Phoenix Advertising, with its main headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, serves clients

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 GregoryS.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.


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?

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

    • What are the company’s primary business goals?

    • What do clients need from Phoenix Advertising?

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

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

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

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

    • Are any other branches losing clients?

Now brainstorm and freewrite more specifically about your

own department and the people who work for you.

• What are their names and positions?

• 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?

• 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?


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