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Portfolio 1: Postcard

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Welcome to your first day in your new position!

 

Even though it is your first day on the job, you are already scheduled to attend a meeting hosted by the marketing staff later today. The company is in the process of launching a new product (you’ve already decided what this product is) within the next few weeks, and the marketing team is looking for your help.

 

Your Task:

There are three things you need to do to complete this task.

  1. You need to create a postcard announcing the company’s new product, designing both the front and back and putting in important information about your company’s new product.
  2. Your willsend out1,000 postcards, and you will need to determine how much it will cost to print them (See Fig. 3 below).
  3. You will also need to find out how much it will cost your company to mail out 1,000 postcards.

 

Your Audience:

  1. Your postcard will be mailed to your distributors, not the end user. (Click on the Supply Chain and How it Works document)
Figure 1: An example of the front/back sides of a postcard. Google for more examples.
  • Your distributors(audience) will want to know:
    1. you have a new product
    2. you are hoping that they will buy your product and sell it to retailers
    3. when it will be released
    4. how much it will cost (distributor price and retail price)
    5. any product information they will need to help them sell it to retailers

 

Your Purpose:

  1. You want to notify the distributor that you have a new product that they can sell and make money on.
  2. You want to give them basic information about the product.
  3. You want to give them the contact information and a name of someone on your sales team. Give them everything so it is convenient for them; we don’t want any barriers in making the sale. It’s about what is convenient for them, not what is easiest for you.
  4. Remember, you are selling a product, not the company, so keep your focus there.

 

Your Document:

  1. Decide what your company’s document style will be. Know that the logo, font, color scheme, and images you pick will become the new standard for all future documents. Consistency is key to having harmony and a solid company identity. (Also, look at my style sheet, as you must adhere to my rules, too.)
  2. You are welcome to invent the details—the salesperson name, a phone number, etc.
  3. You may use a template to complete the design but know that your postcard will look like everyone else’s design. Make sure your design stands out.
  4. You may use Unsplash, a website that allows people to use its images for free. Do not simply steal images from the internet—that’s illegal and unethical.
  5. Make sure you design yourpostcard according to the requirements of the United States Postal Service (See Fig. 2 below).
  6. You must determine and list both the printing and mailing costs on your final document. (See Figs. 3 and 4 below.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the United States Postal Service website:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 3: Mailing costs per postcard at commercial rates. Note that the cost to mail a single postcard is $.257, and you are going to mail 1,000 of them. You will need to determine the cost of mailing them. Source: United States Postal Service. “Price List.” 27 Jan. 2019. https://pe.usps.com/cpim/ftp/manuals/dmm300/Notice123.pdf. Accessed 20 May 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answers to FAQs:

  • No, you do not have to create an actual postcard; instead, design the front/back sides on a single Word doc(See Fig. 4).
  • To determine printing costs, visit the website of a real printing company. You can get a basic quote there, but do not contact a real salesperson. You do not want them to get their hopes up for a real sale.
  • Be sure to list the company name/website where you received the printing quote.
  • Be sure to list the costs of mailing, too.
Figure 4: Here is an example of what your final postcard document should look like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portfolio 1: Letter

 

The product launch is just a few weeks away, but there is a problem. There is an issue with materials received from your supplier, and it was used in the manufacturing of your product.Your company’s entire manufacturing line has come to an immediate halt. Not only do you have 500 units of faulty product because of substandard materials and another 2,500 sitting in your warehouse that will no longer be manufactured, but now you have employees sitting around being unproductive and orders that are going unfulfilled. This is a serious and urgent problem.

 

Your Task:

 

  1. You needto create a formal business letter to your vendor explaining the situation
  2. You need to request a company credit, an exchange, and free shipping.

 

Your Audience:

 

  1. Create a vendor name and address, as well as a contact person at the supplier. Your contact is someone on their sales staff, so make sure to include his/her job title in the address information at the top of the letter.
  2. You want something from the supplier. You do not want to anger them or ruin your professional relationship, but you also need to express urgency and get them to act quickly and for free. Be firm but polite.

