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HKU SPACE Community College Associate Degree Second Semester 2012-2013

Business Communication in English

Assignment 1 Planning and Getting Ready for Persuasive Communication

To: Wong So Chun Jane By: Kwok Hoi Kei, Ophelia (10519939) Lee Kum Kai, Ronald (10489223) Poon Long Yin, Jaime (10488087) Tam Chee Ching, Coco (10489226) Class: 352-02-01 Submission Date: 2nd April, 203 1


Class: 352-02-01 Group members: (1) Kwok Hoi Kei, Ophelia (2) Lee Kum Kai, Ronald (3) Poon Long Yin, Jaime (4) Tam Chee Ching, CoCo Group Leader: Kwok Hoi Kei, Ophelia

Option 1 Target organisation(s) ● Hong Kong Red Cross ● AIA Hong Kong

Assignment Objective(s) To accurately practice the tactful communication skills taught in-class and to persuade the organisations so that we can pay a visit to their branches in Hong Kong. We aimed at attending an internal meeting and observe the effective communication skills used in the international organizations.

Expected Outcome(s) ● Conducting a portfolio consists of (1) background information, (2) detailed communication planning and (3) message(s) we intend to send or deliver to our target audiences. ● Satisfying the Hong Kong Red Cross’ interests and agrees to let us pay a visit to their Hong Kong headquarters. ● Reserving AIA Hong Kong as an alternative in case Hong Kong Red Cross rejects us.

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Background The geographical location of Hong Kong and its history as a British colony has made it one of the most popular cities for foreign investors as well as charities when they are looking to open an Asian branch. These international organizations provide Hong Kong citizens with opportunities as well as incentives to learn English, the lingua franca that is becoming increasingly common in today's society. In order to get a better grasp on exactly how English is being used in multi-national institutions, we are required to convince one of these groups to let us visit their office and observe their communication skills. We were able to identify 2 such organizations that we are particularly interested in and arranged a visit with one of them.

Target 1: Red Cross The Hong Kong Red Cross ("HKRC") was established in 1950 as a branch of the British Red Cross Society. Since 1 July 1997, upon the return of Hong Kong's sovereignty to China, the HKRC has changed its affiliation to become a highly autonomous branch of the Red Cross Society of China. The Hong Kong Red Cross adheres to the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross: Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity and Universality. HKRC value people, beneficiaries and providers alike and aim to provide quality service that are accountable to their stakeholders. Their mission statement: To protect human life, care for the health of the vulnerable and protect human dignity by mobilizing people to serve voluntarily for the cause of humanity.

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Target 2: AIA AIA Group Limited and its subsidiaries (collectively “AIA” or “the Group”) comprise the largest independent publicly listed pan-Asian life insurance group. It has operations in 16 markets in Asia-Pacific – wholly-owned branches and subsidiaries in Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, New Zealand, Macau, Brunei, a 92 per cent subsidiary in Sri Lanka and a 26 per cent joint-venture in India. AIA Foundation, set up on our initiative in 1995, is a non-profit making organization. The prime objective of the Foundation is to support worthwhile charitable causes focusing on community services, education programs, health care services and sport events. Education programs include Young Leaders Development Programme and AIA Foundation Scholarship which has helped over 700 students thus far. Their mission statement: The AIA Group exists to provide our customers with financial protection, security, and a comfortable future.

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Timeline Task

Actual action to be taken

Completed Date Checklist

Form a group of 4 and Find a group leader, discuss choose the assignment assignment requirements and (option 1) create a Whatsapp and Facebook group

06/02/13

Produce a time-line

Set a date which each tasks should be done

09/02/03

Identify 2 targetorganizations: Red Cross and AIA

Research on target organizations: the mission statements and organization background

Choose appropriate Collect more information from channels and approach friends and relatives who have middleman connection with our targeted organizations

12/02/13

12-18/02/13

Contact the first targeted organization: Red Cross

Phone the Red Cross and rejected by he Red Cross

26/02/13

Decide on the final organization

Identify final organization, set up objectives and expected outcomes

11/03/13

1stCommunication: AIA

Send a text message to our target audience

11/03/13

Compose the draft of email

Compose the draft of email and revise it in group meeting

12/03/13

2ndCommunication: AIA

Send an official request email to our target audience

13/03/13

Consult Jane

Consult Jane before class and after class, and sendemail regarding our objective(s)

