BUS1136 – Professional Communication
Assignment 1: Press Release (25% of final grade)
Gaia Cannabis Corp, the third largest cannabis corporation in Canada, is expanding their retail operations to
Sudbury. Elena Hemlock, CEO of Gaia, has requested a press release be made to all local news outlets in advance of
their grand opening next month, and has contacted you write it for her. She has included a fact-sheet from the
company’s last press release and quarterly report so that you can familiarize yourself with the current status of
operations and compose an effective message.
(see pages 3&4 of this document for the Gaia info sheet)
For this assignment, students will draft a press release of between 600 and 800 words, informing a
Sudbury community about the upcoming opening of a Gaia Cannabis storefront, familiarizing them
with the corporation, and effectively communicating in a way that is both professional and engaging
to gain consumer interest.
Documents should be formatted in a way which facilitated reader interest — this is a professional
writing document, not an academic essay — feel free to utilize layout choices which enhance
readability, to use headers and titles, appropriate white-space, and images/logos as desired.
Additionally, students must include a short (200-250 word) planning paragraph, in which they
outline their writing process and plan. Include key points, paragraph structure, specific examples to
be used, and call to action which will be used.
EXPERT PROFICIENT SATISFACTORY UNSATISFACTORY
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and an authentic
Writing is passably
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Writing does not
effectively convey the
desired message. Tone is
not appropriate for a
Content is not
present and framed
Some information is
presented in a way
that makes topical
formatted in a
way that is
which aids in the
lacking in some
format and design
formatted in a way
Document does not have
an effective layout.
No spelling and
Unacceptable number of
spelling and grammar
justified but lacks
would be of
is present but lacking
in detail and in
Planning paragraph is not
present or severely
CEO: Elena Hemlock
Third-largest cannabis corporation in Canada
Headquarters based in Townsville, Ontario.
Licenced with Canadian government for cultivation (growing), processing (preparing for
sale), and sale (medically)
Last Year’s Highlights
Strong earnings and excellent cash flow last year has led to a 6% increase in company
dividends – our 3rd in a row. This is great news for shareholders.
Purchased 15 acres of greenhouses in Leamington, Ontario – this will increase growing
capacity by close to 5%. We see Leamington as a great opportunity to expand
production, with the history of greenhouse tomato production – Heinze leaving a few
years ago opened up good investment opportunities. Knowledgeable and experienced
workforce down there will help us.
Invested in a corporate security company, EvilCorp, to improve our access to protective
services (internet firewalls, data security, etc.) – they specialize in cybersecurity.
Acquired (bought) CameraCo. to bolster our property surveillance – they have the newest
in equipment designed for corporate property protection.
Growth: Acquired two startup cannabis ventures (Omni Cannabis and Vretex). With
those acquisitions, we get two new cultivars to add to our list, cutting-edge cultivation
techniques, and some brand new, much more efficient, processing techniques.
Stock has trended upwards over past 12 months – signifies market trust in our company
Teamed up with large baked goods company TransFoods to produce a line of edible
marijuana products, which just reached market last month. No data on numbers yet.
Continuing to expand our workforce to meet rising demand. Introduced new and exciting
training programmes for all levels of employment. Goal of having the most competent
and effective staff in the industry.
Sales continue to be strong, particularly in the medicinal sector.
Confirmed the opening of a new storefront downtown Sudbury in the Elm Place Mall
Cybersecurity is major concern. Last year had many attempts at breaching our servers.
We store private data of clients and a breach at our data storage houses could result in
costly lawsuits from customers. Responsible for protecting that data – losses could
result in loss of clients and lawsuits.
Facility security continues to be a concern. Breaches and thefts continue to be a risk
factor for us. Last February, our growing facility and quality control lab in Sudbury,
Ontario was breached by thieves – they only managed to steal some lab equipment – no
product was stolen. Very serious problem we are addressing through acquisition of new
technology and revisiting risk-management strategy.
Growing competition. As the market continues to grow, so does the competition. Just
last year, 13 new licenced producers emerged. Our strategy is currently focused on
quality, production, and acquisition of competitors.
Outlook: Next Year
Positive: forecasting growth in revenue, capital investments, and workforce.
Investigating expansion into US market.
Projecting continued growth and earnings as the market expands in Canada with
awareness, increased prescriptions, and new storefronts in Ontario.
Leamington greenhouses to come on line and increase our production.
Significant investments in sustainable growing technology – will not only cut costs, but
these investments will reduce our carbon footprint by 18%.
Further storefront openings? Maybe locally again?
Corporate Citizenship / Beyond the Business
This is up to you. What good work is the company doing, keeping in mind this is a
cannabis company. Sponsoring the local soccer team is probably not appropriate.
Perhaps they have been recognized by Corporate Knights for being a good corporate
citizen (but why?)
Maybe they have been recognized for their dedication to sustainability and the
Perhaps they are working with partner agencies (ex. MADD) to promote public education
and responsible cannabis use
Working with post-secondary to offer internships, co-ops?
BUS1136 – Professional Communication