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Introduction to Media Scan Analysis for a Fictional Client


In this assignment, you are asked to conduct a scan of relevant media, analyze coverage, and provide a summary of this analysis in order to assess how it may impact a client’s campaign.

For this assignment, choose a “fictional” client that interests you. For the purposes of this project, this should be a major company or organization that is playing a noticeable role in contemporary politics, society or industry. You are welcome to choose a company or organization of significance in the U.S. or in a country/region of your choice (as long as you are able to translate media sources to English for the purpose of your submission).

Identify a real or fictional messaging objective for your company/organization. You might look to the organization’s website or recent press releases for an idea. With your company/organization’s objective in mind, conduct a media scan analysis.

(Note: if you choose the client that you’d like to use for the final project, you may re-use the information from this assignment in your final presentation, however, you may find that for this first experience with media analysis choosing a large and prominent company/organization with prevalent media coverage will make for a better first experience.)

Set the parameters of the media scan (e.g., time frame, universe of coverage, search terms). Once all of the articles are identified based upon the parameters - you will select at least 20 news articles to analyze. You should select articles using a random process - e.g., every 5th article - or a qualitative method - e.g., most informative, largest impressions. Be sure to capture and report on the method used to select articles for analysis as part of your final memo.

Analyze each article, noting the following characteristics:
Type of article and source
Overall focus, from a messaging and content perspective, of each
Overall tone (e.g., positive, negative, or neutral) of each article as it relates to your client. 
Potential influencers (these are defined as reporters or potential spokespeople who you believe are influential to your client and why).
Key notes (such as any key themes or take aways that may guide your final memo)

Your analysis should be presented in the form of a 3-4 page business memo plus a listing of each news item & its analysis (e.g., date, source, focus/message, tone, influencers) - similar to the chart shown in the course lecture (The list of news items can be presented as an appendix).

The memo should provide a recap of methods used to find and select the sample and the characteristics analyzed for each article. Then provide a brief summary of your findings.

Your analysis should close with a section on implications. This section will discuss how the findings from your analysis may impact your client, their campaign objective and/or messaging. 

More specifically, your implications section should aim to address concrete issues such as:
1. Are there particular campaign messages or areas of focus that the current media coverage does not address but should?
2. Are there inaccuracies in the way that the media is presenting your client’s story?
3. Do you see messaging opportunities for your client?

4. Who are the key influencers with regard to your given topic and in what ways, from a messaging perspective, would you propose using them on behalf of your client?

The memo should adhere to the following guidelines:

The business memo should be directed to the client.
The document can be no more than 4 pages (not counting the table/listing of articles that you analyzed). 
The memo should be double-spaced (except when using quotes)
Use 12-point font.
Number the pages in the document.
The document margins should be 1-inch.
Be sure to write concisely and to cite correctly.

Your media analysis memo will be evaluated on the following criteria:

Analysis: 15 points
The memo provides full analysis and analysis results in actionable implications for the client. The interpretation of the findings, including the selection of key examples, shows a strong sense of reasoning and paints a compelling picture that justifies the implications effectively and is clearly tied to the stated messaging objective.

Memo components: 10 points
The memo includes all necessary components including a succinct introduction of the client and their messaging objective. The objective is written clearly and shows understanding of what constitutes an effective objective. Findings are followed by clear conclusions and a table of findings is included.

Writing: 5 points
The memo is free from grammatical/writing errors, is clearly written and meets expectations for page-limits and business memo format.
*Note: you will need to decide which news search site to user for your analysis. Google news may be a good start - but the correct choice will be yours to make depending on your choice of client.

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