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Presentation on theme: "WRITING BAD-NEWS MESSAGES"— Presentation transcript:


2 Objectives • Choose correctly between indirect and direct approaches
• Establish proper tone from the beginning of message • Present bad news in a reasonable and understandable way • Write messages that motivate your audience to take constructive action • Close messages that build positive relationship with your business

3 Objective of Indirect Approach
• Ease the reader/audience into the part of the message that justifies the decision or builds goodwill • Convey the bad-news without bruising the reader’s feelings • Help reader know the decision is firm, fair, and still build goodwill

4 Indirect Approach • Open with a buffer statement to soften the blow & demonstrate respect • Give reasons for refusing • Refuse • Offer alternative, if possible • Close with positive, helpful tone

5 Some Approaches for the Buffer
• Agreement • Appreciation • Cooperation • Good News • Understanding • Fairness

6 Buffer Basics • Avoid saying no • Don’t build up false hopes
• Don’t Apologize • Do make it relevant • Do stick to the point • Do be concise

7 Reasons for Refusal Basics
• Begin with most positive to negative • Don’t use company policy unless ... • Do devote most of letter to reasons • Do use positive/nonjudgmental tone • Don’t apologize

8 Stating the Refusal • Make answer clear but positive
• Place bad-news in middle of paragraph • Minimize space saying it; get to the point • Use if or when to suggest conditions for future good-news • Don’t be blunt • Offer alternative if possible

9 Bad-News Closings • Don’t repeat bad-news • Conclude on positive note
• Provide possible solution • Provide resale and sales promotion • Don’t leave area open for further discussion • Watch doubtful/hopeful/insincere tone

10 Weigh the Indirect to Direct Approaches

11 Use of the Direct Approach
• For internal memos • For routine bad- news to other businesses • For audience who prefer direct news • For situations that demand firmness • For minor negatives • For close friends and associates • For bad-news first, then reasons , then a courteous close • For shorter message

12 And Now For Some Examples

13 Your Mission Review the poorly written bad-news letter in groups and be prepared to indicate how it could be rewritten.


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