Business Communication Legal Aspects


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Business Communication Legal Aspects

  1. 1. Legal Aspects f Business C mmunication Prepared by: Bilal Adenwalla Junaid Abdul Hafeez Naqash Inayat Ali Tahami Uddin Qureshi Rehan M Nasir Designed by: Rehan M Nasir 1|Page
  2. 2. ACKNOWLEDGMENTAlhamdulillah, first of all we would like to thank God as finally we were able to finishour assignment that have been given by Business Communication’s lecturer to us. Thistask had been done with all afford by group members even though a little bit problemwere happened among us while doing this assignment. Luckily, all the problems can besettle down and we were able to adapt properly and wisely.On the other hand, big thank also we address to our Business Communication’s lecturerProf. Hassan Raza that always teach us and guide us to understand the things that weshould know while studying Business Communication and also in producing good projectwork. He always gives us supports and guide to us how to do our assignment in purposeto produce a good outcome from research that been studied.Finally, thank to our beloved friend that always stick together and also work hard toproduce a good assignment with all afford and responsibility. Hope that all the afford willgive a lot of benefits to us and also to our group project. 2|Page
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  6. 6. It is the act of harming the reputation of another by making a false statement to anotherperson. The act of defamation may be through a false written or oral statement. ORDefamation—also called calumny, vilification, tradesmen, slander (for transitorystatements), and libel (for written, broadcast, or otherwise published words) is thecommunication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to befactual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, religion, ornation a negative or inferior image. This can be also any disparaging statement made byone person about another, which is communicated or published, whether true or false,depending on legal state. In Common Law it is usually a requirement that this claim befalse and that the publication is communicated to someone other than the person defamedthe claimant.1. Libel2. SlanderLibel: Libel is the legal term for a written defamatory statement. Libel is the type ofdefamation with a permanent record, like a newspaper, a letter, a website posting, anemail, a picture, or a radio or TV broadcast. If you can prove that someone libeled you,and that person does not have a good defense, then a court will presume that you suffereddamages and award you money to pay for your damaged reputation. But going toSupreme Court is expensive and even if you win, you may not get as much as it costs youto sue. In deciding on damages, the Court will consider your position in the community. For example, if you are a professional, damages may be higher.Slander: Slander is the legal term for an oral statement. Slander is the type ofdefamation with no permanent record. Normally its a spoken statement. It can also be ahand gesture or something similar. The law treats slander differently than libel: withslander, you have to prove you suffered damages, in the form of financial loss, to getcompensation. But with libel, the law presumes you suffered damages. For example, saythat Bill told John you were a cheat, and then John refused to do business with you 6|Page
  7. 7. because of that. You sue Bill and prove that you lost business with John because of whatBill said. Bill would have to pay you for the loss of Johns business, but not for thegeneral damage to your reputation. It can be very hard to prove this sort of financial loss.Thats why most slander cases never go to court.An example of libel would be someone writing that another person is a thief. If thewritten statement is not true, the writer can be sued for libel. An example of slander issomeone telling others that Bilal is a thief. If the statement is not true, the speaker can besued for slanderAnother example, in Pakistan is that few years ago a private news channel of Pakistanand a very famous one Geo Television network break the news that President of PakistanMr. Zardari got married with some woman but that was a slander firstly because the newsfirst start on headline and after that it becomes libel when the news caster read it. For thisfalse news Mr. Zardari put an obligation of Rs. 1Million and also take action to sue thenews channelA key element in defamation is making certain information public that statement leads tounderstand two legal terms.1. Publication2. PrivilegePublication: Its mean the defamatory material coming into the knowledge of a thirdperson other than the defamed one. Therefore, a letter containing negative idea or astatement about a person should be addressed to him directly.• In a seal envelop.• Marked private.• Such message should not be dictated or send though fax.Privilege: A legal right to communicate defamatory material or information in certainsituation is privilege. Privilege provides a complete bar and answer to a defamation suit,though conditions may have to be met before this protection is granted. Privilege is any 7|Page