19/03/13

Visit AIA meeting

Pay a visit to AIA (teleconference meeting with Singapore Branch)

19/03/13

3rdCommunication: AIA

Send a thank you email to thank AIA

20/03/13

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Organize the portfolio Have a group meeting, assign work to each group mate and think about the possible improvement of this persuasion(revised email)

22/03/13

Revise the portfolio

29/03/13

Revise the portfolio before submission

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Target 1: Red Cross – Overview of communication The Communication Our first communication was carried out by a phone call to Youth & Volunteer Department Head Office. We tried to ask them whether they use English in their meetings or not and whether there will be any meetings about the oversea exchange programme. The receptionist said they usually use Cantonese as the language channel and would not hold this type of meetings in the coming few months. The receptionist also mentioned that if we want to pay a visit in their meeting, we must be registered members in advance. So after the first communication, we decided not to choose Red Cross as our target organization.

Detailed analysis of the communication Sender

Ronald

Receiver

The Receptionist of Youth &Volunteer Department Head Office

Step 1: Know about our communication objective(s) Our purpose We have already done a research on the Overseas Exchange Programme of Red Cross and to persuade them in permitting us to attend one of the meetings relating the programme. However, such information is not available on its official website.

Our desired response(s) They will have a meeting about the Overseas Exchange Programme and it will be conducted in English.

What should we say? ● We should show our interest in the programme to the receptionist. ● We would ask the receptionist whether they are using English to conduct a meeting and will any meetings about the Overseas Exchange Programme will be held in these few months. ● We are working on a project about the communication skills used in international organizations.

What we should not say? ● We should not say we want to attend one of the programme planning meeting at this communication. ● We may not apply the Overseas Exchange Programme after we attend the meeting.

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Step 2: Identify and analyse our audience(s) Primary audience

The Receptionist in Youth &Volunteer Department Head Office of Red Cross

What has our audience known already?

They do not know anything about us because it is the first time to contact Red Cross.

How would our audience feel about the matter?

The receptionist may feel positive because we would show our interest in the Overseas Exchange Programme.

How high is our credibility in our audience’s eyes?

We have very low credibility in their eyes because we would just mention we are the students of HKU SPACE, and none of our groupmates is a member of Red Cross.

What are the needs of our audience?

Informational needs: The receptionist may need to know why we are asking them about the language used in the meetings. To satisfy: - We would tell the receptionist that we have a project about the communication skills used in organization. Motivational needs: The receptionist may think we are not interested about the programme and only need to have a reseach about the meeting. To satisfy: - We are interested about the Overseas Exchange Programme as well.

Step 3: Choose appropriate tone(s) We would choose conversational tone because the communication is a phone call. Since it is not a formal conversation, but just an enquiry about whether or not their meetings are conducted in English and whether any meetings about the Overseas Exchange Programme will be held in these few months. Therefore, we would not choose formal tone. Also, we cannot choose causal tone because this is the first time we contact our audience and we would like to make a good impression.

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Step 4: Choose appropriate channel(s) We would choose a telephone call to contact our audience because it is just a basic enquiry, it would be more direct and faster to call the Red Cross.

Step 5: Compose message(s) Opening: We began our conversation with a greeting and by identifiying ourselves as HKU SPACE students.

Body: ● We would mention the success of Overseas Exchange Programme. ● We would show our interest in the programme, explaining that we want to know more about the programme by paying a visit to their office. ● We would also tell them we have a project about observing the communication skills used in an international organisation, so we want to know whether the meetings will be conducted in English.

Closing: We would thank the receptionist for answering our questions.

Step 6: Identify possible barrier(s) & try to avoid them Possible Barrier(s)

Suggested Solutions

We will make the phone call in the morning and The receptionist may feel tired and annoyed in ask questions clearly and concisely. answering the calls, so he/she may not will to answer us.

Differing emotional states

We will tell the receptionst that we are The receptionist may not trust us since we are interested in the programme and identify calling out of the blue without any prior ourselves as the students of SPACE and are doing a project about communications within an connections. organization.

Lack of trust

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Step 7: Deliver the message The telephone call was made on 26th February 2013 at 10:30a.m. and the actual response from our audience is that they use Cantonese to conduct their meetings and there will be no Overseas Exchange Programme meetings in these few weeks. Moreover, if we want to attend their meetings, we must be one of their registered members. Therefore, we choose to contact another targeted organisation, AIA.