 

Your Purpose:

 

  1. You want the supplier to give you credit on the 500 units of faulty materials in your ruined products, but you also want to exchange the 2,500 units of faulty materials for 2,500 good ones.
  2. You also want free shipping since this is their fault.
  3. You want them to act quickly since you are losing money every day.

 

Your Document:

 

  • Use the letters in your book for guidance. (pg. 368)
  • You will be writing the letter to your supplier, but you are not the signatory (the official person the letter is from). (See Fig. 1 below.) Instead, the letter will be officially from Mark Klinger, your company’s Chief Executive Officer. Write it in a way that sounds like a high-level executive.
  • Add typist’s initials at the bottom of the letter.(See Fig 1 below.)
  • Make sure Mark signs the letter. (For our online class, an electronic signature will do, but normally, he would sign it with a pen.)
  • Use your company logo, font, and overall style established in the postcard and keep your style consistent among all of your documents.
  • There is no word count, but make sure you cover all the required details.

 

Answers to FAQs

 

  • Follow the letter examples in the book, not what you randomly find on Google.
  • It is okay if the letter goes to two pages.

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 1L: Note the electronic signature and the typist’s initials in the closure.

 

 

Portfolio 1: Memo

 

Yoursupplier has received your letter and contacted the raw materials company. Both companies are reviewing the quality of its products, but new problems have arisen.

 

Your supplier hasbeen (allegedly) forcing its workers to work overtime without pay and in unsafe work conditions.Some of the employees alerted the media and the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) of its unfair practices,and news of your supplier’s(alleged) unfair dealings will be made public. While this is not your labor issue, your distributors and retailers may be upset. If the accusations are true, they may want to cut off all business ties with your company simply because they are your supplier. Nobody wants to deal with an unethical organization. Their problem is now your problem.

 

There are also some internal issues at your company that you must deal with. The employees have learned about the product and labor issues, and some of them are getting worried. The employees are starting to gossip, and we know that employee fear can ruin confidence in the company and diminish its profits. They are also worried about their jobs.

 

Your Task:

  1. Write a memo to be posted next to the time clock for all the employees to see.
  2. You must assure them that the company is working to resolve its manyproblems.

 

Your Audience:

  1. Your company’s employees are the target audience. The audience includes top management, all the way down to the nighttime custodian.
  2. Be friendly and open, but truthful. Do not downplay the concern, as that is morally dishonest and unethical.
  3. Don’t talk down to people, but make sure everyone at the company can understand your memo, including people who do not have strong educational backgrounds or speak English well.

 

Your Purpose:

  1. Assure your employees that the company istrying to get replacement raw materials and ship back the faulty ones. (See the instructions for the Letter assignment.)
  2. Assure your employees that you are aware of the labor problems with the supplier.
  3. Assure your employees that the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is looking into the complaints about the labor issues, but the investigation is not yet complete.
  4. Your company supports the fair treatment of employees, and if the accusations are proven true, you may take steps to find another supplier.
  5. You are aware that they are worried about their jobs, but these problems are only temporary. Their jobs are safe.
  6. If anyone from the media calls to discuss the labor issues, please do not talk to them. Instead, direct them to Phil Pastori, the Chief Information Officer (CIO), who is trained to handle this kind of problem.
  7. If a distributor or retailer contacts you about product problems, direct him/her to Frank Caravello, the Chief Operating Officer, to handle their product concerns.

 

Your Document:

  1. Use the memo in your book for guidance. (pg.376)
  2. Create details about the Phil Pastori, Frank Caravello, or your supplier as you need to.
  3. Use your company logo, font, and overall style established in the postcard and letter, and keep your style consistent among all of your documents.
  4. There is no word count, but make sure you cover all the required details.
  5. You may use a template or real memos for inspiration.

 

Answers to FAQs:

  • Follow the memo examples in the book, not what you randomly find on Google.
  • It is okay if the memo goes to two pages.

 

Hints:

  • Please observe the differences between a letter and a memo, not just in format but audience and tone.

 

Portfolio 1: Brochure

 

Unsurprisingly, your company’smanagement has had an introspective moment. They want to make a philosophicalgesture, regardless of the TWC investigation’s findings.

