COM 540 Final Project I: Brand Identity Paper

COM 540 Final Project I: Brand Identity Paper Guidelines and Rubric

Overview Being active on social media can benefit you both personally and professionally. Social media not only allows you to connect with friends and family regarding personal matters, but to network professionally as well. The opportunities for forming positive personal and professional connections using social media are impressive, but unfortunately so are the opportunities for mistakes. Many people use the same platform for personal and professional purposes, which unintentionally blurs the line when the intent is developing a brand. Recognizing and planning for the inevitable confluence of personal and professional identities online is vital for developing and maintaining personal and professional brands. This class will help you develop strategies to navigate the highly networked environment of online social media and manage the dialectic between personal and professional brands. In this first part of the project, Final Project I, you will write a paper that explores the relationship between personal and professional branding. Whether we like it or not, our personal identity online will have an influence on our professional identity. Learning to manage this influence is vital for ensuring that the influence is always positive. You will research and analyze high-profile examples of where this influence was not so positive and make research-based recommendations to professionals for how to handle and avoid such situations. In the second part of the project, Final Project II, you will create a presentation on the online presence you have been building all term. This includes both the professional and the personal brands you maintain. You will introduce the goals you developed early in the course and discuss the platforms to which you posted original and curated content to achieve those goals. You will need to justify your decisions and discuss how this work will influence your branding in the future. The project is supported by two milestones, which will be submitted at various points throughout the course to scaffold learning and ensure quality final submissions. These milestones will be submitted in Modules Two and Four. The final submission of Final Project I will occur in Module Six. This assessment addresses the following course outcomes:

 Integrate professional principles and personal branding goals for establishing and enhancing a personal brand image

 Differentiate between personal brands and professional online presences based on appropriate research for developing brand strategies

 Analyze the confluence of personal and professional identities in interactive and social online media by applying communication theory and best practices

Prompt This will be a research-based paper about the dialectic (tension) between personal and professional online presences. You will introduce this relational dialectic and explain why it exists. This will be followed by the analysis of high-profile examples of the relationship between personal (private) and professional becoming visible in online media. You will then make recommendations, directed toward today’s online media professionals, for dealing with this dialectic on a daily basis. Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed:

I. Online Presence – In this section of the paper, you will introduce the dialectic between personal and professional online presences. You will support your overview of this relationship with relevant research. You will also state your views/opinion on the dialectic, which will set up the remainder of your paper.

A. Introduce the dialectic between personal and professional online presences. B. Explain why this dialectic exists. Support your explanation with research from academic resources.

II. Personal and Professional Identity – In this section, you will analyze the confluence of personal and professional identities in interactive and social

online media. To do this, you will research communication theory and best practices regarding online identities and apply that research to actual situations.

A. Identify best practices in personal branding. Support your identification with research from academic resources. Consider how you wish to develop yourself as a communication professional in online social media.

B. Select high-profile examples where personal and professional identities and brands have come into conflict in online media. 1. For each example, discuss the concept of an “authentic self” online and its relationship to professional identities. Support your

discussion with research-based principles. 2. Discuss the ethical implications of what happened in each example. 3. Explain whether or not you believe professional standards were adhered to in each situation.

C. Based on best practices, recommend improvements for how the individual(s) involved in each situation could have handled the conflict between their personal and professional identities more effectively.

III. Conclusions – The purpose of this section is for you to develop recommendations to professionals for how they should address the dialectic between personal and professional brands in online media. Your recommendations will be based on the examples you researched and best practices you have identified.

A. Explain what considerations a professional should make when developing his or her own personal brand online. Support your explanation with examples from your research.

B. Explain what considerations a professional should make when developing his or her professional brand online. Support your explanation with examples from your research.

C. Develop a set of principles for online professionals on how to develop a personal brand online that effectively markets oneself while maintaining professional standards. Support your recommendations with examples from the high-profile cases you addressed above.

Milestones Milestone One: Online Presence In Module Two, you will explore the dialectic (conflict) between personal and professional online presences. How do we experience and deal with the tensions between what we want to share about our personal self and our need to present a professional image as well? To explore this tension, you will write a short paper (2–3 pages) using at least two academic resources explaining what this tension is and why it exists. This milestone will be graded using the Final Project I Milestone One Rubric. Milestone Two: Personal and Professional Identity In Module Four, you will analyze the confluence (coming together) of the personal and professional identities in interactive and social online media. To complete this analysis, you will build upon the research you conducted in the Module Three journal assignment on “best practices” for online branding. You will select at least two high-profile examples where personal and professional identities and brands have come into conflict in online media. For each example, you will discuss the concept of an “authentic self” online and its relationship to professional identities, discuss the ethical implications of what happened, and explain whether or not you feel professional standards were adhered to. Finally, based on the best practices you researched, you will apply those standards to the high-profile examples you chose and offer suggestions on how to improve the brand message. The paper should be 3–5 pages. This milestone will be graded using the Final Project I Milestone Two Rubric. Final Project I Submission: Brand Identity Paper In Module Six, you will submit the final paper, which will include Milestones One and Two (after integrating feedback from the instructor) and a conclusion in which you will reflect on the best practices you believe professionals should follow when creating personal and professional brands online. Create a set of guidelines for personal and professional online branding online. The final paper should be 8–12 pages. This final project will be graded using the Final Project I Rubric (below).

