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Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Mary Ellen Guffey Copyright © 2008 Chapter 8 Positive Letters and Messages.

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Presentation on theme: "Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Mary Ellen Guffey Copyright © 2008 Chapter 8 Positive Letters and Messages."— Presentation transcript:

1 Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Mary Ellen Guffey Copyright © 2008 Chapter 8 Positive Letters and Messages

2 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 2 Positive Letters and Messages The Writing Process Typical Direct, Positive Letters Letter Structure and Format The Five Ss of Goodwill Messages

3 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 3 Understanding the Power of Business Letters Business letters are powerful and effective because they  Produce a permanent record  Maintain confidentiality  Convey formality and sensitivity  Deliver a persuasive, well- considered message.

4 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 4 Applying the Writing Process Prewriting Analyze Anticipate Adapt  Identify your purpose.  Visualize the receiver.  Predict the receiver’s reaction.  Consider ways to adapt your message to achieve your goal.

5 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 5 Applying the Writing Process  Collect information  Choose the most effective pattern of organization.  Compose the first draft. Writing Research Organize Compose

6 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 6  Revise for clarity and conciseness.  Proofread for correctness.  Decide whether this message will achieve its purpose. Revising Edit Proofread Evaluate Applying the Writing Process

7 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 7 Analyzing the Structure of Positive Letters Opening Body Closing Anaconda Trading Co Anaconda Drive Victorville, CA

8 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 8 Structure of Positive Letters: Opening Frontload in the opening.  Begin with the main idea.  Tell immediately why you are writing. Anaconda Trading Co Anaconda Drive Victorville, CA

9 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 9 Structure of Positive Letters: Body Explain in the body.  Present details that explain the request or response.  Group similar ideas together.  Include graphic highlighting to spotlight main points. Anaconda Trading Co Anaconda Drive Victorville, CA

10 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 10 Structure of Positive Letters: Closing Be specific and courteous in the closing.  For requests, tell specifically what action you want taken and provide an end date (deadline) if appropriate.  For other routine letters, provide a courteous, concluding thought. Anaconda Trading Co Anaconda Drive Victorville, CA

11 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 11 Formatting Business Letters WEB: 5090 Katella Avenue PHONE: (310) Anaheim, CA FAX: (310) May 18, 2008 Ms. LaTonja Williams Health Care Specialists 2608 Fairview Road Costa Mesa, CA Dear Ms. Williams: Subject: Formatting Business Letters WEB: 5090 Katella Avenue PHONE: (310) Anaheim, CA FAX: (310) May 18, 2008 Ms. LaTonja Williams Health Care Specialists 2608 Fairview Road Costa Mesa, CA Dear Ms. Williams: Subject: Formatting Business Letters LetterheadDateline Inside Address Salutation Subject Line CYPRESS ASSOCIATES, INC. 2 inches from top of page 2 to 7 blank lines 1 blank line

12 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 12 At your request, this letter illustrates and explains business letter formatting in a nutshell. The most important points to remember are these: 1. Set margins between 1 and 1½ inches; most word processing programs automatically set margins at 1 inch. 2. Start the date 2 inches from the top edge of the paper or 1 blank line below the letterhead, whichever position is lower. 3. Allow about 5 lines after the date—more lines for shorter letters and fewer lines for longer ones. The two most popular letter styles are block and modified block. Block style, with all lines beginning at the left, causes the least trouble. In modified block-style letters, At your request, this letter illustrates and explains business letter formatting in a nutshell. The most important points to remember are these: 1. Set margins between 1 and 1½ inches; most word processing programs automatically set margins at 1 inch. 2. Start the date 2 inches from the top edge of the paper or 1 blank line below the letterhead, whichever position is lower. 3. Allow about 5 lines after the date—more lines for shorter letters and fewer lines for longer ones. The two most popular letter styles are block and modified block. Block style, with all lines beginning at the left, causes the least trouble. In modified block-style letters, Numbered list for improved readability One blank line between paragraphs

