Letter Writing: Organizing


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Letter Writing: Organizing

  1. 1. ES2002 Business Communication Letter Writing: Organising
  2. 2. Three broad outline patterns <ul><li>Direct </li></ul><ul><li>Indirect </li></ul><ul><li>Persuasive </li></ul>
  3. 3. Direct approach Used when you anticipate readers’ response to be positive or neutral. Examples Letters that grant credit/requests Congratulatory messages Letters that acknowledge receipt of goods
  4. 4. Direct approach: Opening <ul><li>Begin immediately with the main idea </li></ul><ul><li>State purpose in the first paragraph </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid slow starts </li></ul>Direct approach Opening
  5. 5. Direct approach: Opening Examples of opening: I will be honored to emcee the annual Chamber of Commerce banquet on 25 May at Westin Stamford. The revised source code with the proper in-program documentation will be shipped to you within three weeks. Direct approach Opening
  6. 6. Direct approach: Middle <ul><li>Provide more information, details or supporting facts </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accuracy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Completeness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relevance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Logical presentation </li></ul></ul>Direct approach Middle
  7. 7. Direct approach: Closing <ul><li>State action required </li></ul><ul><li>End with positive, friendly statement to build goodwill </li></ul>Direct approach Closing
  8. 8. Direct approach Most important idea Supporting details or facts Friendly/ positive statement Opening Middle Close
  9. 9. Indirect approach Used when you anticipate readers’ response to be negative. Examples Letters that turn down requests/invitations Letters that terminate a business relationship Warning letters
  10. 10. Indirect approach: Opening <ul><li>Start with a buffer </li></ul>… some kind of barrier that helps cushion the shock of the bad news <ul><li>Ensure buffer is </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Neutral </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pleasant </li></ul></ul>Indirect approach Opening
  11. 11. Indirect approach: Opening Examples of buffer statements Thank you for your interest in the clerical position at XYZ Co. (Letter turning down a job applicant.) We have always enjoyed serving you as a customer. (Letter refusing a request) Indirect approach Opening
  12. 12. Indirect approach: Middle <ul><li>Explain reasons behind the negative response </li></ul><ul><li>State refusal briefly </li></ul>Indirect approach Middle
  13. 13. Indirect approach: Middle <ul><li>Explanation should be: </li></ul><ul><li>Adequate </li></ul><ul><li>Relevant and concise </li></ul><ul><li>Believable </li></ul><ul><li>Provide plausible explanations </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid involved explanations </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid using “against company policy” </li></ul><ul><li>Dignified </li></ul>Indirect approach Middle
  14. 14. Indirect approach: Middle <ul><li>Refusal should: </li></ul><ul><li>Be brief </li></ul><ul><li>Be de-emphasized </li></ul>Indirect approach Middle
  15. 15. Indirect approach: Closing Offer alternative solution, if possible End with positive friendly statement We regret that we have not been able to accede to your request this time. However, should we be able to assist you in the future, please contact us. Indirect approach Closing
  16. 16. Indirect approach Explanation Bad news Buffer Opening Middle Closing Positive note
  17. 17. Persuasive approach Used when you anticipate resistance or a lack of interest. <ul><li>Examples are letters that ask readers to: </li></ul><ul><li>cooperate </li></ul><ul><li>put in extra work hours (non-sales </li></ul><ul><li>contribute a service letters) </li></ul><ul><li>make a donation </li></ul><ul><li>make a purchase (sales letters) </li></ul>
  18. 18. Persuasive approach: Opening Gain readers’ A ttention Persuasive approach Opening
  19. 19. Sales Sales Sales Don’t you want to provide your loved ones with the best things in life? Ask a question … Tritech would not have made it through those tough times if not for your continued support and perseverance. Express appreciation for the reader’s efforts For the first time in Singapore, the new Toshiba AB123 … Emphasise newness of product/service We want to ensure that the services that we offer will stay relevant. Focus on something of great concern to the reader ... You have been selected for approved membership for our Gold Card. At Zidex, employees are our greatest asset. Make the reader feel special Examples Ways of capturing attention
  20. 20. Persuasive approach: Middle (Non-sales letters) <ul><li>Win the readers’ S upport </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Address readers’ concerns/questions/objections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasise reader benefits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Highlight other positive outcomes </li></ul></ul>Persuasive approach Middle
  21. 21. Persuasive approach: Middle (Sales letters) <ul><li>Create D esire in Product/Service </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasise key selling points </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Articulate reader benefits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Show how product/service can meet readers’ needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduce price attractively </li></ul></ul>Persuasive approach Middle
  22. 22. Persuasive approach: Closing <ul><li>Motivate A ction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>State action clearly/confidently </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prompt for quick action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>End on positive note </li></ul></ul>Persuasive approach Closing
  23. 23. Persuasive approach Attract A ttention Create D esire in Product/Service Motivate A ction Attract A ttention Win S upport Motivate A ction Sales letters Non-sales letters
  24. 24. Content Anticipated Approach Desired reaction reaction Good news Positive Direct Positive/neutral or routine or neutral Which approach? Bad news or Negative Indirect Understanding unfavourable Requests for Indifferent or Persuasive Interested/ service, money resistant Persuaded cooperation/ Sales letters
  25. 25. Points to note Writing plans for the three approaches are just broad guidelines Avoid sounding standardised / artificial Plan each message for the specific reader’s needs Your writing will remain interesting, sincere, and real to the reader