Assignment Instructions

For this assignment you will conduct a communications audit of Virginia Symphony Orchestra (VSO) and at least one competitor, which will be Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) based on their website. Target audience will be to bring in diversity. You will need 5 research questions.  More details below:

  • Research Basis – How are VSO and BSO similar and different in terms of operations and structure? Why are they (VSO and BSO) the best choices for a communications comparison (e.g., are the comparisons showing much higher engagement rates, obviously stronger fundraising results, obviously stronger website or e-newsletter development?).  Why are these the best competitors to choose IN TERMS OF VSO’s GOALS AND SPECIFIC STAKEHOLDERS, which is diversity audience? Include information from your research regarding the situation (challenges and opportunities) and stakeholders (a more diversity audience), drawing from.
  • Research Questions (RQs) and Methods – Executive Summary should include 2 RQs for your communication audit, and what you hope to learn from each of those questions that will help VSO.  Identify 2 RQs that VSO needs to know regarding its status compared to BSO. Their websites will be the primary research method and sample (target of analysis) for you to effectively study VSO’s communications in terms of achieving its goals.  By using only their website of communication, compare them (VSO and BSO) using textual analysis methodologies. Make sure you address issues such as voice and tone, intended audience, aesthetics and media richness/use, etc.  
  • Process and Results – Executive Summary should address – How does your data help you understand more about the communications of your client and competitors? Who are they addressing, and how? Use the 7Ps of Marketing (the marketing mix) and the PESO model to guide your analysis. Where are there clear challenges and opportunities facing them, and for what stakeholders? Provide significant detail, referring to appendices at the end of your paper that should include your raw data and visualizations to help us understand it (e.g., charts, quotes from participants, screen captures of texts, etc.). (Appendices are not included in the word count.)
  • To help with the comparison, need to create 40-50 questions using the following below:    
    • 7 Ps of marketing (product, price, promotion, place, people, process, and physical evidence)?
    • PESO model (The PESO communications model stands for “paid,” “earned,” “shared” and “owned” media, and it represents a modern way for companies to integrate communications efforts while reaching audiences in an efficient, effective manner.)
    • Once the 40-50 questions are created (e.g. need to create a tally – 1 for Yes; 0 for No).  Include samples (e.g., screen captures) of the tactics you’ve analyzed, broken down to show points that you argue are important, as well as raw data for content analyses with percentages and correlations as needed.

Deliverable is 500-750 word Executive Summary, and a fully branded, 15 minute PowerPoint presentation (8-10 slides).

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