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BUSINESS CORRESPONDENCE
Key features of writing style and format

© 2013 Sherrie Lee http://www.linkedin.com/in/orangecant...
Writing for Business
• Audience
• Purpose
• Types of communication
• Types of business documents
2
Writing for Business
• Audience
Status
Familiarity with subject
• Purpose
Inform
Persuade
Call to action

3
Writing for Business
• Intra-office communication • Inter-office communication
External
Internal
Outside organisation
...
Writing Style of
Business Documents
• Plan and organise message
• Language
• Tone
• Formality
5
Writing Style of
Business Documents
• Plan and organise message
Understand subject / situation
Define audience and purpo...
Writing Style of
Business Documents
• Language
Clear: short, simple words
Concise: strong verbs, active voice
Coherent:...
Writing Style of
Business Documents
• Tone
Polite: respect reader
Positive: stress what can be done
Personal: reader's ...
Writing Style of
Business Documents
• Formality depends on:
Position of writer in relation to
reader
Purpose and subject...
Formal Letters
•
•
•
•

Recipient: external
Form: print
Tone: formal
Format
Block / modified block / indented
Open / clo...
HO BEE PLASTICS COMPANY
Tannery Complex
623 Tannery Road, #10-01
Singapore 587623

(1) Letterhead

(2) Date
(3) Inside Add...
Memos
• Recipient: internal
• Form: print / electronic
• Tone: less formal than letters

12
MEMORANDUM
(1) To line
(2) From line
(3) Subject line
(4) Date line
Note: No salutation or
inside address

TO:         Pat...
Emails
• Recipient: internal / external
• Form: electronic
• Tone: informal / formal
• Email etiquette
14
(1) To line
(2) Cc line (optional)
(3) Subject line

(4) Salutation

From:
Date:
To:
Cc:
Subject:

sally_fong@kayaexpress....
Email Etiquette
• DOs
• Create appropriate signature block
• Use proper spelling and grammar
• Review message for accuracy...
Email Etiquette
• DON'Ts
• Forget subject line
• Use only UPPER CASE / lower case
• Attach very large files
17
Types of Messages
• Good / neutral news
• Bad news
• Persuasive

18
Types of Messages
• Good / neutral news – DIRECT APPROACH
Opening – main idea; state purpose
Middle – more info / detail...
Types of Messages
• Bad news – INDIRECT APPROACH
Opening – buffer / show interest, concern
Middle – briefly state refusa...
Types of Messages
• Persuasive
Opening – gain attention
Middle – stimulate reader's interest (state benefits
Middle (co...
International
Correspondence
• Use commonly understood words and phrases
• Avoid humour, jargon, idioms, slang
• Consider ...
Final Remarks

• Be professional in all business correspondence
Be objective
Maintain dignity
Be sincere
23
BE PROFESSIONAL
• Be objective
Your salesperson was so rude and
unapproachable. He was shouting at the top
of his voice an...
BE PROFESSIONAL
• Maintain dignity
Since we really value you as a customer,
please give us another chance to prove we can
...
BE PROFESSIONAL
• Be sincere
Your phenomenal contribution to our
understanding of tax procedures is remarkable.
Thank you ...
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Business Correspondence

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A lecture on the key features in business writing, particularly business correspondence such as emails, memos and letters.

Published in: Education, Business
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Business Correspondence

