Examination number: 05002100



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EXAMINATION NUMBER: 05002100

Background

Phoenix Advertising, with its main headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, serves clients that include banks, insurance companies, and retail chains. You're the vice president of human resources management at Phoenix. You report directly to Gregory S. Forest, the company president. Mr. Forest advises you that in the last month, four clients have complained about the advertising work produced by the Roanoke, Virginia branch of the agency. He reminds you that the clients served from the Roanoke branch are vital to the overall success of Phoenix Advertising. Mr. Forest also explains the little he has been able to learn about the situation at the branch: In the last three months, two of the top management people-an art director and an account executive-have left the agency. Three of the graphic designers and four of the copywriters are threatening to quit because they feel their creative efforts are being rejected or revised without consultation. They want to be part of a collaborative team, not to simply produce work that the art directors and account executives can alter arbitrarily. In an attempt to increase revenues, the branch is accepting new clients without evaluating the effects of the new accounts on the current project workload. As a result, without notice or compensation for the additional hours, all salaried employees are required to work long hours several days each week. Employee morale and productivity are declining day by day.

Process


Part A: Interoffice memorandum

Step 1

Begin by creating facts, figures, and people to flesh out the above background information and your position in the company. The following questions are provided to jumpstart your prewriting, but you must expand on them to brainstorm thoroughly. In addition to listing details, also freewrite about the Phoenix Advertising agency and its executive team.



  • How large is the agency? How many branches does it have? Where are the branches located?

The agency employs approximately 100 people. It has five branches in addition to its Charlotte, North Carolina office: Greenville, South Carolina; Knoxville, Tennessee;
The Hamptons, New York; Key West, Florida; and Roanoke, Virginia.

  • What's the company's mission? How does each branch relate to that mission?

Our Mission:

From the right line of copy or a well-composed press release to a beautifully composed print ad with the correct message, Phoenix Advertising creatively tells the story of each account. This all starts with the best possible team for each campaign. Whether you need an ad, brochures, a company jingle, tag line or complete marketing package, expert talent will manage your account. We will ask the proper questions and in return you will get honest answers. We'll work within your budget and achieve your goals.

We are a full-service advertising agency handling accounts in Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, New York and the Hamptons. Our network of branch offices along the East Coast enables us to connect you to the public- locally and nationally.


  • What are the company's primary business goals?

At Phoenix Advertising our experience in strategic planning allows us to anticipate the future needs of each account. Each account is managed individually, based on their product and market. From local and national print to radio, television and web site design, at Phoenix Advertising we produce quality product and help decide the right medium for every client.

  • What do clients need from Phoenix Advertising?

  • Ad Campaigns

  • Branding

  • Brochure Design & Printing

  • Copywriting

  • Creative Direction

  • IPIX 360° Photography

  • Marketing

  • Outdoor Advertising

  • Photography

  • Print Ads

  • Promotional Merchandise

  • Radio and Voice Overs

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  • Video and Multi-media

  • Web Sites

  • Packaging

  • Who are the people on the executive team (other vice presidents of other departments)?

Gregory S. Forest, President; Bill Ludwick, Chief Executive; Theresa Wyalusing, President of Human Resources; Janet Ribble, Vice President of Human Resources; Saul Waters, Chairman; Moe Frands, Managing Director; Sasha Larr, Planning Director; Jane Dresser, Creative Director; Mandy

  • Who's in charge of the agency's accounts in all the branches?

Moe Frands, Managing Director, is in charge of managing the client accounts. He oversees the managing directors at each regional office.

  • Who knows about policies for accepting and assigning new accounts?

Moe Frands, Managing Director

  • Who knows about the policies for collaborative work among account executives, art directors, graphic designers, and copywriters?

Jane Dresser, Creative Director

  • Are any other branches losing clients?

Only the Roanoke Branch office is losing clients. While the company, like most, is experiencing a loss in revenue, its clients are remaining loyal.

 

Now brainstorm and freewrite more specifically about your own department and the people who work for you.



  • What are their names and positions?

Theresa Wyalusing, President of Human Resources; Janet Ribble, Vice President of Human Resources; Lance Ayers, Human Resources Director; Devon D’Angelo, Human Resources Generalist; Regina Cobb, Office Assistant; Howard Heiney, Office Assistant

  • What would an organizational chart of your department look like?



  • What policies have you established for the agency about overtime for salaried employees? Are branches allowed to have different policies? Under what conditions?

All salaried employees are aware that under their contractual obligations they are not compensated for working beyond forty hours per week. This policy is the same for every branch location; however, the manager of each branch office has the power to allocate PTO for any employee who has worked excessively in order to complete a project on time.

