Internal and External Communication on Discrimination Select one internal and one external communication posted in Module Five, and assess the legal, compliance, and brand implications to stakeholders. Explain the legal aspects that must be considered with the communication, what compliance issues need to be addressed, and how the brand could be affected. Make sure you clearly identify the original communication you are referencing.
As we discuss the legal implications of documents, it’s always good to have an understanding of other legal implications that can affect an organization. According to this article, “Emails and the workplace go together like spaghetti and meatballs. Sure, you can probable get through part of your workday without it, but, eventually all workers dedicate some time in their day to check and reduce that endless growing inbox. In the day-in-age where sending work communications can happen with just a few quick key strokes from a cell phone, the workforce needs to realize the legal ramifications of circulating “bad” documents.”
Take a look at this article.
Article Link: https://corporate.findlaw.com/litigation-disputes/safe-communication-guidelines-for-creating-corporate-documents.html
Respond to the Internal Communication on Discrimination – Marriot (2) document and 5-1 External Draft Discrimination Communications for Under Armour Customers document. Please reply to each of the communications separately. I have attached examples of how of both external and internal class responses.
I provided the Module 6 overview document to read as well. External Communication Example:
For the purposes of this discussion I will be assessing Robyn Secor’s press release regarding an age
discrimination lawsuit against 3M. There are certainly legal, compliance, and brand implications involved
for stakeholders regarding the issue presented in the press release. With regards to legal implications, there
is a pending lawsuit that has been filed on behalf of one former and one current employee of 3M alleging
that the company has discriminated on the basis of age. If 3M is found to have discriminated against these
employees then there will certainly be legal ramifications for the company, but the communication itself
does an excellent job of defending the company while not making any disparaging remarks about the
employees who have filed the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges that 3M was not in compliance with its own standards presented in its code of conduct,
but 3M is taking a strong stance in its press release that no violation has occurred. In the press release 3M
reassures its stakeholders that a through investigation of the claims will take place. If allegations prove true,
it will not be a good look for the company that it couldn’t comply with its own standards. Finally, there will
certainly be implications to 3M’s brand based on the issue. If 3M is found to be in violation of
discrimination laws it will certainly reflect negatively on the company, as stakeholders will have a negative
perception of the company due to the fact that they have utilized discriminatory work practices, but if the
investigation proves that 3M was in compliance with both legal standards and their own code of conduct
there should be no reason that their brand will be looked at negatively. Overall, the communication did an
excellent job of defending the company and assuring external stakeholders that the company will do its due
diligence in investigating the claims by gathering information involved with the issue and mitigating any
detrimental practices that are uncovered in the investigation (Doorley & Garcia, 2010). Nice job!
Doorley, J., & Garcia, H. F. (2010). Reputation management : the key to successful public relations and
corporate communication. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral-proquest- com.ezproxy.snhu.edu
Internal Communication Example:
For my Internal Communication, I chose a memo (or email) that is directed to the
employees of Avangrid written by J. Lagueux. The purpose of the memo/email is to
remind employees about the necessity of following the Code of Conduct (Lagueux,
The memo refers to many of the policies from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
which states, “This law makes it illegal to discriminate against someone based on race,
color, religion, national origin, or sex” (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
[EEOC], n.d.). The memo also speaks to policy guidelines when it comes to harassment
in general and how it will not be tolerated in the workplace, and informs employees that
there is a formal process to report such actions (Lagueux, 2019).
I see the communication as an offensive communication strategy with the purpose of
reminding associates what is in the Code of Conduct. According to William Arruda
(2013), “41% of us believe that employees are the most credible source of information
regarding their business”. Employees who are connected, involved, and dedicated to
the company will become great brand ambassadors which goes a long way to help build
a strong corporate brand. By reminding associates what is in the company Code of
Conduct, the organization is setting a foundation for a positive work environment.
Those employees who are happy at work will perform better and will want to remain
with the company. When the workforce is happy, the organization can commit more
time to making sure the brand remains strong in the market.
The purpose of a code of conduct is to state the values of the company, and make clear
how the behavior of employees must align with those values. It also identifies certain
behaviors that might put the organization at risk for legal liability, and explains
principles that are important and align with the beliefs of the company. By writing and
enforcing a code of conduct, an organization can make sure there is a detailed
description of what the company believes to be ethical and acceptable behaviors, and it
also provides instructions for how any violations should be handled (Association of
Corporate Counsel, 2010).