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Target 2: AIA - Overview of communication To succeed in receiving a desired response, three communications with AIA and our primary audience is the same(Sharon Tam Kit Lan) throughout.

First Communication We conducted our first communication through SMS by our group member Coco with Ms. Sharon Tam. Coco introduced her about our project briefly and gave information on what we are going to observe during the visit. Ms. Tam was neutral upon our request and replied it was under consideration. On top of that, she asked for more details relating our group size, the course and required us to compose an official request email. The reason for us to choose Coco as the sender is because of her goodwill since Ms. Tam is her aunt. The relationship and trust between them have already built in advance. However, an official request is still needed when it involves any business occasions.

Second Communication Our second communication was carried out by sending an official request email as asked. We clearly pointed out the reasons for choosing AIA and explained our purpose of paying the visit. We had also attached our course outline and the assignment guideline in the email for Ms. Tam’s reference and said that other relevant documents can be provided upon request. Ophelia, as a group leader, sent the email on behalf of our group and it has been Cced to all group members. A prompt reply was received. Ms. Tam sent us a confirmation email the next day providing the address and the visit time. It was followed up with a reconfirmation call by Ms. Tam telling us the form of conference (teleconference) and reminding us to arrive 15 minutes earlier before the teleconference started.

Third Communication A thank you email was sent after the site visit. We showed our greatest attitude to Ms. Tam and would like to establish goodwill and credibility between us and Ms. Tam. She replied positively and was happy that she could help us in completing our assignment.

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Detailed analysis of the three communications We decided to use conversational tone for all three communications because one of our group mates, Coco, is Sharon's niece. Thus, it will be too distant if we use formal tone for the conversations. However, if we use informal tone, her aunt might think we are not serious on the matter and this will lower the chance for her to permit us to the visit. Therefore, conversational tone is the best choice.

First communication Sender

Coco

Receiver Sharon (Tam Kit Lan), Regional Vice President - Customer Management Group

Step 1: Know about our communication objective(s) Our purpose To tell Ms. Sharon Tam about the project and request her assistance in granting us a chance to do the site visit.

Our desired response(s) Ms. Tam would consider our request.

What should we say? ď Ź

We would tell her the background of our assignment, which is to learn from a successful and profession communication of an international organization in Hong Kong; precisely state that we would like to attend one of their general meetings and observe their efficient communication.

What we should not say? ď Ź

We should not emphasize on completing the assignment which Ms. Tam would think we are not sincere enough.

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Step 2: Identify and analyse our audience(s) Primary audience

Ms. Sharon Tam

What has our audience known already?

Coco is the niece of Ms. Tam and she is working on a project about effective communication of an international organization.

How would our audience feel about the matter?

Ms. Tam would feel interested because she would like to know more about Coco’s schoolwork.

How high is our credibility in our audience’s eyes?

To some extent, our credibility is high in her eyes because Coco is Ms. Tam’s niece and she maintains good relations with Ms. Tam.

What are the needs of our audience?

Informational needs: We would provide our project information such as our objectives and the course details. Motivational needs: - Ms. Tam would be motivated if she found that we are interested in knowing more about AIA. - Ms. Tam would be motivated if she found that she can help her niece. Practical needs: - We offered her numbers of communication channels. - We provided necessary information and gain her trust.

Step 4: Choose appropriate channel(s) We choose to use text message for this communication because we can get the prompt response from Ms. Tam and it is interactive.

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Step 5: Compose message(s) Opening: We began our conversation with warm greetings, and stated that we would like to ask for a favour. We employed a straightforward approach as Coco knows her aunt’s personality well, so the possibility of getting a positive response would be higher.

Body: We state our purposes clearly. They include:  We are having a course called Business Communication in English that requires us to observe a communication event in an international organization. 

We would like to pay a visit to the office of AIA.

We would like to attend a meeting conducted in English.

We would recognize the success of AIA in the insurance industry and link it with their effective communication skills.

We would show our interests in knowing more about their communication within the organization.

We would emphasize the importance of her assistance.

Closing: We look forward to her reply and express our gratitude for her consideration.

Step 6: Identify possible barrier(s) & try to avoid them Possible Barrier(s)

Suggested Solutions

We will send the message after the working As Ms. Tam is very busy, so Coco’s message hours and deliver our message as clearly as possible. may not be the first priority.

