Syllabus for a Full-Semester, 18-Course Program in Business Communications

Interested in offering business students a comprehensive study of communications best practices?

Consider using this easily modifiable syllabus from Paul Argenti, professor of corporate communications, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College, to fit your course needs.

Session One: Changing Environment of Business
Reading: Chapter 1 (Corporate Communication, Paul Argenti, 5th Edition, pp. 1-15)
• Attitudes about business
• Recognizing the changing environment
• Connecting corporate communication to business strategy
Case: Google Inc. (pp. 16-26)

Session Two: Communications Strategy
Reading: Chapter 2 (Corporate Communication, Paul Argenti, 5th Edition, pp. 27-42)
• Setting communication objectives
• Analyzing constituencies
• Delivering messages appropriately
• Identifying channels and structuring the message
Case: Cason Container Company (pp. 43-44)

Session Three: Executive Branding
Reading: Chapter 1, 2 (Executive Presence: The Art of Commanding Respect Like a CEO, Harrison Monarth)

• How people perceive you
• Self-branding
• Enhancing your reputation using media
• Personal reputation management
Assignment: Mr. Haskell (from Carson Container Company case) must present to plant managers and materials managers from the individual plants. Rewrite memo/prepare speech

Session Four: Communications Function
Reading: Chapter 3 (Corporate Communication, Paul Argenti, 5th Edition, pp. 45-62)
• Development of the communications function

• Structure of the communications function/reporting
Case: Hewlett Packard (pp. 63-66)

Session Five: Identity, Image, & Reputation
Reading: Chapter 4 (Corporate Communication, Paul Argenti, 5th Edition, pp. 67-98)

• Creating a coherent identity
• Image in the eye of the beholder
• Building a solid reputation
Case: Jet Blue (pp. 99-104)

Session Six: Issues Management/Reputational Risk
Reading: Chapter 2 and 3 (Essentials of Corporate Communication: Implementing Practices for Effective Reputation Management, Cees B.M. Van Riel and Charles J. Fombrun, pp. 38-79)

• Reputation management
• Identity, image and reputation
Case: Integrated Reputation Analysis at Daimler (pp. 189)

Session Seven: Corporate Social Responsibility
Reading: Chapter 5 (Corporate Communication, Paul Argenti, 5th Edition, pp. 105-133)
Reading: Chapter 1 (Corporate Social Responsibility: Doing the Most Good for Your Company and Your Cause, Philip Kotler, Nancy Lee, 1st edition, pp 1-21)

• What is corporate responsibility?
• Communicating about corporate responsibility
Case: Starbucks Coffee Company (pp. 134-154)

Session Eight: Strategic Philanthropy

Reading: Chapter 6 (Corporate Social Responsibility: Doing the Most Good for Your Company and Your Cause, Philip Kotler, Nancy Lee, 1st edition, pp 144-174)
• Community Affairs
• Cause marketing
• Corporate philanthropy
• Social responsibility business practices
Case: Crest’s Healthy Smiles 2010 Initiative (pp. 132), Shell Australia (pp. 188)
Session Nine: Integrated Marketing Communications
Reading: Chapter 1 (The Handbook of Strategic Public Relations and Integrated Marketing Communications, Clarke Caywood, 2nd Edition)

• The role of IMC in the marketing process
• Public relations, publicity and corporate advertising
Case: Lowes

Session Ten: Media Relations
Reading: Chapter 6 (Corporate Communication, Paul Argenti, 5th Edition, pp. 155-172)
• Building better relations with the media
• Building a successful media relations program
Case: Adolph Coors Company (pp. 173-182)

Session Eleven: Media Training (Midterm/Roleplay)
Reading: Chapter 1 (Guide to Media Relations; Irv Schenkler and Tony Herrling, 1st edition)

PR Professionals will come to class as guest speakers
• Pillars of media
• Guide to media
Case: Toyota brake pads

Session Twelve: Social Media

Reading: European Financial Review: “Digital Strategies for Powerful Corporate Communications,” February/March Issue)

• Integrating digital strategies into your business

Reputation management in a social media world
Supporting materials:
• “Digital Strategies” PPT (Paul Argenti)
• Dominos Pizza (Click To See Details)
• Pepsi Refresh
Session Thirteen: Communications Law
Reading: Chapter 1 (Mass Communications Law in a Nutshell T. Barton Carter, pp. 1-44)
• Defamation and mass communications
• Privacy and the mass media
• Regulation of commercial speech
Case: New York Times Co v Sullivan (pp.85-90)

Session Fourteen: Internal Communications

Reading: Chapter 7 (Corporate Communication, Paul Argenti, 5th Edition, pp. 183-199)

• Organizing the internal communications effort
• Implementing an effective internal communications program
• Managements role in internal communications
Case: Westwood Publishing (pp. 200-202)

Session Fifteen: Investor Relations
Reading: Chapter 8 (Corporate Communication, Paul Argenti, 5th Edition, pp. 203-223)
• Objectives of investor relations
• Developing an investor relations program
• Using investor relations to add value
Case: Steelcase (pp. 223-228)

Session Sixteen: Government Relations
Reading: Chapter 9 (Corporate Communication, Paul Argenti, 5th Edition, pp. 229-240)

• Rise of regulation
• How business manages government
• Government relations functions
Case: Disney’s America theme park (pp. 242-256))

Session Seventeen: Crisis Communications
Reading: Chapter 10 (Corporate Communication, Paul Argenti, 5th Edition, pp. 257-283

• What is PR crisis? (Is all news really good news?)
• How to prepare for crises
• Communicating during the crisis
Case: Coca Cola India (pp. 284-300)

Session Eighteen: Crisis Communications Simulation
Reading: “Crisis Communications: Lessons from 9/11”, December 2002 (Paul Argenti)
• Guest lecturers/experts will run a simulation on managing communications in the thick of a crisis. Students will discuss crisis comm. strategy during 9/11 and lessons learned.
Case: Perrier

Final (4 hour final exam)