13 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 13 the date and closing lines start at the center. For both styles the complimentary close is followed by three blank lines before the writer’s signature. Reference initials and enclosure notations, if used, appear in the lower left corner, as shown below. So that you can see additional styles, I’m sending our office style guide. I certainly hope this material is helpful to you and your assistants, Ms. Williams. Sincerely, Sharon Montoya Executive Director SM: lef Enclosure the date and closing lines start at the center. For both styles the complimentary close is followed by three blank lines before the writer’s signature. Reference initials and enclosure notations, if used, appear in the lower left corner, as shown below. So that you can see additional styles, I’m sending our office style guide. I certainly hope this material is helpful to you and your assistants, Ms. Williams. Sincerely, Sharon Montoya Executive Director SM: lef Enclosure Complimentary Closing Printed Name and Title Reference Initials 1 blank line 3-4 blank lines

14 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 14 Direct Requests for Information or Action Opening  Ask a question or issue a polite command (Will you please answer the following questions…).  Avoid long explanations preceding the main idea.

15 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 15 Direct Requests for Information or Action Body  Explain your purpose and provide detail.  Express questions in parallel form. Number or bullet them.  To elicit the most information, use open- ended questions (What training programs do you recommend?) rather than yes-or-no questions (Are training programs available?).  Suggest reader benefits, if possible.

16 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 16 Direct Requests for Information or Action Closing  State specifically, but courteously, what action is to be taken.  Set an end date, if one is significant. Explain.  Avoid cliché endings (Thank you for your cooperation.) Show appreciation, but use a fresh expression.  Make it easy for receiver to respond.

17 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 17 “Before”—Ineffective Routine Request Dear Sir: Because we are one of the largest banking systems in the country, we receive hundreds of résumés from job candidates every day. We need help in sorting and ranking candidates by categories, such as job classification, education, work history, skills, and experience. Recently, I was reading a Workforce magazine article, and the March issue has a story about your new software program called ResumePro. It sounds fascinating and may be the answer to our problem. We would like more information about this program, which is supposed to read and sort résumés. In addition to learning if the program can sort candidates into the categories mentioned earlier, I am wondering if the program can read all the different type fonts and formats that candidates use on their résumés. Another important consideration for us is training and troubleshooting. If we need help with the program, would you supply it? Thank you for your cooperation. Sincerely, Dear Sir: Because we are one of the largest banking systems in the country, we receive hundreds of résumés from job candidates every day. We need help in sorting and ranking candidates by categories, such as job classification, education, work history, skills, and experience. Recently, I was reading a Workforce magazine article, and the March issue has a story about your new software program called ResumePro. It sounds fascinating and may be the answer to our problem. We would like more information about this program, which is supposed to read and sort résumés. In addition to learning if the program can sort candidates into the categories mentioned earlier, I am wondering if the program can read all the different type fonts and formats that candidates use on their résumés. Another important consideration for us is training and troubleshooting. If we need help with the program, would you supply it? Thank you for your cooperation. Sincerely,

18 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 18 Letter Revision: Critical Thinking Questions 1.What is the purpose of the routine request? 2.What do you think the receiver’s reaction will be to this letter? 3.Should the letter be developed directly or indirectly? How is it currently developed? 4.What information should be included in the body? How could it be organized for improved readability? 5.How could the closing be worded to ensure that you get a response by a specific date? 6.How will you know whether the sender has communicated successfully?

19 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 19 “After”—Improved Request Dear ResumePro Product Manager: Please send me information about your ResumePro software program, which I read about in the March issue of Workforce magazine. My company receives hundreds of résumés daily, and, frankly, we need help in processing them. Answers to the following questions would help us determine whether ResumePro could solve our problem. 1. In terms of fonts and formats, what kinds of résumés can your software program read? 2. Can the program help us sort and rank candidates by categories such as job classification, education, work history, skills, and experience? 3. How does your company provide training and trouble-shooting service for your software? Thanks for answering these questions and for providing any other information about ResumePro. I would appreciate your response by April 1 so that we can study the program before the rush of job applications in June. Sincerely, Dear ResumePro Product Manager: Please send me information about your ResumePro software program, which I read about in the March issue of Workforce magazine. My company receives hundreds of résumés daily, and, frankly, we need help in processing them. Answers to the following questions would help us determine whether ResumePro could solve our problem. 1. In terms of fonts and formats, what kinds of résumés can your software program read? 2. Can the program help us sort and rank candidates by categories such as job classification, education, work history, skills, and experience? 3. How does your company provide training and trouble-shooting service for your software? Thanks for answering these questions and for providing any other information about ResumePro. I would appreciate your response by April 1 so that we can study the program before the rush of job applications in June. Sincerely,