Message Competition

After we compose the message, we will revise As Coco is too close with Ms. Tam, she might the message and make sure that it is written in a conversational tone. use language that is far too informal.

Language problems

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Step 7: Deliver the message We sent the text message to Ms. Sharon Tam on March 11, 2013 at 20:46, right after a group meeting and her working time. We provided her the basic idea of our project and expect a favourable reply as soon as possible.

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Second Communication Sender

Ophelia

Receiver Sharon (Tam Kit Lan), Regional Vice President - Customer Management Group

Step 1: Know about our communication objective(s) Our purpose To send a formal request for a site visit to Ms. Sharon Tam for record keeping, stating our reasons and concrete plans for the visit in order to convince Ms. Tam to arrange it.

Our desired response(s) Ms. Tam would grant our request and arrange for us to visit their company.

What should we say? 

We should mention our previous conversations between Coco Tam and Ms. Sharon Tam, clarifying our purpose for requesting the visit and show understanding of AIA to facilitate persuasion.

What we should not say?  We should not emphasize the personal relationship between Coco and Ms. Tam since this is an official email that will be used for record keeping.

Step 2: Identify and analyse our audience(s) Primary audience

Ms. Sharon Tam

What has our audience known already?

Coco and our group memebers are doing a project on effective communication in English and would like to visit her office to aid the completion of said project.

How would our audience feel about the matter?

She would most likely be willing to help. However she might have reservations due to privacy issues concerning the personal information of AIA clients.

How high is our credibility in our audience’s eyes?

Our credibility is relatively high in her eyes since Coco is Ms. Tam’s niece.

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What are the needs of our audience?

Informational needs: - She would need a formal record of why we would like to observe such a communication event. Motivational needs: - She would also need assurance that any detailed information mentioned during the meeting will not be leaked to outside parties.

Secondary audience

Coco Tam, Ronald Lee, Jaime Poon

What has our audience known already?

They already know about how the message is sent and what the message is about.

How would our audience feel about the matter?

They would feel assured to receive a carbon copy of the email for record keeping.

How high is our credibility in our audience’s eyes?

Ophelia’s credibility in their eyes is quite high since she is the group leader.

What are the needs of our audience?

The audience would need to see if the message sent by Ophelia matches the content discussed at the group meeting.

Step 4: Choose appropriate channel(s) We choose to use email for this communication since it is easier for Ms. Tam to keep a record this way without sacrificing efficiency.

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Step 5: Compose message(s) Opening: We would begin the email with compliments to AIA so as to increase our chances of getting an approval.

Body: 

We would mention the education-related community services provided by AIA so as to express our knowledge in their company and appeal to their interest in aiding students.

We would convey our wish to observe a communication event at their company.

We would emphasize that the details involved in the meeting will not be repeated or mentioned in the final report.

We would stress on how important this visit is for our course and how beneficial it would be.

Closing: We would provide another mean for her to contact us for more information or proofof the course.

Step 6: Identify possible barrier(s) & try to avoid them Possible Barrier(s) Differing emotional states Ms. Tam may feel overwhelmed or tired by the end of the day.

Suggested Solutions We will send the email as soon as possible and deliver our message as clearly as possible.

After we compose the message, we will revise As Ophelia is not as familiar with Ms. Tam as the message and make sure that it is written in a conversational tone. Coco, she might use language that is far too cautious or formal.

Language problems

Step 7: Deliver the message We sent the email to Ms. Sharon Tam on March 13, 2013 at 14:40, right after a group meeting. We provided her with various means of communication, expecting a favourable reply in the near future.

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Third Communication Sender

Coco

Receiver Sharon (Tam Kit Lan), Regional Vice President - Customer Management Group

Step 1: Know about our communication objective(s) Our purpose Show our gratitude to Ms. Sharon Tam for arranging the site visit and to maintain goodwill between her and the group.

Our desired response(s) Ms. Tam would feel good after reading our thank you email and would like to help us again if we have similar requests in the future.

What should we say? Emphasize the site visit to an international company is really meaningful and give her a feedback regarding the teleconference.

What we should not say? Do not mention the site visit caused inconvenience to us as we had to ask Jane for a permission of an early leave and we took a taxi because it was raining heavily the day we paid the visit.

