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Chapter 8, Slide 1 Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e ENG 412 Writing Negative Messages.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 8, Slide 1 Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e ENG 412 Writing Negative Messages."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 8, Slide 1 Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e ENG 412 Writing Negative Messages

2 Chapter 8, Slide 2 Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e 1.Refuse routine requests and claims 2.Break bad news to customers 3.Break bad news to employees Negative Messages Which organization pattern is better for delivering bad news? DIRECT INDIRECT

3 Chapter 8, Slide 3 Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e The direct strategy is appropriate for delivering bad news in some situations. Reasons Bad News Closing

4 Chapter 8, Slide 4 Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Reasons Bad News Closing When... The receiver may overlook the bad news. Organization policy suggests directness. The receiver prefers directness. Firmness is necessary. The bad news is not damaging. The receivers goodwill is not an issue.

5 Chapter 8, Slide 5Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Goals in Communicating Bad News Acceptancetry to help receiver understand and accept the bad news. Positive imagepromote good image of yourself and your organization. Message claritymake the message clear Goodwillmaintain goodwill Minimizeaim to try to reduce future correspondence on the issue to a minimum

6 Chapter 8, Slide 6 Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e BufferReasons Bad News Closing The indirect strategy allows you to prepare the reader before delivering the bad news, thus softening the impact of the bad news.

7 Chapter 8, Slide 7Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Possible Buffers for Opening Bad-News Messages Facts Understanding Apology Reasons Bad News Closing Best news Compliment Appreciation Agreement Buffer

8 Chapter 8, Slide 8Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Evaluating Buffer Statements How effective is the following opening for a letter that refuses credit? Unfortunately, your application for credit has been reviewed negatively. (Gives the bad news too directly)

9 Chapter 8, Slide 9Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Evaluating Buffer Statements How effective is the following opening for a letter that refuses credit? We are delighted to receive your application for credit. (Gives the wrong impression)

10 Chapter 8, Slide 10Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Evaluating Buffer Statements How effective is the following opening for a letter that refuses credit? The recent fall in the value of the American dollar was a surprise to many banking experts. (Irrelevant)

11 Chapter 8, Slide 11Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Evaluating Buffer Statements How effective is the following opening for a letter that refuses a request for a donation? Your request for a financial contribution has been referred to me for reply. (Too impersonal)

12 Chapter 8, Slide 12Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Evaluating Buffer Statements How effective is the following opening for a letter that refuses a request for a donation? We appreciate the fine work that your organization is doing to meet the needs of parents and very young children. (Compliments the reader, but does not suggest approval)

13 Chapter 8, Slide 13Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Presenting the Reasons Be cautious in explaining. Cite reader benefits, if possible. Explain company policy, if relevant. Choose positive words. Show that the matter was treated seriously and fairly. Buffer Bad News ClosingReasons

14 Chapter 8, Slide 14 Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e To reveal the bad news with sensitivity, learn these Seven Techniques for Deemphasizing Bad News. BufferReasonsClosing Bad News

15 Chapter 8, Slide 15Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Chapter 1, Slide 15 Techniques for Deemphasizing Bad News Avoid the spotlight. Use a long sentence. Place the bad news in a subordinate clause. Be clear but not overly graphic. Imply the refusal. Suggest an alternative. Use the passive voice. Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e

16 Chapter 8, Slide 16 Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Place the bad news in a subordinate clause. Although we have no position for an individual with your qualifications at this time, we are pleased that you thought of us when you started your job search. Use a long sentence. Dont put the bad news in a short, simple sentence. Avoid the spotlight. Put the bad news in the middle of a paragraph halfway through the message.

17 Chapter 8, Slide 17 Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Be clear but not too specific. Instead of this Our investigation reveals that you owe three creditors large sums and that you were fired from your last job. Try this Our investigation reveals that your employment status and your financial position are unstable at this time.

18 Chapter 8, Slide 18 Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Imply the refusal. Instead of this We cannot contribute to your charity this year. Try this Although all our profits must be reinvested in our company this year, we hope to be able to support your future fund-raising activities.

