Company Examples for Chapter 1: Understanding Business Communication

Princess Cruises Apologizes (December 2016)

Princess Cruises, owned by Carnival, published several messages to apologize for illegally dumping oil-contaminated waste into the ocean. The company's communications certainly are prolific, but how honestly do they admit wrongdoing, and how well do they rebuild the brand?

Princess Cruises
Princess Cruises

A comment posted on YouTube under the president's video sums up one perspective: "[T]his video needs taking down and a new one with someone who looks sorry is put up. [H]er reading of this is terrible, like watching a 12yr old at a school play." (The writer needs to take one of our courses! But students might agree with his assessment.)

These examples can be used to discuss persuasive strategies (Chapter 7), oral presentations (Chapter 11), and ethics (Chapter 1):

Marriott CEO Writes an Open Letter to President-Elect Donald Trump (November 2019)

Arne Sorenson Letter to Donald Trump
Arne Sorenson Letter to Donald Trump

Arne Sorenson's letter to President-elect Trump illustrates principles of persuasion (Chapter 7) and can be used to discuss medium choice (Chapter 1). How does the letter reflect Marriott's business interests? Why did Sorenson choose LinkedIn? 


Collection of companies' social media policies.

Apple's (leaked) social media policy.

Great email exchange by two lawyers (discussed in Chapter 1). Useful to discuss ethics, tone, and more. Here's a PowerPoint file to reveal the messages, and you can read more about the situation here.

Excerpts of Goldman Sachs emails (topic in Chapter 1) collected by the Wall Street Journal. As the WSJ reporter says, "The [Senate] committee will likely use many of the emails to illustrate Goldman's sometimes contradictory and unflattering statements about its role in the mortgage meltdown." Read more here.

National Labor Relations Board's memo about social media policies, 2012.

General Mills statement reverting back to its original legal terms.

A general's emailabout the value of reading. Read more about the situation.

Ellen Pao's controversial resignation from Reddit, 2015.

Facebook communications: Communicating Our Community Standards and Guidelines, 2015.

Former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo's posts taking responsibility for cyberbullying on the site, 2015.

Go to examples for Chapter 2.