This is the course website for English 302, Section 28, taught by Quinn Warnick at Iowa State University during fall 2006. Please refer to the policy document and syllabus for more information about this class. Updates to the syllabus will be posted one week in advance, and any changes to the readings and/or assignments will be reflected in the summaries for each week.
Visual Promotional Mailer
English 302: Visual Promotional Mailer Assignment(Worth 10% of your grade)
ScenarioYou work for a corporation that is introducing a new product or service, and your team has been assigned to create the mailer that will be sent to current customers of your company. The mailer will include a letter signed by the company’s president or CEO, accompanied by a visual promotional piece designed to attract the reader’s attention. The letter and the visual piece will be sent to customers in the same envelope, perhaps with a monthly bill or some other standard correspondence. Your goal for this project is to create a unified set of materials (a letter and a visual piece) that work together to persuade the customer to buy the new product or sign up for the new service.
Assignment DetailsYour team will decide what type of company you work for, and what type of product or service you will be promoting. You can choose to work for a company that actually exists, or you can create a company for this assignment. The product or service that you are promoting, however, should be something that your team creates.
As you begin working on this project, keep the following questions in mind:
- Who is our audience? How would we describe a typical customer?
- What is the name and description of the product or service we are trying to promote?
- What specific actions should our readers take after receiving this mailer? When and how should they complete these actions? Is there a deadline?
- What questions will our audience have about this product or service? What negative reactions might they have? How can we convince our audience that any potential downsides are outweighed by positive aspects?
- What are our credentials or past successes as a company? How can we persuade our readers that we are knowledgeable, trustworthy, and reliable?
- What statistics, testimonials, documented evidence, or other proof do we have to persuade our readers that this product or service is worth having?
These questions are only a starting point, but they should provide good foundation upon which your team can build. Once you have answered those questions, you will need to address the technical aspects of your mailer, including page size, visual layout and design, consistency across both parts of the mailer, etc. Your final mailer should consist of a one-page letter on company stationery (which you will design) and a visual piece that can fit in an envelope with the letter. The visual piece may take the form of flyer, a brochure, a bookmark, etc., and it should use a full-color design. Your team can decide what software program(s) you will use to complete this project.
Your textbook and online resources will be helpful to you as you work on this project; specifically, you should review Chapter 5 in the Business Writer’s Companion, as well as the following additional pages: 27–28; 79–80, 200–202. When you have completed the assignment, each member of the team should upload the same file (in PDF format) to the class website, named as follows: Full_Name_Visual_Mailer.pdf (for instance, my file would be named “Quinn_Warnick_Visual_Mailer.pef”). Your team will also submit a paper copy of all materials. The deadline for this assignment is Monday, November 13, before midnight.
Evaluation CriteriaAll members of your team will receive the same grade for this assignment. Your project will be evaluated on the following criteria:
- Do the materials display an understanding of the rhetorical situation?
- Do the materials make a persuasive argument to convince the reader to purchase the product or service you are promoting?
- Does the letter follow the follow the conventions of standard business letters (including layout and design) and the principles taught in the Business Writer’s Companion?
- Do the materials employ a consistent visual design that reflects an understanding of the principles of visual communication we have studied this semester?
- Do the materials adhere to the conventions of standard written English (spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.)?