Rhetoric and Writing Studies 3355:
The Landscape / Competitive Analysis Report
Throughout the semester we have focused on the ways distinctive workplace communities operate through norms of performance. These norms include, but are not limited to, genre conventions, communal values, social roles, specialized languages and customary practices. Each of the first two assignments of this course called upon you to attend to, work within, and analyze, the “rules” and conventions embedded within a field of your choice. The professional packet required you to analyze the rhetorical situation of a particular job posting before crafting submission materials toward that position, while the ethnographic project promoted you to research and analyze how writing and communication unfold within a concrete workplace environment. Endemic to both these projects was a sustained exploration of how writing plays out in discursive communities, and what it means to become a functioning member of such a community.
While both projects have promoted us to consider the ways in which communal norms influence and shape workplace writing, we have yet to touch upon the possibility of shifts in discursive norms. This is to say the previous two projects have promoted you to integrate yourself into the conventions of discursive communities without necessarily problematizing or offering alternatives to those conventions. Our third major project, the Consultant Report, will invite you to consider how the conventionalized practices and norms of a community might work otherwise, and how you might consult with a workplace to create alternative ways of writing, communication and work.
The Landscape Analysis:
For this project, you will conduct a landscape / competitive analysis as a content strategist for three Mexican food restaurants in the El Paso area. As a group you will assess, compare, and contrast the ways in which the restaurants present themselves to their specific audience (clientele). You will specifically look at the company’s website, marketing materials (such as advertisements) and their menu. A Landscape Analysis helps companies understand and produce content for their target audiences by aligning communication across groups so that all content is working towards the same goals (as appropriate for each genre).
To conduct this assignment you will need to follow these steps:
1) As a group you will first need to identify a restaurant to analyze.
2) You will then need to locate two other Mexican food restaurants to analyze.
3) Concentrate on three specific attributes and begin to draw your conclusions.
4) You will then write your report (guidelines below).
A landscape analysis can help a team understand the effectiveness of their designs in comparison to their competitors to help them be as effective as possible.
Organizing the Report:
The following is a generalized organizational structure, a starting point, from which you will particularize: dependent upon your audience:
This organizational structure rather speaks for itself, but it should include the title of the project and the name of the authors.
Table of Contents
List the different sections of your report and their corresponding page numbers.
An executive summary (ES) is almost akin to an abstract in academic writing—except that the ES offers a more detailed account as to what your report addresses, why it addresses this issue and the findings/solutions your report offers. In other words, the ES summarizes your report into 1-2 pages that present the major arguments of your report such that your (impatient) audience can readily understand what the report does without having to read the entire project.
You will introduce your project to your intended audience, addressing their needs, the purpose of the project and how the project will benefit them.
You will provide a short summary of why communication/writing is important for a business to focus upon to make them most competitive.
Having summarized how communication/writing works within the community, you will focus on three particular issues that you will then address by offering suggestions/alternatives/solutions. This section is the heart of the project, allowing you to show your audience concrete moves they might make to create more meaningful communication with their clientele.
You will address any lingering issues or concerns that have arisen from the project, offering a re-iteration of what you found and how your recommendations would benefit the workplace.
As in the reflective essay for the previous project, this is a chance for you to talk to me (the instructor) directly about the difficulties and gains you encountered in this project. Which readings were most difficult? Which ones did you learn the most from? What have you gained in terms of metacognitive knowledge that will help you become a better writer in your field? You'll also want to discuss your process of gathering (primary) data. What most surprised you about these methodologies? How were they helpful (or not helpful)? Overall, what did you learn from the project. Finally, provide an agenda for feedback. What do you think is working in your report and what do you need or want help with from me? Remember, again, that the work you do now on this will help you write your final (more substantial) essay that will reflect on the whole course. (500-700 words)
Including: Title Page, Table of Contents, Executive Summary, Report (Including: Introduction Findings/Recommendations, Conclusion: 6-7 pp.)
Reflective Essay: 1-‐2 pp., 300-‐600 words
Inspired by Lizza Pots P1 Lanscape Analysis