 

The company is going to partner with a local nonprofit organization, Job Skills Bootcamp (JSB), that helps the poor and homeless in the DFW metroplex receiveimportant job training skills—anything from construction to office work.

 

JSB partners with local companies and social service agencies, and it accepts both monetary donations and volunteers’ time. JSB believes in job training, fair wages, and ensuring that everyone can get the skills they need to thrive in the workplace. Your company’s management wants to become a company with a conscience and become involved.

Your company is going to pay its employees to volunteer one workday per month (full-time employees only) at JSB.

 

Your Task:

  1. Create a brochure for your company announcing the creation of this program.
  2. The brochures will be distributed with each employee’s paycheck or paycheck stub (for those who have direct deposit), and it will also be distributed at the board meeting next week to all 12 members.
  3. Make sure it can be folded into the standard, size 10 business envelope.

 

Your Audience:

  1. Your primary audience will be your company’s employees; your tone is positive and excited.
  2. Your secondary audience will be your company’s board of directors. (Boards establish policies for corporate management and provide oversight, and they make decisions on major company issues.).
  3. A third audience will be anyone in the public who might happen to see the brochure, as well.
  4. Don’t talk down to people, but make sure everyone at the company can understand your brochure, including people who do not have strong educational backgrounds or speak English well.

 

Your Purpose:

  1. Announce the new partnership between JSB and your company.
  2. Discuss the new volunteer program (You can make up the details.).
  3. Briefly address the supplier issue but focus on the new volunteer program.
  4. Tell your employees in which ways they can volunteer for the program, when it will start, and who to contact to for their volunteer days.

 

Your Document:

  1. Name the new company volunteer program and decide how employees can volunteer.
  2. Tell the employees they should contact Theresa Coogan, the director of Human Resources, after receiving prior approval from their supervisors for scheduling a volunteer day.
  3. Since this is now Theresa Coogan’s program, write it so it sounds like her: positive, professional, and honest.
  4. Use your company logo, font, and overall style established in the other documents and keep your style consistent.
  5. There is no word count, but make sure you cover all the required details.
  6. You may use a template orcraft your own but decide which brochure style will work best for your company.

 

 

 

Portfolio 1: Press Release

 

Press releases are documentsthat publicly announce information about a person or organization to the media in the hopes that they will be picked up for a story in the news. These releases can announce good events like product releases, corporate mergers and buyouts, company activities, or employee promotions. They can also make an official statement when something bad happens and a company needs to publicly address a concern.

 

Any time the media picks up on your release, that’s good news. They can simply run your press release as a news story in a newspaper or magazine, or they can send a TV crew and reporter out to interview you. It is, essentially, free advertising!

The problem is that the news media receives hundreds and/or thousands of press releases each day. You need to make your announcement show why your person, company, product is unique, interesting, or solves a problem (and better than your competition).

 

A few weeks back when you were first hired, you had to create a postcard for the new, upcoming product. That product is going to be released in two days. Now is time to generate buzz about your new product, andMichael Angeloni, the Director of Information, is hoping that the news media will and run a story.

 

The Task:

  1. Write a press release announcing the upcoming release of your company’s new product.

 

Your Audience:

  1. Your audience is the news media.
    1. Who is the news media, exactly?
      1. They are local TV networks like NBC, CBS, and ABC, and they can send a TV crew out to filma news segmentat your company or invite a company employee for an in-studio interview.
      2. They are local newspapers like theFort Worth Star-Telegram and the Dallas Morning News.
  • They are magazines like Fort Worth Magazine, D Magazine, and Texas Monthly.

 

Your Purpose:

  1. You want to inform the media about your new product.
  2. You want them to know when it goes on sale, where it can be purchased, how much it will cost, and some basic information about the product, itself.
  3. Your job is to show how customers need your product. They don’t know they need it, but they do. They need to run right out and buy it today! Show how it is different, how it is better, how it solves a problem, or how it is the best product available (Don’t mention your competition.).

