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Prentice Hall, 2005 Excellence in Business Communication 1 Writing Bad-News Messages.

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Presentation on theme: "Prentice Hall, 2005 Excellence in Business Communication 1 Writing Bad-News Messages."— Presentation transcript:

1 Prentice Hall, 2005 Excellence in Business Communication 1 Writing Bad-News Messages

2 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication2 The Three-Step Process Planning Planning Writing Writing Completing Completing

3 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication3 Strategies for Bad-News Messages Convey the message Convey the message Gain acceptance Gain acceptance Maintain goodwill Maintain goodwill Promote a good corporate image Promote a good corporate image Minimize future correspondence Minimize future correspondence

4 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication4 Audience-Centered Tone The You attitude The You attitude Positive wording Positive wording Respectful language Respectful language

5 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication5 What is the YOU Attitude? Whats in it for me (the reader)? Whats in it for me (the reader)? YOU Attitude: Focuses on Reader YOU Attitude: Focuses on Reader –Emphasizes what the receiver wants to know –How reader will be affected by message –Requires empathy (put yourself in their shoes) NOT: I am shipping your order this afternoon. BUT: Your order will arrive Friday.

6 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication6 YOU Attitude: Reader BenefitsYOU Attitude: Reader Benefits Emphasizing how the reader will benefit from doing as you ask Emphasizing how the reader will benefit from doing as you ask Especially when asking for a favor or refusing a request Especially when asking for a favor or refusing a request Show them how they will benefit Show them how they will benefit NOT: We cannot afford to purchase an ad in your organization's directory. BUT: Advertising exclusively through radio ads allows us to offer consumers like you the lowest prices on their cosmetics. Therefore,...

7 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication7 The You Attitude Instead of this: To help us process this order, we must ask for another copy of the requisition. Instead of this: To help us process this order, we must ask for another copy of the requisition. Use this: So that your order can be filled promptly, please send another copy of the requisition. Use this: So that your order can be filled promptly, please send another copy of the requisition.

8 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication8 The You Attitude Instead of this: You should never use that type of paper in the copy machine. Instead of this: You should never use that type of paper in the copy machine. Use this: That type of paper doesnt work very well in the copy machine. Use this: That type of paper doesnt work very well in the copy machine.

9 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication9 Not: We are opening the new fitness center on May 1. But: You may begin working out in the new fitness center on May 1. NOT: We cannot afford to purchase an ad in your organization's directory. BUT: Advertising exclusively through radio ads allows us to offer consumers like you the lowest prices on their cosmetics. Therefore

10 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication10 Emphasize the Positive Instead of this: It is impossible to repair your vacuum cleaner today. Instead of this: It is impossible to repair your vacuum cleaner today. Use this: Your vacuum cleaner will be ready by Tuesday. Use this: Your vacuum cleaner will be ready by Tuesday.

11 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication11 Emphasize the Positive Instead of this: Instead of this: –Cheap merchandise –Toilet paper –Used cars –High-calorie foods –Elderly person –Pimples and zits Use this: Use this: –Bargain prices –Bathroom tissue –Resale cars –High-energy food –Senior citizen –Complexion problems

12 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication12 Avoid Negative Expressions Writers are sometimes unaware of the hidden messages that they send: Writers are sometimes unaware of the hidden messages that they send: You overlooked…you are careless You overlooked…you are careless You state that…but I dont believe you You state that…but I dont believe you You failed to…you are careless You failed to…you are careless You claim that…its probably untrue You claim that…its probably untrue I am right…you do not understand I am right…you do not understand Your delay…you are at fault Your delay…you are at fault

13 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication13 The Direct Approach State the bad news State the bad news Support the message Support the message Close on a positive note Close on a positive note

14 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication14 Stressing Reader Benefits Our 40 years of experience enables us to repair your sewing machine promptly and efficiently. Our 40 years of experience enables us to repair your sewing machine promptly and efficiently. Your generous donation would help feed more hungry people in our community. Your generous donation would help feed more hungry people in our community. You can avoid the additional expense of a 2% late charge by paying your bill on time. You can avoid the additional expense of a 2% late charge by paying your bill on time. You can obtain a refund any time between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. You can obtain a refund any time between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