19 Chapter 8, Slide 19 Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Use the passive voice. Instead of this We cannot make a contribution at this time. Try this A contribution cannot be made at this time. Suggest an alternative. Although the cashmere sweater cannot be sold at the wrongly listed price of $18, we can allow you to purchase this $218 item for only $118.

20 Chapter 8, Slide 20 Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Passive-voice verbs Passive-voice verbs focus attention on actions rather than on personalities. They are useful in being tactful. Active voice I cannot allow you to return the DVD player because.... Passive voice Return of the DVD player is not allowed because.... Ryan checked the report, but he missed the error. The report was checked, but the error was missed.

21 Chapter 8, Slide 21Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Closing Bad-News Messages Avoid endings that sound impersonal. Try to use BufferReasons Bad News Closing Freebies Resale or sales promotion A forward look Information about alternative Good wishes

22 Chapter 8, Slide 22 Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Writing Plans for Three Negative Message Situations Refusing Routine Requests and Claims Breaking Bad News to Customers Breaking Bad News to Employees

23 Chapter 8, Slide 23Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Writing Plan for Refusing Requests or Claims Start with a neutral statement on which both reader and writer can agree, such as a compliment, an expression of appreciation, a quick review of the facts, or an apology. Try to include a key idea or word that acts as a transition to the explanation. Reasons Bad News ClosingBuffer

24 Chapter 8, Slide 24Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Present valid reasons for the refusal, avoiding words that create a negative tone. Include resale or sales promotion, if appropriate. Writing Plan for Refusing Requests or Claims Buffer Bad News ClosingReasons

25 Chapter 8, Slide 25Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Make the bad news more acceptable by positioning it strategically, using the passive voice, stressing the positive, or implying a refusal. Suggest a compromise or substitute, if possible. BufferReasonsClosing Bad News Writing Plan for Refusing Requests or Claims

26 Chapter 8, Slide 26Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Renew good feelings with a positive statement. Look forward to continued business. Avoid referring to the bad news. BufferReasons Bad News Closing Writing Plan for Refusing Requests or Claims

27 Chapter 8, Slide 27Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Model Refusal Letters Click icon to view letter illustrating refusal of a donation request. Click icon to view memo refusing an internal request before revision. Click icon to view revised memo.

28 Chapter 8, Slide 28Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Examine This Effective Refusal of Request for Cash Refund Open letter by clicking icon at right.

29 Chapter 8, Slide 29 Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Controlling damage with disappointed customers Denying claims Refusing credit Breaking Bad News to Customers Breaking Bad News to Customers

30 Chapter 8, Slide 30Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Controlling Damage With Disappointed Customers Call the individual involved. Describe the problem and apologize. Explain Why the problem occurred. What you are doing to resolve it. How you will prevent the problem from happening again. Look forward to positive future relations

31 Chapter 8, Slide 31 Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Follow with a letter that Documents details discussed in the phone call. Looks forward to positive future relations. Click icon to view letter illustrating a bad- news follow-up message.

32 Chapter 8, Slide 32Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Denying Claims Dont blame customers, even if they are at fault. Avoid you statements. Use neutral, objective language to explain why the claim must be refused. Consider offering resale information to rebuild the customers confidence in your products or organization. Click icon to view model letter.

33 Chapter 8, Slide 33 Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Writing Plans for Three Negative Message Situations Refusing Routine Requests and Claims Breaking Bad News to Customers Breaking Bad News to Employees

34 Chapter 8, Slide 34Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Writing Plan for Breaking Bad News to Employees Open with a neutral or positive statement that transitions to the reasons for the bad news. Consider mentioning the best news, a compliment, appreciation, agreement, or solid facts. Show understanding. Reasons Bad News ClosingBuffer

35 Chapter 8, Slide 35 Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Explain the logic behind the bad news. Provide a rational explanation using positive words and displaying empathy. Try to show reader benefits, if possible. Buffer Bad News ClosingReasons Position the bad news so that it does not stand out. Be positive without exaggerating. Use objective language. BufferReasonsClosing Bad News

36 Chapter 8, Slide 36 Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 7e Provide information about an alternative, if one exists. If appropriate, describe what will happen next. Look forward positively. BufferReasons Bad News Closing Click icon to view before-revision letter announcing bad news to employees. Click icon to view after-revision letter.


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