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Chapter 8 Routine memos and e-mail messages What ’ s the difference between routine letters and memos? Background information and explanation. Goodwill.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 8 Routine memos and e-mail messages What ’ s the difference between routine letters and memos? Background information and explanation. Goodwill."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Chapter 8 Routine memos and messages

3 What ’ s the difference between routine letters and memos? Background information and explanation. Goodwill messages

4 The benefits of developing skills in writing memos and s The characteristics of successful memos and messages The organization of memos and s Smart practices Memos and s Part I Subject,opening, body, closing

5 An example-- From : D.M.Sidwell To : A.J.Coleman Cc : C.F.Lindsay Subject : meeting Andrew, The meeting will now be at on Monday in Mike ’ s office. I hope you can make it. Please let me know if this is OK. Thanks Duncan

6 An example -- memo To: Kobi Marsh, Marketing Manager From : Isabelle Hutton, Managing Director Subject : Market Share Date: 11 July

7 An example – memo You ’ ve seen the sales forecast for the next twelve months. The worrying aspect is that our market share is going to fall slightly, although overall sales are likely to remain steady. We must carry out a new market survey to see how we should appraise our product range in order to maintain our market position. To do this, we may have to modify our existing products or launch a completely new product. Please let me have your views on this as soon as possible. Isabelle

8 The benefits of developing skill in writing memos and messages 1. Well-written documents are likely to achieve their goals 2. Well-written documents enhance your image within the organization (these person will be noticed, rewarded, and promoted )

9 Characteristics of successful memos and messages 1. Guideword headings: To, from, date, subject headings 2. Single topic: discuss only one topic 3. Conversational tone: the tone of memos and messages should be conversational, professional.(not emotional) 4. Conciseness: the messages contain only what ’ s necessary to convey meaning and be courteous.(to eliminate wordiness)

10 Characteristics of successful memos and messages 5. Graphic highlighting: to make important ideas stand out and to improve readability, memo and writers make liberal use of graphic highlighting techniques.(numbered and bulleted lists and headings )

11 Questions What are five characteristics of successful memos and messages? What ’ s graphic highlighting, and why is it particularly useful in memos and e- mail messages ?

12 Revise the paragraph by using graphic highlighting techniques A recent survey of car buyers uncovered some very interesting information about what electronic options they really wanted in new cars. Some technology visionaries have been saying that car buyers wanted a lot of fancy electronic gadgets, but the survey showed that only 5.1 percent, for example, wanted a trip computer. Most car buyers mentioned cruise control ( 79.1 percent). A total of 61.1 percent said that they wanted antilock brakes. A smaller percentage (50.5 percent )wanted keyless entry. Farther down the list we found that buyers wanted CD players ( 34.1 percent) (P274)

13 The improved one The following table is about what electronic options customers wanted in new cars: Electronic optionsPercentage of customers Trip computer 5.1% Cruise control 79.1% Antilock brakes 61.1% Keyless entry 50.5% CD players 34.1%

14 Organization of memos and messages 1. Subject line : summarize the central idea. e.g. SUBJECT: Staff Meeting to Discuss Summer Vacation Schedule 2. Opening: most direct memos convey non-sensitive information and thus frontload the main idea in the opening.

15 Organization of memos and messages e.g. please review the following proposal regarding employees ’ benefits, and let me know by May 20 if you approve these changes.

16 Revise the opener(I) At the meeting of the management council last Thursday, you mentioned a very interesting study that you conducted last year. It reported data regarding employee turnover, and you said that it revealed some intriguing findings. Please send me a copy of your study. (8.1 A)

17 The improved one SUBJECT: Data Regarding Employee Turnover please send me a copy of your study regarding employee turnover

18 Revise the opener (II) I have before me your memo of the 16 th in which you request permission to attend the Web Site Design Seminar sponsored by Presentation Planners. As I understand it, this is a two-day seminar scheduled for February 25 and 26. Your reasons for attending were well stated and convincing. You have my permission to attend. (8.1 C)

19 The improved one SUBJECT: Web Site Design Seminar Welcome to the Web Site Design Seminar sponsored by Presentation Planners scheduled for February 25 and 26.