15 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication15 The Indirect Approach Begin with a buffer Begin with a buffer Follow with reasons Follow with reasons State the bad news State the bad news Close in a positive way Close in a positive way

16 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication16 Possible Buffers for Opening Bad- News Messages AppreciationAppreciation AgreementAgreement FactsFacts UnderstandingUnderstanding

17 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication17 Begin With a Buffer Things to do Things to do –Show appreciation –Pay attention –Compliment reader –Be empathetic –Show sincerity Things to avoid Things to avoid –Saying no –A know-it-all tone –Wordy phrases –Apologies –Lengthy buffers

18 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication18 Evaluating Buffer Statements 1.Unfortunately, your application for credit has been reviewed negatively. (Reveals the bad news bluntly and twice.) How effective is the following opening for a letter that refuses to grant credit?

19 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication19 Evaluating Buffer Statements 2.We are delighted to receive your application for credit. (Gives the wrong impression.) How effective is the following opening for a letter that refuses to grant credit?

20 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication20 Evaluating Buffer Statements 3.The recent resurgence of interest in the stock market caught many of us by surprise. (Is not relevant.) How effective is the following opening for a letter that refuses to grant credit?

21 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication21 Evaluating Buffer Statements 1.Your request for a monetary contribution has been referred to me for reply. ( Fails to engage the reader. ) How effective is the following opening for a letter that refuses a request for a donation?

22 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication22 Evaluating Buffer Statements 2.We appreciate the fine work your organization is doing to provide early childhood programs that meet the needs of parents and very young children. ( Compliments the reader but doesnt imply approval. ) How effective is the following opening for a letter that refuses a request for a donation?

23 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication23 State the Bad News De-emphasize the bad news De-emphasize the bad news Use a conditional statement Use a conditional statement Focus on the positive Focus on the positive Avoid blunt language Avoid blunt language

24 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication24 Follow With Reasons Cover positive points Cover positive points Provide relevant details Provide relevant details Highlight benefits Highlight benefits Minimize company policy Minimize company policy Avoid apologizing Avoid apologizing

25 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication25 Close With Confidence Be sincere Be sincere Stay positive Stay positive Limit future correspondence Limit future correspondence Be confident and optimistic Be confident and optimistic

26 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication26 Cultural Differences Proper tone Proper tone Message organization Message organization Cultural conventions Cultural conventions

27 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication27 Types of Bad-News Messages Routine requests Routine requests Organizational news Organizational news Employment information Employment information

28 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication28 Routine Requests Business information Business information Invitations and favors Invitations and favors

29 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication29 Claims and Adjustments Things to employ Things to employ –Courtesy and tact –Indirect approach –Positive attitude –Understanding and respect Things to avoid Things to avoid –Accepting blame –Accusations –Defamation –Negative language

30 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication30 Organizational News Bad news about products Bad news about products Bad news about company operations Bad news about company operations

31 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication31 Recommendation Letters Requested by businesses Requested by businesses –Be direct –State facts Requested by individuals Requested by individuals –Practice diplomacy –Consider feelings

32 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication32 Employment Applications Use the direct approach Use the direct approach State reasons clearly State reasons clearly Suggest alternatives Suggest alternatives

33 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication33 Performance Reviews Provide feedback Provide feedback Review the job description Review the job description Set an action plan Set an action plan

34 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication34 Negative Performance Reviews Confront the problem Confront the problem Plan the message Plan the message Respect privacy Respect privacy Focus on the problem Focus on the problem Obtain commitment Obtain commitment

35 Prentice Hall, 2005Excellence in Business Communication35 Termination Letters Express the decision Express the decision Give specific justification Give specific justification Minimize negative feelings Minimize negative feelings


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