 

Your Document:

  • The headline must solve a problem or be clever, but don’t make it an obvious sales pitch.
  • Write your headline to read something like, “Grandma No Longer Needs to Scrub Her Floors on Her Hands and Knees!” and maybe a subheader that reads“She Can Sip Coffee While the New Housecleaning Robot FN-2187Does the Work.” Now, that is a headline that would get my attention!
  • Use your company’s product information from the postcard assignment but make up the details.
  • Use your company logo, font, and overall style established in the other documents and keep your style consistent.
  • There is no word count, but make sure you cover all the required details.
  • You may use a template or use Google to find examples.
  • Make sure to add Michael Angeloni, the director of the Information Office, as the media contact, and include his company contact information.
  • Write it like you are Michael—knowledgeable, confident, positive, and convinced of the product’s importance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Press Release Format

 

Press Release Breakdown:

 

  1. Company Logo
    • This example is centered but place yours where your company normally does.

 

  1. Contact Information
    • Put Michael Angeloni’s contact information, including an email and a phone number.

 

  1. Release Date
    • Determine when you want this information released to the public. It should either say “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” or “FOR RELEASE ON [date] AT [time].”

 

  1. Headline
    • It should be short, clear, and straight to the point, but also attention-getting.

 

  1. The Deck (Subheader)
    • It gives you the opportunity to develop you story angle a little bit further, but it should not be a repetition of what is stated in the headline.

 

  1. Dateline
    • It tells the city and state where the activity istaking place. It should be written completely in capital letters, then the date, separated with a dash. EX: TALLAHASSEE, FL, November 25 – [Then add info…]

 

  1. First Body Paragraph
    • It should answer the who, what, when, where, and how/why questions. This may be the only paragraph someone reads, and so you must give the most important details right away. Stick to facts.

 

  1. Remaining Body Paragraphs and Media
    • The rest of release gives further details to the story created. Paragraphs should not exceed 2-4 sentences. Information like statistics, hyperlinks, media content and quotes can be included.
      1. 8A: Optional: Media Content
        1. In this optional section, you can include any media like photos, URLs, and QR codes to videos and audio clips. Use only official company media.
      2. 8B: Quotes
        1. Quote a high-level executive, or maybe the senior researcher on why this is important. Just be sure that the quote is positive and adds dimension (not repetitive) to the story you are creating.

 

  1. Boilerplate
    • The last paragraph should be the boilerplate. A boilerplate is a standard one- or two-sentence description about your company used in multiple documents.

 

  1. End Notation
    • A two-page press release should have “more” centered at the bottom of the first page to indicate that a second page follows; on the final page, use three hashtags to indicate the end of the release. It should look like this: ###.

 

  1. Final Note
    • Include a note to encourage any reader who wants more information to get in touch with you. An example of this final note should be: “If you would like more information about this topic, please call [Name] at [Phone number], or email [Email address].”

 

  1. Sending It Out
    • When finished, you would normally email, fax, and/or mail a copy to your local news media outlets, as well as industry-related outlets and add it to your company website, as well. You are not sending this out, but this is good, real-world practice anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[YOUR LOGO HERE]
FOR RELEASE ON [date] AT [time] Contact: [Your Name & Organization]
Phone: [Contact Phone Number]
Email: [Contact Email Address]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAIN PRESS RELEASE HEADLINE

Italicized Sub-header

 

[CITY, STATE, Month Date]—Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consecteturadipiscingelit. Suspendisse vestibulum, mi ut pharetra ullamcorper, maurisestsuscipitest, non malesuada diam sapien sit ametarcu. Mauris cursus suscipit ipsum, id venenatisnullafringilla at. Aliquameratvolutpat. Aenean dictum enim vitae consequat lacinia.

 

 

Curabitur sit ametinterdumnisl. In id lacinia ligula. Aliquam porta, ipsum in tristiquedignissim, erostellusfeugiat magna, in euismodsemsapien semper leo.Curabitur sit ametinterdumnisl. In id lacinia ligula. Aliquam porta, ipsum in tristiquedignissim, erostellusfeugiat magna, in euismodsemsapien semper leo.

