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Chapter 6

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  1. Chapter 6 Positive Messages

  2. Understanding the Power of Business Letters Still important because they do the following: Produce a permanent record Remain confidential,unlike e-mail Convey formality, importance, professionalism Deliver persuasive, well-considered messages Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 2

  3. Formatting Business Letters The next three slides illustrate basic information on proper placement and formatting of business letters. (Refer to Appendix A, Document Format Guide, for more details on this topic.) Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 3

  4. Letterhead 2 inches from top of page Dateline 2 to 7 blank lines Inside Address 1 blank line Salutation 1 blank line Subject Line 1 blank line WEB: cypress@grid.com 5090 Katella Avenue PHONE: (310) 329-4330 Anaheim, CA 92642 FAX: (310) 329-4259 May 18, 201x Ms. LaTonja Williams Health Care Specialists 2608 Fairview Road Costa Mesa, CA 92627 Dear Ms. Williams: Subject: Formatting Business Letters CYPRESS ASSOCIATES, INC. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 4

  5. Numbered list for improved readability One blank line between paragraphs 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, Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 5

  6. Complimentary Closing 3-4 blank lines Printed Name and Title 1 blank line Reference Initials 1 blank line 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 Sharon Montoya Executive Director SM: lef Enclosure Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 6

  7. If mildly interested If pleased If neutral DIRECT PATTERN Organizational Strategies in Business Messages Good News or Main Idea Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 7

  8. Positive Business Messages • Requests for information and action • Replies to customers • Explanations to fellow employees • Instructions • Direct claims and complaints • Adjustments • Goodwill messages Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 8

  9. Writing Plan: Direct Requests Opening Body Closing • Ask the most important question first.OR • Express a polite command. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 9

  10. Writing Plan: Direct Requests Opening Body Closing • Explain the request logically and courteously. • Ask other questions if necessary. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 10

  11. Writing Plan: Direct Requests Opening Body Closing • Request a specific action with an end date, if appropriate. • Show appreciation. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 11

  12. Openings for Direct Requests Opening Body Closing Weak I’ve been given the task of locating a convention site for my company’s meeting. I’ve checked a number of places, and your hotel looks possible. Improved Will you please answer the following questions regarding possible accommodations at the Hyatt Regency for a conference in May. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 12

  13. Openings for Direct Requests Weak My company is interested in creating a professional Facebook page. I noticed on your Web site an offer to have a representative visit and discuss plans. We are eager to have someone visit us. Improved Please have a representative visit my company to discuss creating a professional Facebook page. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 13

  14. Openings for Direct Requests Weak I am conducting a training class for students of photography at the Lincoln Training Center, and I saw a picture we could use in our program. Improved What is the procedure for ordering a copy of a photograph to be used for training purposes? Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 14

  15. Closings for Direct Requests Opening Body Closing Improved We would appreciate receiving answers to these questions before April 4 so that we will have plenty of time to plan our conference. Weak Thank you in advance for any information you can provide. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 15

  16. Closings for Direct Requests Weak Hoping to hear from you at your earliest convenience. Improved Please call us at (213) 457-2998 before April 4 to arrange an appointment during the week of April 10. Your answers to these questions will help us determine whether your security system will meet our needs. Thanks! Thank you for your cooperation. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 16

  17. Writing Plan: Direct Responses Body Body Subject Line Closing Subject Line Opening Opening • Identify previous correspondence. • OR • Summarize the main information from your reply. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 17

  18. Writing Plan: Direct Responses Body Body Subject Line Closing Subject Line Opening Opening Directly respond to the request with a summary statement. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 18

  19. Writing Plan: Direct Responses Closing Body Body Subject Line Opening Closing • Provide details, explanations, and additional information. • Arrange the information logically. • Promote your organization and its products. • End pleasantly. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 19

  20. Writing Plan: Direct Responses Closing Body Body Subject Line Opening Closing • End pleasantly. • Close with one of the following: • A concluding remark • A summary • An offer of further assistance Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 20

  21. Openings for Direct Responses Subject Line Opening Body Closing Weak Your June 30 e-mail message has been forwarded to me for reply. Improved Here are the answers to your questions about our Web site hosting services. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 21

  22. Closings for Direct Requests Subject Line Opening Body Closing Improved We are confident that we can provide the highest level of security for your company’s network. Call us today to feel more secure tomorrow. Weak If I may be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 22

  23. Writing Plan: Instructions Body Body Subject Line Closing Subject Line Opening Opening Summarize the content of the message. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 23

  24. Writing Plan: Instructions Body Body Subject Line Closing Subject Line Opening Opening Expand the subject line by stating the main sentence concisely in a full sentence. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 24

  25. Writing Plan: Instructions Body Closing Subject Line Opening Body Closing • Divide the instructions into steps and list in the order they should be carried out. • Arrange items in a numbered list. • Begin each step with an action verb. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 25