20 Organization of memos and messages 3. Body: provides more information about the reason for writing. It explains and discusses the subject logically -- to explain more clearly, what techniques can you use ?

21 Organization of memos and messages 4. Closing: I.action information including dates and deadlines e.g. So that we can prepare the necessary paperwork, please let me know your answers to these questions by Wednesday, August 18. II. A summary e.g. These are cost-reduction steps we ’ ve taken thus far. III. A closing thought e.g. I sincerely appreciate your cooperation.

22 Revise the body(I) Our employee leasing program has proven to be an efficient management tool for business owners because we take care of everything. Our program will handle your payroll preparation. Moreover, benefits for employees are covered. We also know what a chore calculating worker ’ s compensation premiums can be, so we do that for you. And we make all the necessary state and federal reports that are required today. (8.3 B)

23 The improved one our employee leasing program will take care of the following items for you: 1. Handle the payroll preparation 2. Cover benefits for employees 3. Calculate worker ’ s compensation premiums 4. Make all the necessary state and federal reports

24 Revise the body (II) We are concerned about your safety in using our automated teller machines (ATMs) at night, so we think you should consider the following tips. Users of ATMs are encouraged to look around — especially at night — before using the service. If you notice anything suspicious, the use of another ATM is recommended. Or you could come back later. Another suggestion that we give our customers involves counting your cash. Be sure that the cash you receive is put away quickly. Don ’ t count it as soon as you get it. It ’ s better to check it in the safety of your car or at home. Also, why not take a friend with you if you must use an ATM at night? We also suggest that you park in a well-lighted area as close to the actual location of the ATM as possible. (8.3 c)

25 The improved one For your safety in using our ATMS at night, please follow the next tips: 1. Look around before using the service. If you notice anything suspicious, try another one. 2. Put away the cash quickly and check it in the safety of your car or at home. 3. Take a friend with you if possible. 4. Park in a well-lighted area as close to the actual location of the ATM as possible.

26 Questions Name three ways to close a memo or e- mail message? Action information Summary Closing thought

27 Smart practices Get the address right; --a wrong address would make your message bounce avoid misleading subject lines; --make sure your subject line is relevant and helpful be concise; --don ’ t burden readers with unnecessary information don ’ t send anything you wouldn ’ t want published; -- creates a permanent record, and every message can be used against you or your employer. don ’ t use to avoid contact; -- is inappropriate for breaking bad news or for resolving arguments.

28 Smart practices never respond when you are angry; --you can produce better alternatives after thinking about what was said. care about correctness; --sloppy messages make readers work too hard resist humor and tongue-in-cheek comments; --humor can easily be misunderstood without the nonverbal cues limit any tendency to send blanket copies; --send copies only to people who really need to see a message.

29 Smart practices use design to improve readability of longer messages; --use headings, bulleted listings, side headings, and introductory summary to shorten reading time consider cultural differences; double check before hitting the send button; --avoid the necessity of sending a second message which makes you look pretty careless protect against break-ins. --don ’ t give your password to anyone else

30 Questions Suggest at least ten pointers that you could give to a first-time user?

31 Memos and s Part II Format of memos and s Three kinds of memos and s Information and procedure memos and s Request and reply memos and s Confirmation memo and s

32 Formatting messages Guide words: to, from, date, subject, cc, Bcc,attached. 1. After TO, type the receiver ’ s electronic address. If you include the receiver ’ s name, enclose the address in angle brackets. 2. After FROM, type your name and electronic address, if your program does not insert it automatically. 3. After Subject, provide a clear description of your message.

33 Formatting messages Salutation: I. To company insiders, salutations were omitted. II. To outsiders, salutation should be included, such as dear linlee.( or put it in the first sentence ) Body: cover just one topic, and try to keep the total message under three screens in length. Closing lines: the writer ’ s name, title, address, and organization.