 

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Sed blanditsapiennibh, in pretiumarcutristique in. Morbi et ante utpurus dictum varius. Nunc facilisis lorem ut fermentum lobortis. Praesent sit ametaugueviverra, luctus ex iaculis, gravida ante. Curabitur sit ametinterdumnisl. In id lacinia ligula. Aliquam porta, ipsum in tristiquedignissim, erostellusfeugiat magna, in euismodsemsapien semper leo.

 

Aliquam pharetra fringillatortor id tempor. Ut metusodio, suscipittristiquerisus a, pellentesquefinibusquam. Nam vehiculanisl dolor, sed tristiquenullaaccumsannec. Duis elementum, urna sed vestibulum facilisis, nisi magna eleifendleo, quisvulputatemauriselit in eros:“Donec tempus auctorpurus ac fermentum.”Aliquam in commodolectus, id fringilla dui.

 

[Your Business Name] is a [Boilerplate description…]

###

 

If you would like more information about this topic, please call [Name] at [Phone number], or email [email address].

 

 

 

Course Syllabus Objectives Covered in This Portfolio Assignment: 1a, 2a-f, 3a, 4a-b, 5a-b, 5e-g, 6a-d, 7a-d, and 7f

 

Portfolio Rubric

English 2311, Tech. Writing

 

Criteria 4 3 2 1 0
Audience and purpose The purpose is evident and/or appropriate for the audience. Right on target! The purpose and/or audience are on track but not fully developed. There is a weak understanding of the document’s purpose and/or the audience is sometimes appropriate. There is a poor understanding of the document’s purpose and/or audience. The purpose and/or audience of the document is unidentifiable.
Structure, organization, citations, and format The document is formatted correctly, well-developed, and/or well-organized with 5 or fewer errors in:

·         Headings

·         Sequence

·         Captions

·         Intro/Concl.

·         Citations

·         Research/quotes

·         Other

The document is less well-developed and/or organized and has with 8 or fewer errors in:

·         Headings

·         Sequence

·         Captions

·         Intro/Concl.

·         Citations

·         Research/quotes

·         Other

The document is not well-developed and/or organized and has with 12 or fewer errors in:

·         Headings

·         Sequence

·         Captions

·         Intro/Concl.

·         Citations

·         Research/quotes

·         Other

The document is not well-developed and/or organized and has with 15 or fewer errors in:

·         Headings

·         Sequence

·         Captions

·         Intro/Concl.

·         Citations

·         Research/quotes

·         Other

The document is no evidence of an attempt to develop, format, and/or organize the document  OR

 

It has with 15 or more errors in:

·         Headings

·         Sequence

·         Captions

·         Intro/Concl.

·         Citations

·         Research/quotes

·         Other

Mechanics There are 5 or fewer mechanical errors in:

·         Spelling

·         Grammar

·         Punctuation

·         Sentence structure

·         Word choice

There are 8 or fewer mechanical errors in:

·         Spelling

·         Grammar

·         Punctuation

·         Sentence structure

·         Word choice

There are 12 or fewer mechanical errors in:

·         Spelling

·         Grammar

·         Punctuation

·         Sentence structure

Word choice

There are 15 or fewer mechanical errors in:

·         Spelling

·         Grammar

·         Punctuation

·         Sentence structure

Word choice

There are more than 15 critical errors in mechanics. The document is substandard and needs significant editing.
Precision and clarity of language and/ormessage The language of the document is clear, simple, and/or precise. Graphic elements, if applicable, are appropriate and helpful. The language of the document is generally clear, simple, and/or precise. Graphic elements, if applicable, are generally appropriate and helpful. The language of the document is sometimes clear, simple, and/or  precise. Graphic elements, if applicable, are sometimes appropriate and helpful.Document can be a bit wordy or confused. The language of the document is generally not clear, simple, and/or  precise. Graphic elements, if applicable, are appropriate and helpful. Document is often wordy or confused. The language of the document is not at all clear, simple, and/or precise. Graphic elements, if applicable, are not at all appropriate and helpful. Document is word, confused, or rambling.

 

Total Possible Points: 16

 

Your Score: _____________                                      ___________/16=  _________% (your grade)

 

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