  1. 1. BUSINESS CORRESPONDENCE Key features of writing style and format © 2013 Sherrie Lee http://www.linkedin.com/in/orangecanton
  2. 2. Writing for Business • Audience • Purpose • Types of communication • Types of business documents 2
  3. 3. Writing for Business • Audience Status Familiarity with subject • Purpose Inform Persuade Call to action 3
  4. 4. Writing for Business • Intra-office communication • Inter-office communication External Internal Outside organisation Within organisation Clients, customers, Colleagues, different suppliers, etc. departments, levels Email Email Letter Memo Letter (less common) 4
  5. 5. Writing Style of Business Documents • Plan and organise message • Language • Tone • Formality 5
  6. 6. Writing Style of Business Documents • Plan and organise message Understand subject / situation Define audience and purpose Decide how to order content 6
  7. 7. Writing Style of Business Documents • Language Clear: short, simple words Concise: strong verbs, active voice Coherent: linking words, list Correct: grammar / spelling 7
  8. 8. Writing Style of Business Documents • Tone Polite: respect reader Positive: stress what can be done Personal: reader's perspective, personal pronouns 8
  9. 9. Writing Style of Business Documents • Formality depends on: Position of writer in relation to reader Purpose and subject of communication 9
  10. 10. Formal Letters • • • • Recipient: external Form: print Tone: formal Format Block / modified block / indented Open / closed / mixed punctuation BE CONSISTENT! 10
  11. 11. HO BEE PLASTICS COMPANY Tannery Complex 623 Tannery Road, #10-01 Singapore 587623 (1) Letterhead (2) Date (3) Inside Address – include reader's name and designation (4) Salutation (5) Subject line 10 November 2013 Mr Dennis Loke Managing Director Everlast Products Ltd 14 Travis Street Singapore 899014 Dear Mr Loke PROMOTION FOR PLASTIC WARE xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.  xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. (6) Complimentary close (7) Signature block (8) Enclosure (optional) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Yours sincerely Gerry Chan Ms Gerry Chan Manager Enc. (2) 11
  12. 12. Memos • Recipient: internal • Form: print / electronic • Tone: less formal than letters 12
  13. 13. MEMORANDUM (1) To line (2) From line (3) Subject line (4) Date line Note: No salutation or inside address TO:         Patrick Tay, HR Senior Executive FROM:     Yeo Heng Soon, Sales Manager SUBJECT: Purchasing Procedures DATE:      10 November 2013 Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. 1. xxxxxxxxxxxxx 2. xxxxxxxxxxxxx 3. xxxxxxxxxxxxx (5) Signed initials – no complimentary close (6) Carbon copy (optional) YHS   cc: Janice Goh, HR Manager 13
  14. 14. Emails • Recipient: internal / external • Form: electronic • Tone: informal / formal • Email etiquette 14
  15. 15. (1) To line (2) Cc line (optional) (3) Subject line (4) Salutation From: Date: To: Cc: Subject: sally_fong@kayaexpress.com.sg 10 November 2013, 10:30 am chongbin@coffeeshophub.sg joey_lim@kayaexpress.com.sg New Kaya Samples Dear Chong Bin XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. (5) Complimentary close (6) Signature block Best regards Sally Fong Sales and Marketing Manager Kaya Express Singapore 21 Pandan Loop Singapore 879021 Tel: 6789 0987 Fax: 9789 0986 Email: sally_fong@kayaexpress.com.sg Website: www.kayaexpress.com.sg 15
  16. 16. Email Etiquette • DOs • Create appropriate signature block • Use proper spelling and grammar • Review message for accuracy, readability and tact before sending 16
  17. 17. Email Etiquette • DON'Ts • Forget subject line • Use only UPPER CASE / lower case • Attach very large files 17
  18. 18. Types of Messages • Good / neutral news • Bad news • Persuasive 18
  19. 19. Types of Messages • Good / neutral news – DIRECT APPROACH Opening – main idea; state purpose Middle – more info / details Ending – state action you want readers to take; positive, friendly statement to build goodwill Examples: accede to request / adjustment, acknowledgement 19
  20. 20. Types of Messages • Bad news – INDIRECT APPROACH Opening – buffer / show interest, concern Middle – briefly state refusal, explain reasons behind negative response Ending – alternative solution (if possible), positive, friendly statement Examples: decline invitation, refuse request / adjustment 20
  21. 21. Types of Messages • Persuasive Opening – gain attention Middle – stimulate reader's interest (state benefits Middle (cont’d) – stir reader's desire (provide reasons, facts, evidence) Ending – encourage reader to take action, show reader how to take action (make it easy) Examples: sales letter, job application letter 21
  22. 22. International Correspondence • Use commonly understood words and phrases • Avoid humour, jargon, idioms, slang • Consider decision-making style of recipient's culture • Choice of spelling – US vs UK spelling • Check for appropriate forms of date e.g. 1/10/13 = 1 October 2013 or 10 January 2013 22
  23. 23. Final Remarks • Be professional in all business correspondence Be objective Maintain dignity Be sincere 23
  24. 24. BE PROFESSIONAL • Be objective Your salesperson was so rude and unapproachable. He was shouting at the top of his voice and forced me to buy the product. The salesperson behaved in an inappropriate manner by raising his voice and using pressure tactics. 24
  25. 25. BE PROFESSIONAL • Maintain dignity Since we really value you as a customer, please give us another chance to prove we can do a good job. As a valued customer, rest assured that we will make every effort to ensure you receive the best service in the future. 25
  26. 26. BE PROFESSIONAL • Be sincere Your phenomenal contribution to our understanding of tax procedures is remarkable. Thank you for helping us gain a better understanding of tax procedures. 26

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