Introduction – 99/130
The mission statement of Hotcourses is a particularly interesting case, in that it defies many standard expectations of mission statements. Its tone is informal and links are sporadically scattered through its paragraphs. These differences are, I believe, motivated by a desire to appeal to a slightly different audience than found in most corporate mission statements; primarily its potential customers. I will be investigating how Hotcourses use the style of their mission statement to appeal to different audiences. I intend to use a genre analysis, with some reference to social actor analysis to further demonstrate this example of audience design.
Literature Review - 283/300
A mission statement is a text which declares an organisation’s vision for the future, and is used to motivate employees, explaining the purpose of the business (Hindle 2003). There is a considerable body of work concerning both the effectiveness of mission and vision statements (Braun et al 2012, Calder 2014, Desmidt and Prinzie 2009) and instructions for what they should contain (Heyes & Martin 2015, Wallace 2004). Some research suggests that the primary audience of mission statements is employees (Desmidt & Prinzie 2009) and stakeholders (King et al 2014), however there is some argument that smaller companies are more likely to focus on customers in their mission statements (King et al 2014). Most research does however agree that mission statements are an important communicative tool, allowing organisations to define their reason for existing.
Bhatia (2015) describes genre analysis as, initially, an attempt to study academic genres for teaching purposes. Genre analysis consider...
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...ourses’ unusual mission statement has been influenced by its intended audience. The first section, ‘What we do’ is designed to appeal to prospective customers, and users of their sites, thus it is peppered with links to these websites and uses quite informal language. The latter half of the mission statement, ‘How we work’ seems to be aimed more towards prospective employees, however much of the information is out of date and the references to the company generally exclude the employees. This difference in style for each section appears to be linked to the intended audience, and there are positives to this structure; given that the customer focused section is longer and fronted, potential customers are aware of their importance to the company. Potential employees, however, may be put off by the out of date information, and I would certainly recommend that be updated.
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