Association of Corporate Counsel. (2010, Nov 9). Top Ten Tips for Developing an
Effective Code of Conduct. Retrieved from
Arruda, W. (2013, Oct 8). Three Steps For Transforming Employees Into Brand
Ambassadors. Forbes. Retrieved from
Lagueux, J. (2019, Jan 24). Discussion: External (Avangrid). Southern New Hampshire
University. Retrieved from
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Internal Memo to Employees
January 17, 2019
RE: Discrimination Policy Update
To our internal Marriott customers and employees,
We at Marriott pride ourselves in inclusion and being culturally aware as an international
hospitality provider. Here, we service many nationalities with varying cultures, faith and
religious affiliations worldwide. In the midst of the political climate and immigration concerns in
the United States as well as other countries, Marriott finds it necessary to communicate an
updated discrimination policy that will also address religion in the workplace.
Marriott has updated the Anti-Discrimination policy to elaborate on religion in the workplace to
include religious attire and observances customary to the localities served by Marriott.
Although this policy may not be all-inclusive in black and white print, the overall purpose of the
update is to ensure employees are aware of the procedure for requesting accommodations for
religious purposes. Accommodation should be made, where possible, to allow associates
freedom while at work while also reflecting the Marriott brand positively. Marriott prohibits
religious discrimination and disparate treatment of workers based on religion.
Marriott would like to let you all know that this policy update has not been made due to any
incident, rather, we see the importance in our ever changing and challenging political
environment to commit to our employees and your rights in the workplace. Our goal is to
create a more culturally cohesive environment and culture for Marriott so that the issues you
face in the outside world do not have to follow you into your place of employment.
1020 Hull Street
Baltimore, Md, 21230
January 20, 2019
Subject: Policy Against Discrimination of Persons with Disabilities.
Under Armour actively seeks and is committed to ensuring that its organization policies
promote principles that are fair and equitable in the treatment for all persons with disabilities.
The purpose of this post is to provides the location of a copy of Under Armour’s policy for
public review and use. Under Armour is committed to prohibiting discrimination against
individuals with disabilities when it comes to the hiring, advancement, compensation, working
environment, opportunities, training and other privileges of employment at Under Armour.
Under Armour’s remains compliant with Title 1 of the Americans With Disabilities Act
of 1990 (ADA) and Title 1 of the Civil Rights Act of 1991 by ensuring that all employees are
provided reasonable accommodation and that individuals with disabilities are provided
accommodation in transportation, communications and public accommodations necessary to
provide for an accessible and barrier free work place at all Under Armour facilities. As part of
Under Armours commitment in ensuring that all persons with disabilities are provided an
opportunity to be part of our programs, services and activities, Under Armour will provide equal
employment opportunities to persons with disabilities. All employee’s who are hired by Under
Armour will be provided opportunities to participate in employment decisions, programs,
advertising, services and all Under Armour activities. All of Under Armour’s buildings,
programs, services and activities, are accessible and barrier free. Any employee who desires
reasonable accommodations are provided such accommodations upon request.
Contracts written between Under Armour and contractors and sub-contractors are
required to comply with Under Armour’s Policy Against Discrimination of Persons with
Disabilities and with Title 1 of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Title 1
of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Under Armour requires written certification of compliance as a
condition of doing business. Any organizations who does not comply with Under Armour’s
Policy Against Discrimination of Persons with Disabilities and with Title 1 of the Americans
With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Title 1 of the Civil Rights Act of 1991 will not be
permitted to do business with Under Armour.
Under Armour is committed to its employee’s. Employee’s or those who have shown
interest in employment at Under Armour that believe they have been discriminated against are
provided the opportunity to file a complaint with their Department Supervisor or Director, Equal
Employment Resources Manager in the office of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), with
our Human Resource Department or the President of Under Armour.
Kevin A. Plank
CEO and President
Under Armour, Inc.
The relationship a corporation has with the media is a key component of its corporate communications
strategy, because at some point every corporation needs to utilize the media to get its message across. As
you learned in Module Five, it is important to ensure consistency in the communicated message and that
this, in turn, is consistent with the brand. Failure in either of these can lead to mixed messages and potential
damage to the corporate reputation.
Media’s Importance in Corporate Communications
Why should a corporation initiate contact with the media? Due to today’s rapidly changing
communications environment, information about a corporation can be sent everywhere very easily and very
quickly, with or without the consent of the corporation. That is simply because, behind the scenes, intense
lobbying of politicians or networking of all types of stakeholders occurs all around the world, 24/7.
Eventually, every corporation and organization is confronted with the need to get its point of view across to
the largest possible audience. Such scenarios call for a proactive image-building strategy that leverages and
requires an already established positive rapport with the media (Fernandez, 2004).
