2 Chapter 8 The Writing Process Phase 1: Analyze, Anticipate, Adapt Do you really need to write?How will the reader react?What channel should you use?How can you save your reader’s time?
3 Chapter 8 The Writing Process Phase 2: Research, Organize, Compose Collect informationChoose the best organizational strategyCompose the first draftGroup similar information together
4 Chapter 8 The Writing Process Phase 3: Revise, Proofread, Evaluate Is the message clear? Correct?Did you plan for feedback?Will this message achieve its purpose?
5 Chapter 8 Routine Requests for Information or Action Opening Body Ask a question or issue a polite command (Please answer the following questions.)Avoid long explanations preceding main ideaAvoid introductionsBodyExplain; your purpose and provide detailsExpress questions in parallel form (use numbers or bullets)Use open-ended questions to elicit the most information (what steps are necessary?) instead of yes or no questionsSuggest reader benefits if possibleClosingState specifically, but courteously, what action is to be takenProvide an end date, if one is significant (provide a logical reason for end date)Avoid cliché endings (Thank you for your cooperation)Show appreciation with a fresh expression (Your prompt reply will be appreciated)Make it easy for the receiver to respond
6 Chapter 8 Direct Response Messages Subject line Opening Body Closing Identify the topic and any previous correspondenceUsed abbreviated style, omitting articles (a, an, the)OpeningDeliver the information the reader wantsWhen announcing good news, do so promptlyBodyExplain the subject logicallyUse lists, tables, headings, boldface, italics to improve readabilityPromote your products and your organization to customersClosingOffer a concluding thought, perhaps referring to the information or action requestedAvoid cliché endings (If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to call)Be cordial
7 Chapter 8 Instruction Messages Opening Body Closing Introduce the instructionsExplain why the instructions are necessaryBodyDivide the instructions into stepsList the steps in the order to be carried outArrange the items vertically with bullets or numbersBegin each step with an action verb (Write. . .; Speak. . .; Complete. . .ClosingExplain how following the instructions will benefit the readerUse a polite, positive tone here and throughout the message
8 Chapter 8 Direct Claims, Complaints Opening Body Closing Explain immediately what you want doneState the remedy briefly when it is obvious (Please credit my Visa account. . .)Explain your goal when the remedy is less obviousBodyExplain the problem and justify your requestProvide details objectively and conciselyBe organized and coherent—don’t rambleAvoid becoming angry or trying to fix blameInclude names and dates with previous actionsClosingEnd courteously with a tone that promotes goodwillRequest specific action, including end date, if appropriate
9 Chapter 8 Adjustment Messages Opening Body Closing When approving a customer’s claim, announce the adjustment immediatelyAvoid sounding grudging or reluctantBodyStrive 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 supervisor or legal counsel first)Concentrate on explaining how diligently your organization works to avoid disappointing customersAvoid negative language (trouble, regret, fault)Avoid blaming customers—even if they are at faultAvoid blaming individuals or departments in your organization—it sounds unprofessionalClosingShow appreciation that the customer contacted youConsider expressing confidence that the problem has been resolvedThank the customer for past businessRefer to your desire to be of service
10 Chapter 8 Goodwill Messages In expressing thanks, recognition, or sympathy, discuss the receiver, not the sender.In expressing thanks, recognition, or sympathy, cite specifics rather than generalities.In expressing thanks, recognition, or sympathy, be sincere. Show your honest feelings with unpretentious language.In expressing thanks, recognition, or sympathy, be spontaneous. Make the message sound natural, fresh, and direct. Avoid canned phrases.In expressing thanks, recognition, or sympathy, keep the message short. Although goodwill messages may be as long as needed, they generally are short.
11 Chapter 8 Answering Congratulatory Messages Send a brief note expressing your appreciationTell how good the message made you feelAccept praise gracefully. Avoid belittling statements (I’m not really all that good.)