4 Positive/neutral: organization Direct Approach OrganizationOPENING: main idea, purpose, requestBODY: detailsCLOSING: request action (if needed), goodwill closing
5 Negative/bad news: Communication goals Acceptance—strive to help receiver understand and accept the bad news.Positive image—promote good image of yourself and your organization. Strive to reduce bad feelings. Convey fairness.Message clarity—make the message so clear that no further correspondence is necessary.Protection—avoid creating legal liability.
7 Types of BuffersStart with any good news or positive elements the letter contains.State a fact or provide a chronology of events.Refer to enclosures in the letter.Thank the reader for something he or she has done.State a general principle.
8 Evaluating Buffer Statements How effective are the following openings for a letter that refuses to grant credit?Unfortunately, your application for credit has been reviewed negatively.Reveals the bad news bluntly.We sincerely regret that we must deny your credit application.Sounds phony and canned.
9 Evaluating Buffer Statements How effective are the following openings for a letter that refuses to grant credit?We are delighted to receive your application for credit.Gives the wrong impression.The recent resurgence of interest in the stock market caught many of us by surprise.Is not relevant.
10 Evaluating Buffer Statements How effective are the following openings for a letter that refuses a request for a donation?Your request for a monetary contribution has been referred to me for reply.Fails to engage the reader.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 reader and implies approval.
11 a compromise or an alternative. Use thepassivevoice.Suggesta compromise or an alternative.Implytherefusal.Be clearbut notoverly graphic.Place thebad newsin a subordinateclause.Use alongsentence.Avoidspotlight.Techniques forCushioningBad News
12 Cushioning the Bad News Avoid the spotlight. Put the bad news in the middle of a paragraph halfway through the message.Use a long sentence. Don’t put the bad news in a short, simple sentence.
13 Cushioning the Bad News Place the bad news in a subordinate clause.Although we have no opening for an individual with your qualifications at this time, we are pleased that you thought of us when you started your job search.
14 Cushioning the Bad News Be clear but not overly graphic.Instead of thisOur investigation reveals that you owe three creditors large sums and that you were fired from your last job.Try thisOur investigation reveals that your employment status and your financial position are unstable at this time.
15 Cushioning the Bad News Imply the refusal.Instead of thisWe cannot contribute to your charity this year.Try thisAlthough all our profits must be reinvested in our company this year, we hope to be able to support your future fund-raising activities.
16 Cushioning the Bad News Suggest a compromise or an alternative.Although the cashmere sweater cannot be sold at the erroneously listed price of $18, we can allow you to purchase this $218 item for only $118.
17 Cushioning the Bad News Consider using passive voice verbs.Passive-voice verbs focus attention on actions rather than on personalities. They are useful in being tactful.Instead of thisWe cannot make a contribution at this time.Try thisA contribution cannot be made at this time.
18 Cushioning the Bad News Consider using passive voice verbs.Active voiceI cannot allow you to return the DVD player becausePassive voiceReturn of the DVD player is not allowed becauseRyan checked the report, but he missed the error.The report was checked, but the error was missed.
19 Cushioning the Bad News Notice that passive-voice verb phrases always include “helper” verbs, such as is, are, was, were, being, or been.Examples of “helper” verbs forming passive voice:The report was checked.The schedule is being revised.Invitations were sent.
20 Closing / Alternatives Offer the reader another way to get what’s wanted (compromise, substitute, etc.)Suggest the writer really cares about the reader.Enable the reader to reestablish psychological freedom (choice).End on a forward looking, positive note.
21 Persuasive: Communication goals To have the reader act.To provide enough information so the reader knows exactly what to do.To overcome any objections that might prevent or delay action.
22 Persuasive: General organization Opening: Problem statement? Hook? Detail? Situation/Context? Request?LINK TO READER BENEFITBody: details, reasons, etc.Close: restate request, idea
24 Persuasive: COLD organization Capture the ATTENTION of the reader.Offer something valuable, promise a benefit, ask a question, provide a quotation, and so forth
25 Persuasive: COLD organization Build INTEREST. Emphasize a central selling point. Make rational and emotional appeals
26 Persuasive: COLD organization Elicit DESIRE.To reduce resistance, use testimonials, money-back guarantees, free samples, performance tests, or other techniques.
27 Persuasive: COLD organization Motivate ACTION.Offer a gift, promise an incentive, limit the offer, set a deadline, or guarantee satisfaction. Include a P.S. with a special inducement.
28 Persuasive: Reader Benefits Benefits and advantages the reader gets fromusing your servicesbuying your productsfollowing your policiesadopting your ideasDemonstrate your concern for quality and meeting customers’ needsReader benefits exist for ideas as well as for products and services.7
29 Good Reader Benefits are Adapted to the audienceSaving money vs. saving timeDeveloped using logic and detailsAccurateDetailedPhrased in You-AttitudeBenefits are often “frontloaded”Good reader benefits must meet four criteria.1. Adapted to the audience. For example, some people need to save money. Others are quite willing to spend more to save time.2. Based on intrinsic (not extrinsic) benefits. Buying a car because you get a discount or a “free” vacation is an extrinsic benefit--added on. Buying a car because it gets good mileage, has room for the stuff you haul, or provides independence are all intrinsic benefits. Reading a chapter to get a grade is an extrinsic motivator, and much less powerful than reading because you want to learn. Think about all the people who have trouble reading school assignments who voluntarily read about sports, stereos, or other topics they care about.9