Case Subject for your Communication Plan
Assignment 3: Case subject for your communication plan: 2020 (25%)
The case for 2020 involves the measles crisis which occurred internationally in 2019, with rising numbers of cases across the Pacific Islands, European, UK and Asian continents. In NZ between January to November there were 2060 confirmed cases of measles, with 1660 in the Auckland region. Subsequently, the Pacific nations experienced an outbreak of measles, with Samoa declaring a state of emergency.
The purpose of this assignment is to demonstrate your thinking and research skills to provide evidence of your ability to identify, analyse, assess and provide insight into approaches to organisational communication in practice. You will be asked to apply the semester’s learning to advise the Ministry of Health on a potential strategy to navigate the current crisis of the ongoing measles outbreaks. Any Google search will generate many stories about the epidemic and if you look on the Ministry of Health website you will see relevant information. There are also some video news items in this section on Stream. Relevant web-stories from both sides of the vaccination debate are also available, e. g,, https://measlesrubellainitiative.org/anti-vaccination-movement/ Purpose:
Your task is to adopt the role of an external consultant who has been called in by the Ministry of Health to help them manage their communication with both their staff and public about obtaining cooperation to ensure that the measles virus does not spread further in New Zealand. Please read your guidelines carefully and consider the messages which have been promulgated by the Ministry. There is a strong pro-vaccination message, but how does this persuade in a context of individuals who are anti-vaccination? Arguably these may be important people to bring into the fold if the epidemic is going to be effectively handled.
Remember that internal stakeholders (Ministry staff) represent the organisation and therefore need to be convinced that they are communicating ethically and agree with the organisation’s stance. As your guidelines state, a strong communication culture which encompasses two-way communication is essential to enhance understanding of the organisation goals. Remember to keep in mind the mission statement and organisational goals so that what you propose is consistent with the overall strategic goals of the organisation.
Make yourself familiar with the communication issues that may need to be dealt with in the context of organisational challenges if you are to facilitate an effective and consistent message for external stakeholders. By now, you will be familiar with a number of theoretical approaches and will be able to discern what is relevant for the case organisation in finding a way through their current dilemma. Remember, you are working as an outsider and you must remain impartial and demonstrate your ability to proactively assess and provide insight into the way in which theory can be used to assist the Ministry with the dilemma it currently faces.
Please ensure that you read the information on constructing an effective communication plan in this section and consult the marking guide to identify the number of academic references required to provide convincing evidence of your theoretical understanding to assure the Ministry that you are providing a helpful approach that they can implement with confidence. Do not overlook relevant academic literature – for example, a number of vaccine-focused academic sources that may be useful.