  8. 8. circumstance that justifies or excuses a prima facie tort. It can be said that privilegerecognizes a defendants action stemmed from an interest of social importance - and thatsociety wants to protect such interests by not punishing those who pursue them. Privilegecan be argued whenever a defendant can show that he acted from a justifiable motive.While some privileges have long been recognized, the court may create a new privilegefor particular circumstances.There are two types of privilege in the common law tradition:1. Absolute privilege2. Qualified or conditional privilege1. Absolute Privilege: It has the effect that a statement cannot be sued on asdefamatory, even if it were made maliciously; a typical example is evidence given incourt (although this may give rise to different claims, such as an action for maliciousprosecution. It is the peculiar right which arises out of one rank, position or nature. It istimed to 2 areas. a. Judicial Proceedings: A legal proceeding in a court; a judicial contest to determine and enforce legal rights. Or any action by a judge likes hearing trial or other matter before the court. The defendant is summoned to court after a plaintiff sues and the trial is heard in front of a judge. Again, the judge may not be the one to make the decision on whether the defendant is guilty or not, as a jury trial is common in civil litigation as well. b. Legislative Proceedings: Continuing on in our series on the defenses to a cause of action for defamation relates to statements made in a legislative proceeding. Like statements made in judicial proceedings, statement. Which are made in legislative proceedings are absolutely privileged pursuant to Civil Code section 47(b).2. Conditional Privilege: Communication in good faith is not subject to legal action.Defamatory statements in ordinary business activities are qualified privilege whether theyare communicated interdepartmentally or outside of the organization. OR 8|Page
  9. 9. May be available to the journalist as a defense in circumstances where it is consideredimportant that the facts be known in the public interest; an example would be publicmeetings, local government documents, and information relating to public bodies such asthe police and fire departments. Qualified privilege has the same effect as absoluteprivilege, but does not protect statements that can be proven to have been made withmalicious intent.1. Abusive Language2. Careless Language3. The guy syndromeAbusive Language: Naming calling is considered abusive and can get you intotrouble. When you write down abusive language it is called libel and when it is spoken itis called slander.Careless Language: Careless language is one of the three causes of legal problems.When it comes to being careless with the language you use it mostly means using asentence or word that you personally think would not be taken in the wrong way but getsmisunderstood by the reader. You must be certain when you say or send out a messagethat your words only communicate what you intended to say.The guy-syndrome: The good-guy syndrome occurs when we try to make ourselveslook better or receiver feel better when delivering negative messages. "This case shows how always trying to make someone feel better about negative news inthe workplace is not always best, you should deliver the information that was toldto deliver and not add your own opinion to it. If you wish to add your opinion, do not useyour companys name.Following as a list of some defamatory terms which a business communicator shouldalways avoid:A devil at home, Bankrupt, Black mailer, Corrupt, Crook, Cheater, Dishonest, Fraud,Fake, Thief etc. 9|Page
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  11. 11. Invasion of privacy is the intrusion into the personal life of another, without just cause, which can givethe person whose privacy has been invaded a right to bring a lawsuit for damages against the person orentity that intruded. It encompasses workplace monitoring, Internet privacy, data collection, and othermeans of disseminating private information.Examples: - Someone reading personal notes that someone else wrote - Reading personal emails - Reading personal text messages - Posting videos of someone without their permission - Posting videos of under aged children without permission - Going through personal items - Stalking someoneAnother very famous example is our cricketer Shoaib Akhter, when he went for the tour for Australia areporter or some other person took his snap when he was hanging out in night club with his Australianfriends. The photos then got by news channel and thus Mr. Akhter ban for some time.Now this is the privacy of Shoaib no matter where he been after match is his personal matter either innight club or some elsewhere.Celebrities are not protected in most situations, since they have voluntarily placed themselves alreadywithin the public eye, and their activities are considered newsworthy. However, an otherwise non-publicindividual has a right to privacy from: a) Intrusion on ones solitude or into ones private affairs b) Public disclosure of embarrassing private information c) Publicity which puts him/her in a false light to the public d) Appropriation of ones name or picture for personal or commercial advantage.Use of a person’s identity: It includes a use of person’s name, photograph, or other identitywithout permission. Such invasion includes invasion publication of X rays and other medical pictures andundue publicity of a delinquent debt. Unreasonable publicity of private life may also result in legalactions. You may use the picture or identity of an individual for advertising or sales latter only for priorconsent and the use must not be defamatory. However, if the event reported occurs in public, there isno expectation of privacy.Physical surveillance of records, reports and letters: Invasion of privacy also includes unauthorizedexamination of reports, letters and records. 11 | P a g e