From the point of view of a corporation, the news media is an important outlet for generating publicity
because its coverage of business news may influence many important stakeholders, including investors,
customers, and employees (Cornelissen, 2014). In order to ensure that any corporate communication to the
media is accurate, the organization should not communicate through the news media until it knows the
facts, and then only when the organization is prepared to disclose those facts (Doorley, 2010). It should
also communicate with a single voice (i.e., have one point in the organization where that communication
originates and is provided to the media). This requires the corporation to already have in place guidelines
regarding the contact person for communication with the media regarding its activities, products, policies,
and position on related issues. Consequently, it is important to also have previously developed media
relations or communication pieces that could be used when the need arises to ensure that communications
are consistent with the firm’s image and reputation (Argenti, 2009).
Building Media Relations
There are several tools and techniques used by companies seeking to develop effective media relations,
such as press releases, press conferences, interviews, and media monitoring and research (Cornelissen,
20014). Each of these is overviewed in more detail below:
Press releases: These are typically written by members of the communications team when there is
something newsworthy to announce to the company’s stakeholders. For example, a press release of
“newsworthy events” might include a buyout, takeover, or even changes or layoffs in the corporate
hierarchy. Factual news releases that have a clear headline and message are more likely to be published.
Submission timeframes for press releases will depend on the media used. For example, newspapers are
daily, but a magazine may be published only once a month.
Press conference: This is usually used when the information being relayed involves some type of issue or
controversy, but it may also be used if the company wants to present itself “in person” rather than in a
written document. This usually entails a “meeting” with the media—bringing different news sources
together in one place to make some type of announcement. For example, a press conference could involve
new players that have signed athletic contracts with professional teams.
Interviews: Requests for interviews happen quite frequently when journalists seek to obtain feedback from
the company’s CEO or other senior level executives. Careful planning and preparation are necessary in
conducting interviews, as the CEO or other senior executives will be exposed to questions from the media.
Thus, organizations need to anticipate the questions that will be asked and then prepare statements for the
CEO to respond to these questions.
Media monitoring can also be helpful in the quest to ensure that a positive image is maintained, and it is a
way that a corporation can keep up with current developments. One media monitoring service site states
that a company can “[k]eep track of breaking news about your company, competitors and industry with
online media monitoring. Identify news and social media trends to design your PR campaigns for
maximum impact” (Meltwater, 2014).
Corporations also want data on how successful or unsuccessful their attempts have been to develop great
media relationships, and there are several services available that evaluate this. For example, CARMA is a
company that offers media measurement analysis tools to determine the level of quality of the company’s
media relations, and it offers global services for those companies looking to evaluate which markets are
better served in the international arena. This company describes its services as enabling the corporation to
monitor, manage and measure media coverage using any combination of news media sources (CARMA
Global Media Analysis, 2014).
Coordination of all the techniques and tools used is necessary when developing media relations. This
means that companies need to involve their internal corporate communication departments, marketing
departments, public relations personnel, and any other areas that might be involved in the “news story.” For
example, research and development might be included if the company is releasing a new product. If the
firm does not have these specialty departments, it will often opt to develop in-house capabilities.
Research is another technique that involves corporations actively researching various media to determine
the type of interviews they conduct and who normally conducts them. This research allows the company to
have a better knowledge of the characteristics of that media’s press releases, thus giving the company the
ability to “get through the gate” and have its communication pieces published. This type of research will
allow companies to increase their chances of having a press release published. Financial matters regarding
firms are more likely to be published than press releases on new product development or management
changes within the firm. The more specific the news in the press release, the more likely the media will use
it. However, it is important to remember that editors typically shorten or rewrite the press release
depending on the information contained and the space available, so conciseness is important.
At some point, a corporation is going to need to utilize the media to get its message across and attempt to
maintain its positive image with its stakeholders. For that to be effective, the messages produced must be
consistent in the information the corporation provides and with the brand image of the corporation. This
also requires a good relationship with the media, which can be achieved in various ways. Finally, the
corporation needs to understand what is being communicated about it in the media, so it should take
advantage of tools available to monitor the media.
Arens, W. F. (2009). Contemporary advertising (11th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Argenti, P. A. (2009). Corporate communications. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
CARMA Global Media Analysis. (2014, August 23). Media monitoring. Retrieved from http://www.carma.com/mediamonitoring/
Cornelissen, J. (2014). Media relations. In J. Cornelissen, Corporate communication: A guide to theory & practice (pp.
145–162). London, UK: Sage.
Doorley, J. G. (2010). Reputation management. In J. G. Doorley, Reputation management: The key to successful public
relations and corporate communication (pp. 2–35). London, UK: Routledge.
Fernandez, J. (2004). The image builder. In J. Fernandez, Corporate communications: A 21st century primer (pp. 132–
135). New Delhi, India: SAGE India Pvt Ltd.
Meltwater. (2014, August 23). Never miss a mention. Retrieved from http://www.meltwater.com/products/meltwaternews/online-media-monitoring/
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