24 Can You Tell? Goodwill vs. Disguised Promotion

John Grant

Activity Guidelines

Suggested Course Level

Lower level undergraduate.

Activity Purpose

  • Students will identify the differences between an authentic goodwill message or a promotional message.

Materials Required

  • Goodwill messages handout
  • Pens/pencils

Activity Instructions

  1. Conduct a brief lesson on what defines a goodwill message, including their intent and general components.
  2. Then, position students in small groups (five is ideal).
  3. Provide each student with a copy of the goodwill vs. disguised promotion handout (its important for each student to have a copy – not just one per group – so they can each take notes).
  4. Ask students to review the scenarios on their own and to determine if each is either a goodwill message or a disguised promotion.
  5. They should then share their responses with each other in their group and ultimately come up with general consensus for each scenario.

Debrief Questions / Activities

  • Once each group has completed the activity, host a discussion with the class to determine if each group responded similarly or differently, and why.
  • Ask about what specific factors contributed to group members making their decisions and refer back to the components that define a goodwill message to verify that those qualities are indicative (or not) within the examples provided.

Activity Variations

  • This activity can also be done online. In your LMS, create a different discussion forum for each scenario that is presented. Divide the class into groups and ask each group to address one scenario. Then, have one representative from the group post a summary of the group’s individual choice in a central discussion forum that addresses all presented scenarios.

Additional Resources / Supplementary Resources


Tags: goodwill messages, persuasive messages, disguised promotion messages, discussion, hands-on, small group


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