  12. 12. Introduction: An electronic communications network that connects computer networks andorganizational computer facilities around the world, the Internet has led to significant changes withinour society1. An infinite amount of information can be easily obtained and through the development oftechnology, has become more accessible. The introduction of the Internet into our daily activities hastransitioned our society into a technology dependent era. The Internet has become an increasinglypopular source for gathering information and a frequent form of communication. Privacy focuses on thecontrol over information about oneself, and is argued vital for human dignity and intimacy2. TheInternet increased the availability of personal information that can be tracked, recorded, and accessed.The personal invasion of privacy due to Internet monitoring has become more of an ethical concern andlooking at aspects from the business world we can better determine how the evolution of the Internethas shaped our lives.Thesis: The issue of privacy and ones right to privacy while at work or on the Internet has becomeincreasingly an important issue company deal with every day. Companies have to spend time and moneyto write policies to cover these issues to protect themselves as well as the well-being of theiremployees. They need to monitor their employees to ensure productivity and to make sure they are notdoing anything illegal at work that could hurt the company. How far these companies can go to protectthese things is what makes such an interesting issue. A person has a right to privacy and what they do ontheir break or outside of the office should be their business, but more and more companies are tappinginto this to monitor them. A company can only go as far as to monitor them while they are working ordoing work related activities anything outside of this realm in their private lives and emails should notbe exploited.Utilitarianism: Ethics has become a major concern within our society, especially within thebusiness world. It is important to conduct business in an appropriate manner, monitoring productivity,and profit, while maintaining employee satisfaction. There are two fundamental ideas that underlieutilitarianism; first, that the results of our actions are the key to their moral evaluation, and second, thatthe one should assess and compare those results in terms of the happiness or unhappiness they cause“or, more broadly, in terms of their impact on people’s wellbeing.3” It is important to install morals intoall aspects of business, including competitors, customers and employees. It is important to keep a senseof well-being in order to provide a trustworthy service.Privacy: The right of privacy has become a controversial issue. While there is no fundamental law oramendment that states one’s right to privacy; however it has been implied by the Supreme Court in theUnited States Amendments and is considered ethically correct in our society. There is no specific lawthat governs ones‟ right to privacy and this has resulted in a fine line between what is deemedacceptable and what information can be revealed to the public. This has resulted in various court casesin which citizens have tried to determine their own right to privacy. There have been numerous casesover the past century where the Supreme Court has had to determine whether a citizens privacy rightshave been violated. This dates back to May 25, 1891 in the Union Pacific Railway Co. v. Botsfold, whereit was decided that the plaintiff did not have to submit to physical examination as „no right is held moresacred, or is more carefully guarded, by the common law, than the right of every individual to thepossession and control of his own person, free from all restraint or interference of others”. 12 | P a g e
  13. 13. The Evolution of the Internet in the Workplace: The evolution of the Internet hasshaped the way that companies conduct business. This has led to a dramatic change within theworkplace and the responsibilities of employees. It is an employer’s responsibility to monitor employeesand assess the quality and quantity of work that is being achieved. In the past, employers have done thisby monitoring punch cards, productivity reports, profits and consumer satisfaction. The increase intechnology and development of computers and the Internet has changed the security and supervision ofdaily business activities. Companies have a variety of reasons to maintain surveillance within theworkplace. There are concerns for employees well-being, competitors‟ obstruction, and the productivityand profits of the business. These concerns are all relevant; however, the use of technology has made iteasier for employers to snoop on their employees. Employers have the ability to intercept electroniccommunication and access the information that has been stored on the company computers. The easyaccess that employers have to this information raises the question of whether employers can ethicallymonitor employees. It has become Employees are expected to conduct business productively and tocomplete their job under the expectations that they were hired for. The Internet has made it easier foremployees to be distracted from their tasks. Personal emailing and browsing the Internet has become amajor concern within corporations, leading to the increase in electronic monitoring.Right of Employers to Keep Work Place Efficient: Employers use electronicmonitoring for two basic functions: providing feedback and implementing control6. Providing feedbackis an essential aspect in conducting business. Employees are monitored in order to provideperformance-related feedback and suggestions for improvement, such as with recording a receptioniststyping speed or accuracy of data entry clerks7. This form of monitoring is understandable and anefficient way to conduct business. The type of monitoring that implements control is more harming tothe business environment and calls into question the ethics of the company. The competitiveness ofindustries in today’s business society has led