  26. Writing Plan: Instructions Body Closing Subject Line Opening Body Closing Request action, summarize the message, or present a closing thought. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 26

  27. Commands for Instructions Subject Line Opening Body Closing Improved Complete the online application first. Weak The first step is to complete the online application. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 27

  28. Commands for Instructions Subject Line Opening Body Closing Improved Provide your address and phone number. Weak It is necessary to provide your address and phone number. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 28

  29. Writing Plan: Claims, Complaints Opening Body Closing • Describe clearly the problem.OR • Describe the desired action. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 29

  30. Writing Plan: Claims, Complaints Opening Body Closing • Explain the claim. • Tell why the claim is justified. • Provide details about the action requested. • Include necessary documentation. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 30

  31. Writing Plan: Claims, Complaints Opening Body Closing • End pleasantly with a goodwill statement. • Include an end date and action request if appropriate. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 31

  32. Writing Plan: Adjustments Body Subject Line Opening Closing • Identify previous correspondence. • Make a general reference to the main topic. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 32

  33. Writing Plan: Adjustments Body Subject Line Opening Closing Grant the request or announce the adjustment immediately. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 33

  34. Writing Plan: Adjustments Body Subject Line Opening Closing • Provide details about how you are complying with the request. • Strive to regain the reader’s confidence. • Apologize if appropriate, but don’t admit negligence. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 34

  35. Writing Plan: Adjustments Body Subject Line Opening Closing • End positively with a forward-looking thought. • Express confidence in future business dealings. • Include resale or sales promotion if appropriate. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 35

  36. Goodwill Messages What do goodwill messages do? Express thanks Offer congratulations and recognition Extend sympathy Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 36

  37. The Five Ss Be selfless. Be specific. Keep the message short. Tips for Writing Goodwill Messages Be spontaneous. Be sincere. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 37

  38. The Five Ss Be selfless. Focus the messagesolely on the receiver, not the sender. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 38

  39. The Five Ss Be specific. Instead of generic statements (You did a good job), include special details (Your marketing strategy to target key customers proved to be outstanding). Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 39

  40. The Five Ss Show your honest feelings with conversational, unpretentious language(We’re all very proud of your award). Be sincere. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 40

  41. The Five Ss Strive to make the message natural, fresh, and direct. Avoid canned phrases (If I may be of service, please do nothesitate...). Be spontaneous. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 41

  42. Keep the message short. Remember that, although they may be as long as needed, most goodwill messages are fairly short. The Five Ss Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 42

  43. Benefits of Written Thank-You and Congratulatory Messages • Provide sincere thoughtsbecause few people taketime to write • Provide tangible evidence that can be used to support a performance evaluation • May be treasured over the years 2 Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 43

  44. Expressing Thanks Be sincere in sending thanks for a favor. • Tell what the favor means to you. • Avoid superlatives and gushiness. • Maintain credibility with sincere, simple statements. Cover three points in gift thank-yous. Identify the gift. Tell why you appreciate it. Explain how you will use it. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 44

  45. Expressing Thanks • Fine food • Charming surroundings • Warm hospitality • Excellent host and hostess • Good company Offer praise in expressing thanks for hospitality. As appropriate, compliment the following: Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 45

  46. Personalized Thank-You Message Dear Professor and Mrs. Shelton: Thanks for inviting the other members of our business club and me to your home for dinner last Saturday. The warm reception you and your wife gave us made the evening very special. Your gracious hospitality, the delicious dinner served in a lovely setting, and the lively discussion following dinner all served to create an enjoyable evening that I will long remember. We appreciate the opportunity you provided for us students to become better acquainted with each other and with you. Sincerely, Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 46

  47. Offering Congratulations and Recognition When offering congratulations and recognition: Be specific about what you arecongratulating the person for. Tell how you found out aboutthe news, if appropriate. Keep the focus entirelyon the reader. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 47

  48. Answering Congratulatory Messages Accept praise gracefully. Don't make belittling comments (I'm not really all that good!) to reduce awkwardness or embarrassment. Respond to congratulations. Send a brief note expressing your appreciation. Tell how good the message made you feel. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 48

  49. Extending Sympathy Refer to the loss or tragedy directly but sensitively. In the first sentence, mention the loss and your personal reaction. For deaths, praise the deceased.Describe positive personalcharacteristics (Howard wasa forceful but caring leader). Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 49

  50. Extending Sympathy Offer assistance. Suggest your availability, especially if you can do something specific. End on a reassuring, positive note. If appropriate, refer to the strength the receiver finds in friends, family, colleagues, or religion. Mary Ellen Guffey & Dana Loewy, Essentials of Business Communication, 9th Edition Chapter 6, Slide 50