Final Project I Rubric Guidelines for Submission: Your brand identity paper should be 8–12 pages, double-spaced, have one-inch margins, and use 12-point Times New Roman font and the most current version of APA format. Instructor Feedback: This activity uses an integrated rubric in Blackboard. Students can view instructor feedback in the Grade Center. For more information, review these instructions.

Critical Elements Exemplary (100%) Proficient (90%) Needs Improvement (70%) Not Evident (0%) Value

Online Presence: Personal and Professional

Meets “Proficient” criteria and shows keen insight into the tension that develops between multiple online presences

Introduces the dialectic between personal and professional online presences

Introduces the dialectic between personal and professional online presences, but introduction is cursory or contains inaccuracies

Does not introduce the dialectic between personal and professional online presences

9.5

Online Presence: Dialectic

Meets “Proficient” criteria, and supporting academic research demonstrates a complex grasp of the dialectic

Explains why this dialectic exists, supporting explanation with academic research

Explains why this dialectic exists, supporting explanation with research, but explanation is cursory or supporting research is not academic

Does not explain why this dialectic exists

9.5

Personal and Professional

Identity: Best Practices

Meets “Proficient” criteria, and supporting academic research demonstrates a complex grasp of best practices in branding

Identifies best practices in personal branding, supporting identification with academic research

Identifies best practices in personal branding supporting identification with research, but not all practices identified are accurate, or supporting research is not academic

Does not identify best practices in personal branding

9.5

Personal and Professional

Identity: Relationship

Meets “Proficient” criteria and makes cogent connections among research-based principles, online identities, and the relationship between “authentic” and professional identities

Discusses the concept of an “authentic self” online and its relationship to professional identities, supporting discussion with research-based principles for each example

Discusses the concept of an “authentic self” online and its relationship to professional identities for each example, but discussion is cursory, contains inaccuracies, or is not supported with research-based principles

Does not discuss the concept of an “authentic self” online and its relationship to professional identities

9.5

Personal and Professional

Identity: Ethical Implications

Meets “Proficient” criteria, and details show a complex grasp of the ethical implications

Discusses the ethical implications of what happened in each example

Discusses the ethical implications of what happened in each example, but discussion is cursory or contains inaccuracies

Does not discuss the ethical implications of what happened in each example

9.5

Personal and Professional

Identity: Professional

Standards

Meets “Proficient” criteria and makes cogent connections between the details of each situation and professional ethical standards

Explains whether or not professional standards were adhered to in each situation

Explains whether or not professional standards were adhered to in each situation, but explanation is cursory or contains inaccuracies

Does not explain whether or not professional standards were adhered to in each situation

9.5

Personal and Professional

Identity: Individual(s)

Involved

Meets “Proficient” criteria improvements show a complex grasp of the interplay between personal and professional identities

Recommends improvements based on best practices for how the individual(s) involved in each situation could have handled the conflict between their personal and professional identities more effectively

Recommends improvements for how the individual(s) involved in each situation could have handled the conflict between their personal and professional identities more effectively, but recommendations are illogical or not based on best practices

Does not recommend improvements based on best practices for how the individual(s) involved in each situation could have handed the conflict between their personal and professional identities more effectively

9.5

Conclusions: Personal Brand

Meets “Proficient” criteria and makes cogent connections between research and personal brand development

Explains what considerations a professional should make when developing his or her personal brand online, supporting explanation with examples from research

Explains what considerations a professional should make when developing his or her personal brand online, but explanation is cursory or not supported with examples from research

Does not explain what considerations a professional should make when developing his or her personal brand

9.5

Conclusions: Professional Brand

Meets “Proficient” criteria and makes cogent connections between research and professional brand development

Explains what considerations a professional should make when developing his or her professional brand online, supporting explanation with examples from research

Explains what considerations a professional should make when developing his or her professional brand online, but explanation is cursory or not supported with examples from research

Does not explain what considerations a professional should make when developing his or her professional brand

9.5

Conclusions: Set of Principles

Meets “Proficient” criteria, and principles show a complex grasp of the foundational nature of professional standards in personal brand development

Develops a set of principles for online professionals on how to develop a personal brand online that effectively markets oneself while maintaining professional standards

Develops a set of principles for online professionals on how to develop a personal brand online, but principles do not address effectively marketing oneself or maintain professional standards

Does not develop a set of principles for online professionals on how to develop a personal brand online that effectively markets oneself while maintaining professional standards

9.5

Articulation of Response

Submission is free of errors related to citations, grammar, spelling, syntax, and organization and is presented in a professional and easy-to-read format

Submission has no major errors related to citations, grammar, spelling, syntax, or organization

Submission has major errors related to citations, grammar, spelling, syntax, or organization that negatively impact readability and articulation of main ideas

Submission has critical errors related to citations, grammar, spelling, syntax, or organization that prevent understanding of ideas

5

Total 100%

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