  • What are the compensation and benefits packages for the positions of art director and account executive at the branch level? Do they depend on the location of the branch and local competitors or is there a general agency package for each position?

There is a general agency package for both the art director and account executive at any branch. They are salaried positions which provide medical and dental insurance, in addition to 401K, and profit sharing.

Step 2

After your meeting with Mr. Forest, you realize you need information from other members of the executive team. Using the ABC method, draft one interoffice memo to be sent to the entire executive team. Briefly summarize in one paragraph the situation with the Roanoke Branch. Explain how the situation affects Phoenix Advertising as a company and why it demands immediate attention. In a separate paragraph explain the actions you need different team members to take (who must provide what information). Tell the team when (specific date) and how they should get the information to you (report, e-mail, etc.). Close your memo with an appropriate final line or two. Make sure you copy the president on the memo.

Phoenix Advertising

Interoffice Memorandum
DATE: May 5, 2009
TO: Moe Frands, Managing Director; Sasha Larr, Planning Director; Jane Dresser, Creative Director
FROM: Janet Ribble, Vice President of Human Resources
SUBJECT: Roanoke Branch Update

In recent months, the Roanoke branch office has been experiencing difficulties. After a change in management, the graphic artists and copywriters have made it apparent that their work is no longer being received well. Although it is not completely clear, this employee upset may be the cause of the complaints that the branch has received by four of its clients. This matter demands immediate attention, as the Roanoke branch services some of the companies’ most valuable clients and thus is important to the overall success

It is vital that the executive team contact the Roanoke branch employees to oversee the operations there at once. Jane Dresser should speak with the graphic designers and copywriters to evaluate the work they have submitted and the revisions that were made by their art director. Moe Frands needs to assess the new accounts that the branch has taken on recently and verify their ability to generate revenue. Sasha Larr should develop a plan for the new accounts creating a timeline for the project workload that is currently causing the staff to work longer hours. I will oversee the human resources department in managing employee relations and ensuring that the branch managers are indeed allocating PTO to the salaried employees. A report detailing your findings and procedures is expected in my office no later than May 12, 2009.
After reviewing your reports individually, I will hold a meeting of the executive officers to review the status of the Roanoke branch on May 14, 2009. If we all work together effectively I am sure we can resolve all the issues and ensure the success of the Roanoke branch.

Copies:


Executive Team

Gregory S. Forest, President;

Bill Ludwick, Chief Executive;

Saul Waters, Chairman;

Theresa Wyalusing, President of Human Resources;

Moe Frands, Managing Director;

Sasha Larr, Planning Director;

Jane Dresser, Creative Director

Part B: E-mail

Step 1

If necessary, brainstorm further about your department, your staff, and the agency's policies about overtime.



Step 2

Invent e-mail addresses for yourself and another person in your department. Use the company name as the "host" rather than general commercial providers like AOL or Yahoo. Include all necessary components such as the @ symbol.



Step 3

Using the ABC method, draft an e-mail of three to four paragraphs in which you assign the staff person in charge of payroll to provide you with payroll statements from the Roanoke branch for the last 12 months. Use your own judgment about what, if any, information that person needs to know about the Roanoke situation to complete the task. Include a request for a summary of the agency policies and the branch policies regarding overtime and compensation/ benefits packages. Explain clearly what you need that person to do, the date you need the information, and how you want the person to convey the information to you. Be sure you follow the format of the sample e-mail, using the new content you've written for the assignment. Use a specific subject line formatted in title case.

To: Lance.Ayers@PhoenixAd.com
cc: Theresa.Wyalusing@PhoenixAd.com
bcc:
Subject: Request for Reports
Dear Lance,
As you know from our meeting, the Roanoke branch office is experiencing difficulties amongst the staff due to the longer hours they are required to put in this month. In order to ensure the success of the company it is imperative that I communicate effectively and efficiently with both the salaried employees and the hourly waged staff to. I also need to verify that the managers there are using their resources to accommodate the employees during this period of work overload. In order to do this I need you to provide me with payroll statements from the Roanoke branch for the last 12 months. I also need a summary of the agency policies and the branch policies regarding overtime and compensation/ benefits packages.
I would like to see you my office by 5 pm today with all the reports. Please understand the urgency of this request and feel free to assign Regina and Howard to this project only today. I am sure Devon can handle all the responsibilities in the department today so that we can work to resolve this matter quickly.
Tomorrow I will review the documents and draft a letter to the manager there, directing him on how to proceed with his staff. I will want to meet with you and Theresa briefly tomorrow morning at 10 am in the main conference room. I am positive that this situation is easily rectifiable as long as we act professionally and proficiently.

Best,


Janet Ribble

Janet.Ribble@PhoenixAd.com


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