34 To: From: Date: Subject: Cc: attachments Body

35 Memo To: From: Date: Subject: Body

36 Three kinds of memos and messages 1. Information and procedure memos and messages deliver information or outlining procedures 2. Request and reply memos and messages requesting action or information; reply to requests 3. Confirmation memos and messages create a permanent record of oral decisions, directives, and discussions

37 Procedure and information memos and messages It includes : -- clear subject line, direct opening, concise explanation, and action closing e.g. Opening: -- to improve budget planning and to control costs, please follow the new procedures listed below … Explanation: -- printing is a necessary expenditure, however, our bill seems very high lately,particularly those from Printmasters …. ( clear idea)

38 Revise the following information memo Date : current To : all employees From : mark grist, employee benefits division Subject: Retirement

39 Revise the following information memo We are aware that many employees do not have sufficient information that relates to the prospect of their retirement. Many employees who are approaching retirement age have come to this office with specific questions about their retirement. It would be much easier for us to answer all these questions at once, and that is what we will try to do. (8.10)

40 Revise the following information memo We would like to answer your questions at a series of retirement planning sessions in the company conference room. The first meeting is September 6. We will start at 4 p.m., which means that the company is giving you one hour of released time to attend this important session. We will meet from 4 to 6 p.m. when we will stop for dinner. We will begin again at 7 p.m. and finish at 8 p.m.

41 Revise the following information memo We have arranged for three speakers. They are : our company benefits supervisor, a financial planner, and a psychologist who treats retirees who have mental problems. The three sessions are planned for : September 6, October 4, and November 1.

42 The improved one We will answer all retirement questions in the following three sessions: The first sessionThe second session The third session DateSeptember 6October 4November 1 Time4 to 6 p.m. Dinner 7 to 8 p.m. 4 to 6 p.m. Dinner 7 to 8 p.m. 4 to 6 p.m. Dinner 7 to 8 p.m. SpeakerOur company benefits supervisor Financial plannerPsychologist Place for the meeting : company conference room

43 Request and reply memos and messages It follows the direct pattern in seeking or providing information Request memos: Opening : I. Ask the most important question first, followed by an explanation and then the other questions II. Use a polite command, such as please answer the following questions regarding … Body: explain and justify your request Closing : include an end date to promote a quick response

44 An example MEMO TO :Department Managers Please answer the questions listed below about the use of temporary help in your department. (a polite command ) With your ideas we plan to develop a policy that will help us improve the process of budgeting, selecting, and hiring temporaries. ( explain the purpose concisely )

45 An example 1. What ’ s the average number of temporary office workers you employ each month? 2. What is the average length of a temporary worker ’ s assignment in your department? 3. What specific job skills are you generally seeking in your temporaries? 4. What temporary agencies are you now using? ( list parallel questions to improve readability) by replying before January 20, you will have direct input into the new policy, which we will be developing at the end of the month. This improved policy will help you fill your temporary employment needs more quickly and more efficiently. ( include end date, along with reason and reader benefit)

46 Questions Should a request memo or message open immediately with the request or with an explanation? Why? -- with the request, -- readers can understand the explanation better once they know the request first.

47 Request and reply memos and messages Reply memos: Opening : start directly by responding to the writer ’ s request(we are happy to assist you in … ) Body: provide the information requested in a logical and coherent order ; in providing additional data, use familiar words, short sentences, short paragraphs and active-voice verbs; if further action is required, be specific in spelling it out. Closing : provides deadline and reason.

48 Revise the request memo Date : Current To : All Employees From: Elizabeth Mendoza, Human Resources Subject: New Holiday Plan (8.5)

49 Revise the request memo In the past we ’ ve offered all employees 11 holidays ( starting with New Year ’ s Day in January and proceeding through Christmas Day the following December). Other companies offer similar holiday schedules.