to an increase in security and the need to monitorefficiency within the workplace. This has increased the level of acceptance of employee monitoring,especially through electronic measures. The increase of use of the Internet and its ease, has led to adependency of many businesses using this form of a communication for all their business transactions.The security that each business requires, also involves the monitoring of their employees online activityin order to ensure there are no security breaches. This form of monitoring is vital in order to maintainthe success of the business; however there is a fine line between monitoring electronic activity for thesecurity of the business and monitoring to spy on employees.Right of Employees Privacy: It is customary for every business to install a code of ethics,setting the standards for employee behavior, standard of practice and it can also be used as abenchmark of evaluation. "The need for special ethical principles in a scientific society is the same as theneed for ethical principles in society as a whole. They are mutually beneficial. They help make ourrelationships mutually pleasant and productive. A professional society is a voluntary, cooperativeorganization, and those who must conform to its rules are also those who benefit from the conformityof others. Each has a stake in maintaining general compliance." It is important for both employers andemployees to follow these ethical guidelines. Employers create codes in order to provide standards towhich employees should obey; however employers also have to maintain an ethical stance, ensuring thewell-being and utilitarian rights of their employees. Employees are often unaware of the control thattheir supervisors have and the intrusion that this can have on their personal life. In the historic caseSmyth vs. The Pillsbury Company, Smyth sent inappropriate emails from his home computer to thePillsbury system. At a later date the company intercepted these email messages and terminated Smythsemployment based upon their content9. There had been a prior promise of confidentiality within the 13 | P a g e
  14. 14. company; however, this did not protect Smyths rights to privacy. Employees should be able to work in atrusting environment where they are respected. The Fourth Amendment states the public has theconstitutional right to privacy. This is a fundamental right that is upheld within the United States;however, the increase in technology and the ability to observe others has weakened this imperativeright. “The computers eye is unblinking and ever present. Sophisticated software allows every minute ofevery day to be recorded and evaluated”. The introduction of the Internet to the workplace has made iteasier for employers to observe what employees are doing at every moment. It is an employee’sutilitarian ethical right to receive privacy and to be treated in a manner that will result in happiness forthe entire staff. They have the ethical right to dutiful respect and the right of common good, whichcontributes most to the achievement of quality of life. It is under these ethics that employees should bemade aware of the surveillance within their workplace and the duties that are expected of them.Right of Employers to Keep the Workplace Safe: The Internet has led to an increase inpornography, racist jokes, and inappropriate forms of electronic communication. The government hascondoned the use of electronic monitoring to ensure the safety of employees and uphold civil rights.Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, an employer’s inefficient monitoring of the Internet and email useand abuse may allow racial offensive or sexually explicit material to pervade the work environment andcreate or contribute to a hostile environment. Employers are expected to monitor their employee’sactivities online to ensure civil rights are not violated and that employees receive the fundamental rightsthey are entitled to. This has been an effective form of detection within the workplace. In Strauss VSMicrosoft Corporation, the court held that among other remarks several jokes and parodies of a sexualnature emailed by a supervisor to employees were administered and relevant evidence of sexualharassment. The government has approved online regulation however no standards have beenintroduced that respect the wellbeing of the employees or considers the effects that these actionscause. The ethical values of employees have been discarded.Government Regulation: Employers have become increasingly more considered withsurveillance within the workplace and this has been directly affected by changes occurring in our societyand Government intervention. When the Internet first came widely available to anyone who had acomputer and a dial up connection, anything could be written about or looked at on the Internetwithout any repercussions. The government was not interested with what people were discussing onthe net because it was like an open forum for people to talk to others around the world. Now withterrorist threats and military uprisings being a major concern, many countries across the world,Governments are stepping up their policies regarding the Internet. The U.S. Justice Department hasbeen working hard with Internet companies to make it easier for investigators to check citizens‟ webtraffic. The U.S. Government wants Internet service providers to virtually keep records of every websitetheir customers go to, so that they can obtain this information easily. But some see it as another steptoward total surveillance of citizens, joining warrant less wiretapping, secret scrutiny of library recordsand unfettered access to e-mail as another power that could be abused16. Many activists‟ of freespeech and privacy have been quoted as saying, “We have an environment in which we’re collectingmore and more information on the personal lives of Americans, and our laws are completely inadequateto protect us”. In a follow up response to accusations that these new laws will hinder our free speechand privacy rights, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was quoted as saying; “Privacy rights mustalways be accommodated and protected as we conduct our investigations”. Going on to say thatinformation they are asking Internet service providers to keep track of would be essential toinvestigating future crimes committed on the Internet. This hardly seems ethical if anything you do onthe Internet is being tracked and used against you. It’s an immense invasion of our privacy if we cannot 14 | P a g e
