color-corrected, balanced). The assignment contains no superfluous material – every element has a purpose. It reflects a relatively sophisticated assimilation of class discussions and readings. Text contains few writing errors and no run-on sentences or fragments.

B 89-80% | A B-project satisfies most or all of the requirements but may contain a small number of minor errors that can be easily corrected. It would be considered acceptable in a professional environment. It is professional and reflects consideration of audience and purpose. It may contain some gratuitous visual or textual elements but still conveys a unified message overall. It reflects assimilation of class discussion and readings. It may contain a few minor writing errors. 

C 79-70% | A C-project is competent, though it would possibly be returned for some revision in a professional environment. It is about average in terms of the major criteria listed above. It may have some writing errors, but the errors generally do not interfere with meaning. 

D 69-60% |  D work is weak. It would probably be unacceptable or returned for extensive revision in a professional environment. It falls below average in terms of one or more of the major criteria. It may lack elements required by the instructions, fail to demonstrate audience awareness, or contain significant writing errors.

F 59% or lower | F work fails to adequately meet the criteria of the assignment, either in terms of the project parameters or quality of work. A consistent pattern of this level of production would probably get a person reprimanded or fired in a professional environment.


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