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Writing Reader-Focused Letters, Memos, and E-Mail. C H A P T E R 12 . Presentation Overview. How Do You Prepare to Write Correspondence? What Makes Correspondence Effective? How Do You Select the Most Appropriate Format for Your Correspondence?

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Writing Reader-Focused Letters, Memos, and E-Mail


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    Presentation Transcript
    1. Writing Reader-Focused Letters, Memos, and E-Mail C H A P T E R 12

    2. Presentation Overview • How Do You Prepare to Write Correspondence? • What Makes Correspondence Effective? • How Do You Select the Most Appropriate Format for Your Correspondence? • How Do You Format a Letter? • How Do You Format a Memo? • How Do You Format an E-Mail?

    3. Presentation Overview • How Do You Organize Your Correspondence? • How Do You Create a Professional Image Through Your Correspondence?

    4. How Do You Prepare to Write Correspondence? • Determine your objectives. • Find out about your readers and how they will perceive your message.

    5. Determine Your Objectives Ask: • What is the purpose of the correspondence? What do you expect it to accomplish? • What action, if any, do you expect readers to take after reading the correspondence? • What do you expect readers to know after reading the correspondence?

    6. Find Out about Your Readers Ask: • Who will read the correspondence? Will more than one person read it? • What are the readers’ positions and responsibilities? How might their positions and responsibilities affect how they perceive your message?

    7. Find Out about Your Readers • If your readers are external, what is their relationship to you and your organization? How will this relationship affect how they perceive your message? • What do your readers know about the subject of the correspondence?

    8. What Makes Correspondence Effective? • Having a purpose • Clearly specifying what readers should do or know after reading • Containing all the information readers need—no less and no more • Anticipating and answering readers’ questions • Being tactful and professional

    9. How Do You Select an Appropriate Format for Your Correspondence?

    10. How Do You Format a Letter? • Subject or reference line (optional in block or modified block styles) • Salutation • Body • Complimentary closing • Signature block • Enclosure line (optional) • Copy line (optional) Parts • Letterhead or writer’s address • Date (can appear before writer’s address) • Recipient's name, position, business or organization, and address

    11. How Do You Format a Letter? Styles • Block style: places everything on previous slide flush against the left margin • Modified block style: indents the writer’s address (if used), date, complimentary closing, signature block, and, optionally, the first line of each paragraph

    12. How Do You Format a Letter? Styles • AMS simplified style: includes the subject or reference line and omits the salutation, complimentary closing, and handwritten part of the signature block, leaving only the typed name in all capital letters

    13. How Do You Format a Memo? • Subject: or Re: (for “Regarding”) • Body * The “Date:” line can appear at the beginning or the end. Parts • Memorandum, Memo, or Interoffice Communication • To: • From: • Date:*

    14. How Do You Format an E-Mail? Parts • To: • Cc: • Bcc: • Subject: • Greeting (optional) • Body • Signature block

    15. How Do You Format an E-Mail? Guidelines • Make the subject line informative and specific. • Follow the rules of capitalization. • Don’t use abbreviations. • Limit the e-mail to business issues, and to one subject.

    16. How Do You Organize Your Correspondence? • The direct approach • The indirect approach

    17. The Direct Approach • In the first paragraph, present the main message. • In the middle paragraph(s), explain the main message. • In the final paragraph, close the correspondence.

    18. The Direct Approach Scenario: After having entered a photograph competition, you receive the following correspondence. What type format—letter, memo, or e-mail—do you think would be most appropriate? Do you think the organization was effective? We are writing to let you know the results of the competition. Unfortunately, your entry was not one of those chosen to receive an award. This year we received hundreds of submissions, making it our toughest competition to date. Each submission was evaluated

    19. The Direct Approach carefully by a panel of three judges using a 9-point scoring system. To receive a 9, a photograph must be technically correct, demonstrate outstanding composition, and tell a complete story. Your overall score was a 3 out of 9. Please see the attached score sheet for more information and note that the results are final. We appreciate your participation in this year’s competition. Many winners are repeat contestants from previous competitions, so we hope you will try again next year.

    20. The Indirect Approach • In the first paragraph, buffer the main message with a positive or neutral statement. • In the middle paragraph(s), explain and then state the main message. • In the final paragraph, close the correspondence.

    21. The Indirect Approach Scenario: The following is a different version of the same correspondence. Which organization do you prefer, in this case? We appreciate your participation in this year’s competition. We received hundreds of submissions, making it the toughest competition to date. Our panel of three judges goes through each of the submissions carefully using a 9-point scoring system to determine the winners. To receive a 9, a photograph must

    22. The Indirect Approach be technically correct, demonstrate outstanding composition, and tell a complete story. Your overall score was a 3 out of 9. Unfortunately, your entry was not selected as one of the winners for this year. Please see the attached score sheet for more information and note that the results are final. Most winners are repeat contestants from previous competitions, so we hope you will try again next year.

    23. How Do You Create a Professional Image Through Your Correspondence? • Put yourself in the readers’ shoes. • Use a tactful, professional tone. • Avoid overused phrases. • Use specific language. • Follow grammar and punctuation rules.

    24. Questions?