  15. 15. look at a website or send an email without someone else determining whether you are trying to harbora crime or not. Not only does this look like an immense invasion of our privacy but also with this newadvanced technology not all the kinks have been worked out. “Recently the Electronic PrivacyInformation Center fought with the Justice Department and FBI on a new program they implementedcalled Carnivore or DSC 1000. It was found by the EPIC that the program was too hard to controlbecause of how advanced it was and even messed up a terrorist investigation by collecting non-targetedemail. The program ended up throwing out emails from a target in the investigation, which containedhelpful information. Despite uncovering this, it is believed that Internet monitoring will increaseespecially with Bush’s new antiterrorism and security policies.If the new technology is deemed to have imperfections how can they continue to use it, if there isalready evidence that it interrupted an ongoing investigation? It seems like Governments are going tocontinue to write bills that cause for the increase in Internet monitoring, but evidence shows it does notalways seem to work. We will in the future probably see that it will become increasingly easier forgovernments track us to the point we know what site we are on at that very moment and how long willhave been there and what sorts of things we have looked at. 15 | P a g e
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  17. 17. It refers to the intentionally misrepresentation by one part to a contract of a material factwhich is relied upon by the other party to his injury. ORA person or thing intended to deceive others, typically by unjustifiably claiming or beingcredited with accomplishments or qualities. Fraud may also be made by an omission orpurposeful failure to state material facts, which nondisclosure makes other statementsmisleading.It means giving an incorrect or misleading representation of some important element orsome item or fact relating to the claim. For example, under certain circumstances, falsestatements or promises made by a seller of goods regarding the quality or nature of theproduct that the seller has may constitute misrepresentation. A finding ofmisrepresentation allows for a remedy of rescission and sometimes damages dependingon the type of misrepresentation.Fraud:1. Fraud is defined under Sec. 17.2. Fraud means a misrepresentation made with an intention to cheat3. The distinction between fraud and misrepresentation is solely on intention.4. In case of fraud, the aggrieved party can avoid the contract even if the means todiscover the truth were available.5. In case of fraud not only the agreement is voidable but also the aggrieved party canclaim damages.Misrepresentation:1. Misrepresentation is defined under Sec. 192. Misrepresentation means a misstatement made innocently.3. In case of misrepresentation misstatement is made innocently. 17 | P a g e
  18. 18. 4. In case of misrepresentation if the aggrieved party has the means to discover the truth,it cannot avoid the contract.5. In case of misrepresentation no damages can be claimed, the aggrieved party can onlyavoid the contract.Four types of misrepresentations are identified with different remedies available: 1. Fraudulent misrepresentation occurs when one makes representation with intent to deceive and with the knowledge that it is false. An action for fraudulent misrepresentation allows for a remedy of damages and rescission. One can also sue for fraudulent misrepresentation in a tort action. Fraudulent misrepresentation is capable of being made recklessly 2. Negligent misrepresentation at common law occurs when the defendant carelessly makes a representation while having no reasonable basis to believe it to be true. This type of misrepresentation is relatively new and was introduced to allow damages in situations where neither a collateral contract nor fraud is found. It was first seen in the case of Hedley Byrne v Heller [1964] A.C. 465 where the court found that a statement made negligently that was relied upon can be actionable in tort. Lord Denning in Esso Petroleum Co Ltd v Mardon [1976] Q.B. 801 however, transported the tort into contract law, stating the rule as: “if a man, who has or professes to have special knowledge or skill, makes a representation by virtue thereof to another…with the intention of inducing him to enter into a contract with him, he is under a duty to use reasonable care to see that the representation is correct, and that the advice, information or opinion is reliable” 3. Negligent misrepresentation under Statute, enacted by the Misrepresentation Act 1967. When dealing with a negligent misrepresentation it is most lucrative (joint with fraudulent misrepresentation, Contributory Negligence notwithstanding for an action to be brought under statute law as the burden of proof that is required passes to the person who made the statement. So it is for the person who made the negligent statement to prove that the statement was either not one of fact but opinion and that "had reasonable ground to believe and 18 | P a g e