Step 2: Identify and analyse our audience(s) Primary audience

Ms. Sharon Tam

What has our audience known already?

Our group had paid a visit to an internal teleconference at her office and we are completing our BCE project by early April.

How would our audience feel about the matter?

She would love to hear that the visit is helpful and listen to our feedback.

How high is our credibility in our audience’s eyes?

Our credibility is high in her eyes because we perform politely throughout the visit and her replies to us are all in positive manners.

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What are the needs of our audience?

Informational needs: - She might want to glance through our completed portfolio and see how was the teleconference being described in our project. Motivational needs: - A sincere gratitude can guaranteed a positive relationship between us and she would be willing to support us with additional information upon request.

Secondary audience

Coco Tam, Ronald Lee, Jaime Poon

What has our audience known already?

They already known it is a thank you email to Ms. Sharon Tam.

How would our audience feel about the matter?

They would feel assured to receive a carbon copy of the email because this relates to the goodwill of everyone of us.

How high is our credibility in our audience’s eyes?

Coco’s credibility in the group is quite high because she played an important role in successfully accessing to the visit.

What are the needs of our audience?

The audience would like to see if the sent email matches the content discussed at the group meeting.

Step 4: Choose appropriate channel(s) Email is an appropriate channel to show our sincere gratitude to Ms. Sharon Tam as she can keep a record in her official work email. Besides, text messages would be way too informal and less serious for the issue.

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Step 5: Compose message(s) Opening: To thank her arrangement for the internal teleconference and show respect to the effort she put in the whole meeting.

Body: We are very much impressed by the operation of an international company and we have learnt a lot in the meeting relating business communication.

Closing: We would provide a copy of our portfolio. In addition, the content will be kept absolutely confidential and i will only be used as a record for academic purposes.

Step 6: Identify possible barrier(s) & try to avoid them Possible Barrier(s)

Suggested Solutions

We should do several revisions before sending Ms. Tam and Coco are quite familiar with out the email. While combining different each other because they are relatives. opinions of our group member can further However, this email requires an effective neutralize the tone of the email. bussiness communication and so the email should be written in a neutral tone.

Differing status

Step 7: Deliver the message Our group sent the thank you email to Ms. Sharon Tam on March 20, 2013, right after the site visit. A follow up email with our portfolio attached will be sent for her reference after assignment 3 is done.

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Revised Email (Please see the original email in Appendix 2) To: From: Cc: Subject:

sharon-kl.tam@aia.com hko.kwok@learner.hkuspace.hku.hk cheec.tam@learner.hkuspace.hku.hk, kunk.lee@learner.hkuspace.hku.hk, lyj.poon@learner.hkuspace.hku.hk Request for Site Visit

Dear Ms. Sharon Tam, Following our prior text message, we would like to send you a formal request for the mentioned site visit via email. With the Young Leaders Development Programme, AIA Foundation Scholarship as well as the internships offered by your agency annually, it is apparent that AIA is very keen on contributing to facilitating the education of the younger generation. That is one of the many reasons why we would like to request a site visit at your esteemed company. We are confident that much could be learnt from such a visit and by understanding more about the means of communication as well as the style of professional interactions carried out in your office. We would gain a deeper insight into your line of work and your company. Our visit, if it could be arranged, would be comprised of a simple observation of any communication event conducted in English. A report concerning the visit will be submitted to our course lecturer but it will be based on the means of communication. The contents included during the event will be kept confidential. Supporting documents regarding the assignment can be provided if wanted. It is our dearest wishes that you could grant us a chance to see you or other members of your company in action. If you have any questions regarding the visit, please reply to this email or contact Coco via 6142 8525. We look forward to your favourable reply.

Yours sincerely, Ophelia Kwok Associate of Art (International Journalism and Media) HKUSPACE

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Group photos

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Appendix 1 First Communication with AIA: Messages to Ms. Sharon Tam

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First Communication with AIA: Messages to Ms. Sharon Tam

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First Communication with AIA: Messages to Ms. Sharon Tam

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Appendix 2 Second Communication with AIA : Official email sent by Ophelia

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Appendix 3 Reply email from Ms. Sharon Tam

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Appendix 4 Third Communication with AIA Thank you email sent by Coco

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Appendix 5 Third Communication with AIA Reply from Ms. Sharon Tam

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BCE assignment