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Chapter 8: Writing Routine and Positive Messages

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on 2 October 2014

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Transcript of Chapter 8: Writing Routine and Positive Messages

Chapter 8: Writing Routine and Positive Messages
Routine Requests
Information is asked or action from another party is requested.
Requests are a regular part of business.
How? Clear strategies, tailoring message and the approach to each situation
Why? Generates effective requests quickly

What All Requests Have in Common
Three Most Common Routine Request Examples
Asking for Information & Action

* Tells what you want to know or what you want the reader to do

* Explains why you're making the request

* Explains why it is in reader's interest to help you
Strategy for Routine & Positive Messages
> Follow/consider these things when responding to requests from other people
> Always use a direct approach here
Six Types of Routine and Positive Messages
Opening/Main Idea
: Be clear; get to the point but don't be "abrupt or tasteless"; tone matters here; assume audience will comply, esp. if they understand your message; be specific about what you want
: Explain request here; should logically follow opening request; here, you can-- a. ask most important questions, b. ask only relevant questions, c. if a complex request, break into several questions
: request specific action by 1. including relevant deadlines, 2. info about how to be reached (if needed), 3. an expression of appreciation or goodwill
Asking for Recommendations

* Employers may ask for references "who can vouch for [candidate's] ability, skills, integrity, character, and fitness for [a] job" (p. 225)

State why recommendation is required and you would like this person to write it

Provide job details/ overview of job or some personal highlights

Express thanks; enclose contact info of who this letter be addressed to; if immediate, enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope
Intro: Clearly state reason for writing

Body: Justify request/how it will benefit receiver

Close: What you expect and by when
Making Claims & Adjustments

*Made when you are dissatisfied w/company's brand or service

* Keep a professional tone

* Assume a fair adjustment will be made
Open: Start with the problem

Body: Give complete explanation of details

Close: Politely request specific action or convey a sincere desire to find a solution; copies of attachments may be required
All Should Have the Following:
Place main idea or
good news here

Be clear and

Focus on what your
audience needs to
Explain relevant
details here
Support main
idea here

if needed, give
disappointing news
in a good context

assure customers of
their purchase

"resale" is good here
but should be short and

Be Cordial

Highlight possible
benefit to reader

Simple and short

Include a thank you

if action required, give
details about who &
Providing Recommendations & References
Check company policy on this first!

Usually, requests ask whether you can determine if "person being recommended has the characteristics necessary for the job, assignment, or other objective..." (p. 233).
Sharing Routine Information
Announcing Good News
Fostering Goodwill
Used to "enhance relationships with customers, colleagues, and other business people by sending friendly, even unexpected notes with no direct business purpose" (p. 236)
Answering Requests for Information & Action
* Be direct if it is a simple response
* Be prompt, gracious, and thorough
Granting Claims & Requests for Adjustments
"Every [possible] mistake [companies make] is an opportunity to improve a relationship" (p. 230)
If this is a sale...
1. respond to inquiry and answer all questions
2. leave good impression of you and your firm
3. encourage a future sale with tact
Determine if there are company policies when a mistake occurs!
If company at fault,
- consult company
policy or crisis
management plan
> acknowledge receipt
> sympathize with customer
> take/assign how mistake
will be handled
> explain resolution plan
> repair relationship
> follow up
> professional demeanor
If customer at fault,
- consider cost of
making adjustments
vs. cost of lost future
- use tact when
explaning what would
have gone/did go wrong
- appreciate customer's
When a 3rd party is at fault,
- know company policy
- explain how problem
will be solved

You put your reputation on the line here.
If applicant has too many shortcomings, don't write letter.
Open by stating purpose and the nature of the information
youare providing

Provide necessary details in the body (highlight potential benefits, if necessary)

Include a courteous closing

Use a direct approach
Often put in a news release, aka
a press release
Can often be done by a specially
designated person or office
Write a good news release
Often viewed as general purpose
tool for communication (p. 236)
Now, can offer a social
media release which can
be revised for different mediums
A small effort, can go a long way!
1. You can provide information readers may find helpful
2. Use tone and content to provide an element of entertainment (but may not be suitable for all organizations)
Send congratulations: fosters goodwill
Offer appreciation: can encourage excellence and increase morale
Offer condolences: make it short, simple and sincere
Full transcript