  19. 19. did believe up to the time the contract was made that the facts represented were true the so-called innocent defense.4. Innocent misrepresentation occurs when the representer had reasonable grounds for believing that his or her false statement was true Prior to Hedley Byrne, all misrepresentations that were not fraudulent were considered to be innocent. This type of representation primarily allows for a remedy of rescission, the purpose of which is put the parties back into a position as if the contract had never taken place. Section 2(2) Misrepresentation Act 1967, however, allows for damages to be awarded in lieu of rescission if the court deems it equitable to do so. This is judged on both the nature of the innocent misrepresentation and the losses suffered by the claimant from it. 19 | P a g e
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  21. 21. An exchange which is complete after the expiry of a certain period of time after payment.Credit is right to receive payment from borrower. Credit is issued for:Construction or Renovation: If you have a land and have no money then you have toget credit for construction or for also renovation purpose.Buying Vehicles: Unless you have the cash to purchase a car, you’ll have to get a loan.Entrepreneurship: Many people have dreams of starting their own business. Mostbusiness startups require a sizable amount of cash that you might not have available. Inthat case, you’ll need to obtain a small business loan.Purchasing goods: Most of times or we can say that all the times the purchasing goodsfrom companies or selling goods to the companies is on credit.For Small Businesses: Now a day’s most of the financial institutions (banks) give smallcredit for starting new and small business purpose.Utility Services: The all utilities supplying companies give all services on credit (meanshowever we can afford we can use and then after a particular period paid the amount).Prepare: Review the paperwork on the debtor before making the call. Know the historyof the account, credit record, the promises kept/broken. Have all records in front of you,ready for reference.Attitude: Adopt a straight, professional business-like attitude. You have a contract, youdelivered the goods, money is owed, and you have a right to expect payment. Never let itbecome personal. Dont yell or raise your voice; and NEVER swear. Dont threaten; legalaction is your recourse. 21 | P a g e
  22. 22. Control: Control the conversation. Keep it focused on the debt and on the repaymentschedule. Dont let the customer sidetrack you with personal history, excuses, etc.Remember, the object of your call is to collect money, or get a commitment, not tobecome buddies with the customer or win arguments.Flexible: Be ready to adjust to the situation. Think about the kind of customer youredealing with and adapt to meet the circumstances. Be prepared to accept a reasonablepayment schedule, and a willingness to deal with a customers circumstances.Productive: Keep contact brief and to the point. This is a business call, not a social one.View your efforts on a ratio of time expended to results achieved. Long conversationsprobably mean the customer is stalling you, or trapping you in the buddy syndrome.Precise: Never leave a contact open ended, such as "Well talk next week," or "Ill sendwhat I can." Every contact should result in a commitment to payment, of a specificamount, by a specific date, even the check number the customer is using to pay thepledge.Time: The longer an account is held, the less likely it is that it will be recovered. Ifpayment or a payout is not arranged within 90 days, place the claim with a collectionagency or start legal proceeding.An essential aspect of securing a new position is the initial communication with theprospective employer. A well-written cover letter and résumé can generate interest; aninterview; and, ultimately, a job offer. Marketing oneself to an employer can be afrustrating and humbling experience; however, a consistent and diligent approach will berewarded. The major focus in identifying prospective employers should be on the Internetand college placement offices. Nearly all public companies have job posting sites. Thecollege placement office, while often overlooked and underutilized, can offer invaluableassistance to students and companies. 22 | P a g e
  23. 23. Once you complete your résumé, you are ready to write a more personal sales message—an application letter. An application letter functions as a cover letter in the transmittal ofyour résumé. It is a marketing tool that highlights your most attractive qualifications as apotential employee and gives you an opportunity to make important points that youcannot cover in a one- or two-page résumé. A strong letter of application lends support toyour résumé—but does not repeat the same information.1. Gaining Attention in the Opening In a short opening paragraph (from one to five lines), you want to gain the attentionof your reader—to motivate him or her to read the remainder of the application letter. Inaddition, you want to alert the reader to your interest in a position.This expression of interest is essential to orient the reader to the message and to make asmooth transition to details in the rest of the letter.The opening can mention who referred you to this position. If the person has a respectedand recognized name in the organization or in the same business field, mentioning thename can gain favorable attention.2. Convincing an Employer That You Fit the Job The middle portion of an application letter should convince a