50 Revise the request memo In addition, we ’ ve given all employees one floating holiday. As you know, we ’ ve determined that day by a companywide vote. As a result, all employees had the same day off. Now, however, management is considering a new plan that we feel would be better. This new plan involves a floating holiday that each individual employee may decide for herself or himself. We ’ ve given it considerable thought and decided that such a plan could definitely work.

51 Revise the request memo We would allow each employee to choose a day that he or she wants. Of course, we would have to issue certain restrictions. Selections would have to be subject to our staffing needs within individual departments. For example, if everyone wanted the same day, we could not allow everyone to take it. In that case, we would allow the employee with the most seniority to have the day off.

52 Revise the request memo Before we institute the new plan, though, we wanted to see what employees thought about it. Is it better to continue our current companywide uniform floating holiday? Or should we try an individual floating holiday? please let us know what you think as soon as possible.

53 The improved one We are considering a new floating holiday plan. Please make a choice between the next two plans. I. The uniform floating holiday: all employees had the same day off II. The individual floating holiday: each individual employee may decide for herself or himself, but selections would have to be subject to our staff needs within individual departments Please reply before December 20. You will have direct input into the new plan so we can decide it at the end of this month. This new plan can help you enjoy your holiday.

54 Confirmation memos and messages I. Confirm an oral agreement : 1. Include names and titles of involved individuals 2. Itemize major issues or points concisely 3. Request feedback regarding unclear or inaccurate points II. Verify receipt of materials or a change of schedule.

55 The four necessary points in a confirmation memo Individual involved Date Being lawful facts

56 An example To confirm the call from Carla Ramos who tells you that her portion of the report will be a week later this message verifies our telephone conversation of November 5 in which you said that your portion of the budget report will be submitted November 14 instead of November 7.

57 Revise the confirmation To : From: Subject: commercials (8.6)

58 Revise the confirmation It was good o talk to you on the telephone yesterday after exchanging letters with you an dafter reading so much about Bermuda. I was very interested in learning about the commercials you want me to write. As I understand it. Mr. Morrison, you want a total of 240 one-minute radio commercials. These commercials are intended to rejuvenate the slumping tourist industry in Bermuda. You said that these commercials would be broadcast from March 30 through June 30. You said these commercials would be played on three radio stations. These stations are in five major cities on the East Coast. The commercials would be aimed at morning and evening drive time, for drivers who are listening to their radios, and the campaign would be called ” radio Bermuda ”

59 Revise the confirmation I am sure I can do as you suggested in reminding listeners that Bermuda is less than two hours away. You expect me to bring to these commercials the color and character of the island. You want me to highlight the attractions and the civility of Bermuda, at least as much as can be done in one-minute radio commercials. In my notes I wrote that you also mentioned that I should include references to tree frogs and royal palm trees. Another item you suggested that I include in some of the commercials was special Bermuda food, such as delicacies like shark on toast, conch fritters, and mussel stew.

60 Revise the confirmation I wanted to be sure to write these points down so that we both agreed on what we said in our telephone conversation. I am eager to begin working on these commercials immediately, but I would feel better if you looked over these points to see if I have it right. I look forward to working with you.

61 The improved one This message confirms our conversation and the points we ’ ve agreed on the phone Feb 2: 1.The length: a total of 240 one-minute radio commercial 2.The purpose: to rejuvenate the slumping tourist industry in Bermuda. 3.Radio stations: three radio stations in five major cities on the East Coast. 4.Lasting time: from March 30 to June 30 5.Broadcasting times: morning and evening drive time

62 The improved one 6. The commercials should contain the following items: a. The distance from Bermuda: less than two hours away b. The color and character of the the island c. Attractions and the civility of Bermuda d. Special Bermuda food e. Tree frogs and royal palm trees. If you agree that this message accurately reflects our conversation, please reply with your agreement before March 1.

63 Homework or 8.14 Pay attention to the following aspects: 1. Format 2. Graphic highlighting 3. Conversational and professional


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