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MKT 438 Week 5 Final Exam Guide

MKT 438 Week 5 Final Exam Guide

MKT 438 FINAL EXAM (10 points possible)

Please answer these questions briefly and within the word counts indicated.

Although you may refer to any material (open book – but this must be your own work), you are not required to use any reference sources. There will be no deduction if you use no sources. However, if you make use of copyrighted materials you must source them or there may be deductions for your omissions. Keep in mind that the key concepts in this course are common knowledge, but specifics from the text or other readings are not. If you include sourcing, in-text citations and your reference list will not count in the word count. There will be no deductions for errors in APA formatting for sourcing references – just do it as best you can.

Please use double spacing for your answers except as noted.

Case Study

            You are the public relations director in charge of the U.S. national launch of a new SUV for National Motor Company, an established American car manufacturer. The vehicle has been downsized from the previous model for greater fuel economy (the new model now beats all competitors in MPG for both the regular and hybrid models) and sportier handling; it also now offers a hybrid technology option. It is mid-priced (reduced about 20% from last year’s model, 15% for the hybrid). Before product development, extensive marketing research and planning defined these as the three prime target markets for the new vehicle: (1) relatively affluent families (approximately $75,000 + HHI) and (2) sports-minded individuals.

Distribution is through an established U.S. network of dealers (who individually own their dealerships and contract as National Motor Company dealers).

Other Background

Last year’s model SUV was positioned for high-income families ($100,000+ HHI) and middle to high income off-road sports enthusiasts. It was a high-powered and moderately high-priced vehicle.  The company got very good press regarding the safety ratings of this vehicle.

National is well-known for mid to large sized model cars and will continue to market the original SUV, a luxury sedan, a mid-sized compact and a mini-van. National has a solid reputation as a traditional, reliable, American maker. Although the company has continually improved fuel efficiency, National’s vehicles generally have poorer fuel efficiency than the competitors because of the more heavily-constructed and safer vehicles. The new SUV is targeted at achieving both fuel economy and National’s high safety ratings.

In the past, marketing efforts (non-PR) have included heavy use of TV and print in national media and local advertising such as newspapers, regional magazines and cable TV, placed by dealers. Public relations efforts have emphasized sponsorships of safe driver training programs for teenagers, dealer involvement in diverse local community activities and media relations efforts directed at supporting the message of the integrated marketing communications plan for each vehicle in consumer and the business news media. The IMC plan continues to emphasize a consistent message of National as a reliable, responsible, American auto manufacturer with strong local commitment to community support and involvement as it is expanded to include the new SUV.

Stockholders and the board of directors are supporting the new launch subject to your PR department covering their concern that this vehicle makes the National’s other models look like “gas guzzlers.”

The role of public relations within the IMC campaign is to;

  1. Support the marketing launch of the new vehicle by generating news coverage in consumer and business press
  2. Make use of any PR functions or tools deemed appropriate for a successful launch of the new SUV
  3. Anticipate and take actions to avert the possibility that news of the new SUV might reflect badly on Nationals other vehicle models.

Final Exam Assignment

  1.  (5 points) Outline your strategies below. Use this grid noting the maximum choices for each box. (You may leave this grid single spaced. Please respond to each column heading for all publics; the limitations apply individually to each target market. )

Key Public Relations Function (no more than 2 for each public)

Public Relations Tools (no more than 3 for each public)

PR Communications Objectives (no more than 2 for each public)

(7) Other comments (optional):
Stockholders and Board Members
Employees at Headquarters 
Employees of Dealers 
Current Customers
Potential Customers
Business News Media
Consumer News Media
Community and local government organizations
Other public: ______________ (optional)


  1. (5 points) Write one news release of two to four paragraphs announcing that the new SUV will be released at the New York auto show shortly. Target the release to consumer automotive news media (such as automotive magazines). Remember the pyramid structure and that this needs to be written as a news story (thus, in third person – no I, we or you case please). Make use of sample news releases from your readings and posted in Course Materials.