Term Paper: Final Organizational Communication Analysis

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¶ … Organizational Communication Analysis

The Kelsey Unified School District has undergone a tremendous public relations (PR) / public affairs (PA) nightmare. As the district lost its accreditation and then had the public spectacle of: the removing the Superintendant (who was in charge during the time). Where, he would challenge his termination and would drag the school district through long med-arb process, resulting in him resigning with a $70,000.00 severance package. The effect of these situations have damaged the reputation of the school district and the board, as no one was prepared for the media fire storm or public outcry that would follow. To help repair this image, the board has undergone a process of retraining the staff, to know how to most effectively respond to the media in these kinds of situations. To determine if the training was effective requires examining the long-term effects that this will have on KUSD by: conducting an organizational assessment and determining what tools would need to be utilized. These objectives will be accomplished by looking at the effects on: the people, the tasks and the systems. Together, these different elements will provide the greatest insights, as to the overall effectiveness of the communications strategy being used by KUSD.

Strategy Overview

To determine the effectiveness of the communications strategy requires, that an organizational assessment must be conducted. This is when you are looking at the total impact that the changes would have upon the school district. To achieve this objective, an organizational audit must occur. Simply put, an organizational audit is when you are monitoring the total impact that the new procedure will have on the organization. In this case, the audit would be focused on the obvious communication and media strategies that were introduced. The different tools that would be utilized would include: conducting random interviews, surveys and having several consultants test personnel about possible media related issues. Once this takes place, it will provide the insights, as to the overall strengths of the communication strategy and what areas need improvement. (Downs, 2004, pp. 1 -- 20)

The People

The administrators and staff will play a critical role, in helping to improve the image of KUSD over the long-term. This means that any kind of effective communication strategy must ensure that everyone knows how to effectively understand their role and the impact that they will have on the school district.

Employees / Personnel

To determine if the communication strategy is effective with employees and personnel; requires utilizing all of the different assessment tools that were mentioned earlier, in conjunction with one another. This means that you would use: random interviews, surveys and have consultants test the staff on a regular basis. The random interviews would provide a sample of entire school district, by sampling different staff members and administrators about how they are embracing the new public relations strategy. At the same time, you would have everyone complete anonymous surveys about their views on the effectiveness of: the training that was implemented and ways that the process can be improved. These two factors are important, because they provide a basis foundation for seeing the total impact of the new strategy on the staff. Where, these interviews are randomly identifying various strengths and weaknesses, while the surveys can be able to corroborate these results. This will provide a basic foundation as to: the current strengths, weakness and if they can provide possible ideas for increasing communication. At the same time, you would have consultants randomly test staff members for various media related situations they could face. This will be accomplished by having the consultants who conducted the training, pose as members of the media. At which point, they will approach various members of the staff about possible questions they may have. This will help the board to see how effectively the staff is responding to different PR / PA strategies that have been utilized and it will help to highlight areas where improvements need to occur. Once this takes place, is when the board can begin addressing these issues, to mitigate the challenges as much as possible. (Gillis, 2006, pp. 32 -- 42)

Clients / General Public

As far as the general public is concerned, KUSD needs to use a modified approach from the one that was used to assess the effects on the staff. In this case, you would use random interviews and surveys; to determine if the overall communications strategy is working as effectively as possible. This means that the random interviews will be conducted through different focus groups and over the telephone, to determine the community's perceptions of these changes. As this is taking place, there will also be an emphasis on conducting opinion surveys. Once this occurs, it will provide the board with the opinions on how these changes are being seen, with the general public. While helping to identify, possible areas that need improvement, in restoring the reputation of the school district in the community. (Gillis, 2006, pp. 32 -- 42)

Tasks

The various tasks that are going to be undertaken to perform an effective evaluation; requires looking at a number of different factors that could affect the organization itself to include: a focus on different sub-groups, the culture within each school and the possible risks that are presented. These different elements will focus the assessment and take into account specific factors that could be affecting an educational environment. (Gillis, 2006, pp. 32 -- 42)

Product / Services

The use of the different surveys and interviews requires that some kind of flexibility is applied to the assessment process. This means that depending upon the audience that is going to be surveyed / interviewed; the overall scope of the questions will be different. When you are conducting a survey, you would want to determine how and in what form it will be administered. This means determining, if the survey will be given in the traditional paper format or using various technology such as: email. Then, there is the issue surrounding how the survey will be presented. Where, researchers have the choice of using a standard simple format or having larger multiple choice formats. In this case, you would customize the survey of the staff to be in the electronic format, with an emphasis on multiple choice questions (with a section at the bottom for comments). This part of the survey will help to identify various areas that could be improved, within the school environment from the staff's point-of-view. When you are designing these surveys for the public, you would want to offer a written survey with a simple format. This will help to provide a way of accessing the general perceptions that the public will have of the school district, without making the survey complicated. (Kendrick, 2009, pg. 216) The different interviews would be conducted at random, where there will be an emphasis on surveying all different segments of the population. This would provide an accurate sample that could be used in conjunction, with the surveys to see the total effects of the new policy. The testing of the staff will help to show, if the changes are effective and if the survey / interview results are accurate. (Down, 2004, pp. 33 -- 42)

Relations of products, services, and organization to the community

The different products / services (tools) will help to provide an overview as to how these changes are helping to improve communication within the school district. While helping to identify, possible weaknesses that need to be addressed. These are important, because when you put them in conjunction with the tools used to analyze the community, they will provide an overview as to how they view the changes that are occurring. This will help the organization to fully understand how it can improve its image and what kind of PR / PA strategies could be used to achieve this objective. Over the course to time, the constant assessment that is taking place; will help the school district to always have a mechanism for building and maintaining a favorable image in the community.

The Systems

The assessment strategy that is being utilized will address the internal communication issues inside the school district. At the same time, it has the ability to help identify possible issues and their long-term effects on KUSD externally. These two elements are important, because they will provide an overall scope, as to how the changes in communication procedures are having an effect on the school district as a whole.

Internal

Inside the school environment there are both formal and informal issues that the assessment is providing. As far as the formal issues are concerned, the strategy allows the board to see how these different tools are changing the culture among the staff. Where, it will highlight if these ideas are being openly embraced or grudgingly accepted. This would be accomplished through: random interviews and having consultants test various staff members. This is important, because this formalized structure, will help administrators to determine if they need… [END OF PREVIEW]

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