Letter of Recommendation for Marketing Communication
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University: Shenzhen University
July 13, 2021 at 8:11 am
Dear Admission Committee,
It is my great pleasure to write this letter in support of Shiyu Cai’s application to your graduate program. I have gotten to know Shiyu during her junior year, as she took my course <i>History of Western Art</i>. She was a quick learner and active thinker. Later in the spring term, I was happy to be her teacher in the course<i> Communication Theory</i><i>. </i>In this course, I was impressed by her enthusiasm for and ability in communication study, and she was also clear and determined about her future path in marketing communications.
In the <i>History of Western Art</i> course, the class was assigned a homework to appreciate an art work from the perspective of communication. Shiyu chose the fresco “<i>Emperor Justinian and His Attendants</i>“. Although I had not introduced medieval church frescoes before the homework, she read the content in advance and did in-depth research. When most students interpreted “communication” as Lasswell’s theory of “information transmission”, she believed that communication was “persuasion.” From her point of view, in this work, Justinian stands in the middle and compares himself with Jesus. This is actually a rationalization of kingship and the legitimacy of his position. Through such comparison and suggestion, Justinian tried to persuade his people that he is the “god”, in order to win citizens’ faith and compete for political power. Her unique interpretation impressed me, and I gave her a score of 93 for regular assignments.
Out of her passion for communication and delightful interaction with me, Shiyu took my <i>Communication Theory</i> course. When teaching the section “publicity and persuasion”, I mentioned that most advertisements were merely publicity. After class, Shiyu emailed me with her ideas: according to the AIPL (Awareness, Interests, Purchase, Loyalty) model, advertising exerts different effects on different stages. At the awareness stage, ad is publicity, but at the purchase and loyalty stages, ads may become persuasive. For example, when consumers have a good impression of a certain product and are ready to buy, they will compare it with competing products to measure its pros and cons. If the company can “convince” potential consumers at these stages, it will lead to purchase behavior. Although there are limitations in her thinking (according to Critical School, the ads trying to “appeal to rationality” are disguised publicity), her active thinking and feedback are still valuable. In addition, as I introduced some crisis public relation cases earlier, Shiyu also expressed in the email her views on public relations out of her internships. She thought there were four ways to deal with crisis PR, namely, fighting back against negative comments, reassuring the audience, diverting attention to new topics, and admitting mistakes with humorous but sincere self-mockery. And she summarized some real cases under each strategy, which was refreshing and impressing.
I used to assign the class to write on the topics “My Study” and “My Happiness”, with which I hoped students could be clear about their futures, careers, and values. As a matter of fact, many of them still did not know neither the reason for studying communication, nor the significance of university studies. In comparison, Shiyu demonstrated a clearer understanding and plan of her life. She was determined to be engaged in marketing communications. Her determination not only comes from her plentiful extracurricular practices and internships, but also abundant reading of books and bibliographies. Therefore, I gave her full marks in the assignments, and furthermore, my sincerest recommendation to your program and university.
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