CMN6000 Assignment 4 Crisis Communication at Nuance – Case Analysis

Assignment 4 – Crisis Communication at Nuance: Analysis and Recommendations to Restore Image of Nuance Essay

Assignment Guidelines

Due Dates: Sunday, March 1st, by 11:59 PM EST

Page Requirement:

5-6 pages, 12 point font, double-spaced

WHY: This assignment gives you the opportunity to apply course concepts to the analysis of a crisis situation at The Nuance Group, a global consulting firm. Assume Nuance does NOT have a crisis communication plan in place. By analyzing the situation Nuance faces and making recommendations for an effective response to restore its image, you will demonstrate an understanding of the major themes and concepts in organizational communication by synthesizing what you have learned during the course.

WHAT: Based on case 10.1 in the Zaremba textbook, analyze the crisis at Nuance and recommend the image restoration approaches you believe will be most effective in this scenario.

Your analysis and recommendations should consider the following questions:


  • Why is this such a severe crisis for Nuance?
  • What does the crisis tell us about Nuance’s organizational culture and their standards of ethical communication?

Recommendations for communication action steps to restore the image of Nuance:

  • In order (first, second, third), who are the target audiences and what messages will you deliver to each of them?
  • Why will you deliver them in that order?
  • How you will deliver them?

You must apply what you’ve learned about culture, ethical communication, crisis communication, networks, media selection and meetings as you construct your analysis of the events that occurred at Nuance and develop recommendations for responding to the crisis.

You must use the APA style of citation. You must include a minimum of three direct references from course readings (i.e. Zaremba textbook, assigned articles) used in your analysis, although you will likely use more. You must also include a sample communication in your final section and a references page at the end of the essay.

You must use a thesis statement to guide your essay. You must also use the provided rhetorical form to structure the essay. Guidelines on both are found below.

HOW: Gather your evidence in order to support your thesis.

  • Read the case three times.
  1. First reading: Identify key facts, issues, themes, and characters.
  2. Second reading: Highlight text that discusses: Why is this such a severe crisis for Nuance?
  3. Third reading: Highlight text that discusses: What does the crisis tell us about Nuance’s organizational culture and standards of ethical communication?
  • Write a thesis statement.


Nuance’s problem ________________________________________________________ caused by ______________________________________, ___________________________________, and _____________________________________ can be solved if ____________________________ does ____________________________________, _______________________________, and _________________________________________. (Feel free to list more causes and recommendations).

  • Write a rough draft and support your thesis with references to the case and course readings.
  • Make sure your rough draft and final draft uses the rhetorical arrangement written below.
  • Be realistic about what can be communicated within the first 48 hours. Assume Nuance does not have a crisis communication plan in place.

Required Sections


I. Executive Summary

  • One to two paragraphs in length
  • Summarize the critical events from the case that will be covered in the analysis
  • Briefly identify the major problems facing the main player
  • Summarize the recommended plan of action and include a brief justification of the recommended plan

II. Identification of Key Stakeholders

  • Identify the key players in the case
  • Include stakeholders who are impacted because of the critical events
  • For each key player, identify events in the case that the stakeholder finds troublesome and would consider a problem; in doing so, quote the case

III. Statement of the Problem

  • State the problems facing the main player
  • Identify and link the symptoms and root causes of the problems
  • Differentiate short term from long term problems
  • Conclude with the decision facing the main player

IV. Causes of the Problem

· Provide a detailed analysis of the problems identified in the Statement of the Problem

  • In the analysis, apply theories and models from the text and/or readings
  • Support conclusions and /or assumptions with specific references to the case and/or the readings

V. Brainstorm 2 or 3 Suggestions for Solutions:

  • Identify criteria to evaluate these solutions (i.e. time for implementation, communication strategies, acceptability to management)
  • Explain each criteria in 1-2 sentences
  • Brainstorm two or three possible suggestions for solutions
  • Evaluate the pros and cons of each suggestion against the criteria listed
  • Suggest additional pros/cons if appropriate
  • Using models and theories, identify why you chose these suggestions, how they would work, and why

VI. Recommended Solution, Implementation and Justification: Choose one of your Brainstorm Solutions from Section V and DEVELOP and FINALIZE it here.

  • Identify who, what, when, and how in your recommended plan of action
  • Solution and implementation should address the problems and causes identified in the earlier sections
  • Evaluate the recommended plan via the criteria in the previous section
  • Include a contingency plan(s) to back up the ‘ideal’ course of action
  • Describe the difficulties you expect to encounter in actually implementing the course of action under consideration, including any new problems

VII. Appendix

· Include a sample communication in this final section based on the recommendation being proposed, i.e. a Press Release, website notice, letter to target audience, etc.

APA Citation Basics:

When using APA format, follow the author-date method of in-text citation. So if you are paraphrasing material from a source, you need to cite the source. Example: “According to Jones (1998), the concept of serial distortion applies to a wide range of……”

If you are directly quoting from a work, you will need to include the author, year of publication, and the page number for the reference (preceded by “p.”). Introduce the quotation with a signal phrase that includes the author’s last name followed by the date of publication in parentheses. Example: According to Jones (1998), “Students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time” (p. 199).

Academic Integrity and Citation:

Please view this link to learn how to format in-text citations or make a references page:

Please view this link to learn what plagiarism is and how to avoid it:

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