20 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 20 Direct Claim Letters Opening  Immediately describe what you want done.  When the remedy is obvious, state it briefly (Please send 12 copies of Model Business Plans to replace the 12 copies of Business Proposals sent in error.)  When the remedy is less obvious, explain your goal (Please clarify your policy regarding reservations and late arrivals.)

21 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 21 Direct Claim Letters Body  Explain the problem and justify your request.  Provide details objectively and concisely.  Don’t ramble. Be organized and coherent.  Avoid becoming angry or trying to fix blame.  Include names of individuals and dates of previous actions.

22 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 22 Direct Claim Letters Closing  End courteously with a tone that promotes goodwill.  Request specific action, including end date, if appropriate. Note: Act promptly in making claims, and always keep a copy of your message.

23 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 23 Direct Reply Letters Subject Line  Consider including a subject line to identify the topic and any previous correspondence.  Use abbreviated style, omitting articles (a, an, the). Opening  Deliver the information the reader wants.  When announcing good news, do so promptly.

24 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 24 Direct Reply Letters Body  Explain the subject logically.  Use lists, tables, headings, boldface, italics, or other graphic devices to improve readability.  In letters to customers, promote your products and your organization.

25 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 25 Direct Reply Letters Closing  Offer concluding thought, perhaps referring to the information or action requested.  Avoid cliché endings (If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to call).  Be cordial.

26 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 26 Adjustment Letters Opening  When approving a customer’s claim, announce the good news (adjustment) immediately.  Avoid sounding grudging or reluctant.

27 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 27 Adjustment Letters Body  Strive to win back the customer’s confidence; explain what went wrong (if you know).  Apologize if it seems appropriate, but be careful about admitting responsibility. Check with your boss or legal counsel first.  Concentrate on how diligently your organization works to avoid disappointing customers.

28 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 28 Adjustment Letters Body (continued)  Avoid negative language (trouble, regret, fault).  Don’t blame the customers—even if they are at fault.  Don’t blame individuals or departments in your organization. It sounds unprofessional.

29 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 29 Adjustment Letters Closing  Show appreciation that the customer wrote to you.  Consider expressing confidence that the problem has been resolved.  Thank the customer for past business.  Refer to your desire to be of service.

30 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 30 The Five Ss of Goodwill Messages Five Ss of Goodwill Messages Short Spontaneous Sincere Specific Selfless

31 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 31 The Five Ss of Goodwill Messages In expressing thanks, recognition, or sympathy: Be s elfless Discuss the receiver, not the sender not the sender.

32 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 32 Cite specifics rather than generalities. Be s pecific The Five Ss of Goodwill Messages In expressing thanks, recognition, or sympathy:

33 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 33 Show your honest feelings with unpretentious language. Be S incere The Five Ss of Goodwill Messages In expressing thanks, recognition, or sympathy:

34 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 34 Make the message sound natural, fresh, and direct. Avoid canned phrases. Be S pontaneous The Five Ss of Goodwill Messages In expressing thanks, recognition, or sympathy:

35 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 35 Although goodwill messages may be as long as needed, they generally are fairly short. Keep it S hort The Five Ss of Goodwill Messages In expressing thanks, recognition, or sympathy:

36 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 36  Send a brief note expressing your appreciation.  Tell how good the message made you feel.  Accept praise gracefully. Don’t make belittling statements (I’m not really that good.) Answering Congratulatory Messages

37 End Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 8, Slide 37


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