potential employer thatyou fit the job requirements and that your employment will benefit the company.This is the most important part of your letter; it is here that you create interest in yourqualifications and a desire to hire you.In this section of an application letter, you should describe your most outstandingaccomplishments that relate to the job requirements. This could be from your workexperience, special expertise, or educational accomplishments. Briefly discuss yourstrengths and how they meet job requirements. When responding to a job advertisement,read the ad carefully; use words in the letter that fit both you and the language in the ad.The order of content may vary in different application letters.The intent, however, is to compose a clear, concise, concrete, and convincing paragraphor two that will motivate the employer to look closely at your résumé. 23 | P a g e
  24. 24. 3. Promoting Action in the Close Now you are ready to motivate the employer to take action—to read your résumé andinvite you to an interview. In most application letters, your goal is to get an interview.The best way to get an interview is to ask directly for it. This request should be made in apositive, pleasant manner.The closing paragraph is the wrap-up. In the close of your application letter, you shouldmake it easy for an employer to invite you to an interview by providing your telephonenumber and e-mail address and by offering to be at the employer’s office at his or herconvenience.The goal of an application letter and résumé is to obtain a job interview. As soon as youare invited to come for an interview, start preparing for it. The interview can determinethe course of your career; it is one of the most important experiences in your life. Youwant the interview to go as well as possible.Before receiving a job offer from an employer, you will typically have a series ofinterviews. The interview is the last step in the process to secure a job. You want to bewell prepared for the interview because it can “make” or “break” your candidacy for aposition. The type of interview or the number of interviews conducted may vary fromcompany to company, from industry to industry, and from position to position. Thissection of the chapter discusses the various types of interviews: Screening, subsequent,telephone, video, online, group, and alternative.The employee selection process is important to the organization as well as to the potentialemployee. Both parties in the interview process are looking for a mutually beneficialrelationship in which the qualifications of the applicant meet the needs of the employer. 1. Screening Interviews. 2. Telephone Interviews. 3. Face-to-Face Interviews. 4. Computer-Assisted Interviews 5. Video Interviews. 24 | P a g e
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  26. 26. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, iPod, blog, wiki, GPS, and smart phone almost every day brings a newtechnology term related to communication. Wireless technology and tiny high-capacitycomputer chips enable on the go communication: talking on the phone, using Internet ande-mail connections, viewing videos and movies, and listening to music or recorded audiobroadcasts.Small electronic devices such as handheld computers (also called personal digitalassistants or PDAs) provide portability for speaking, writing, listening, or viewingmessages via wireless technology and extend the ability to send or receive messages atany time or place.Technology advances allow individuals to self-select what, when, and where messagesare received and sent. Internet blogs, wikis, and other specialized web locations open newpossibilities for writing or audio-broadcasting messages to audiences. Audiences for suchcommunication self-select a particular website due to interest in the topic and the abilityto choose a convenient time for viewing, responding, or listening.Current technology advances and trends include these characteristics:• Portability via small, wireless computer devices for on-the-go communication.• Audience selectivity of topic, media, time, and place for receiving and sending messages• Convergence of audio, video, text, photo, music, Internet, and phone devicesMajor technology trends affecting business communication may be summarized asportability, specialization, and selectivity. These trends increase consumers’ control ofwhat, when, how, and where they send and receive messages. In addition, technologybrings new ways of working and collaborating as well as new work locations. 26 | P a g e
  27. 27. Wi-Fi:Wireless fidelity Internet connections at places called “hot spots” that connect to thewireless signal. Laptop or handheld computers with wireless cards can access thesesignals.Bluetooth:A wireless technology that allows computers to share files, manage e-mail, and accessGPS from a desktop or handheld computer.Podcast:An audio broadcast that posts on the Internet and can be transferred and played on aniPod or other digital music player. Listeners can subscribe to the show for automaticupdates and use special software for transfer to a handheld player. Also, podcasts can bepurchased and downloaded from the iTunes Music Store.Blog:A short term for web log. This is an online diary on a web page and can include postedtext, photos, or links to other sites. Almost any topic can be blogged.Wiki:A collaborative website similar to a blog but that allows anyone to edit, delete, or modifyposted content.GPS:A global positioning system that uses satellite technology to request or receive directionsfrom your location to your travel destination.Smart Phone:The next generation of cell phones. A wireless, Internet-connected phone capable of mostfunctions a personal computer can do, including easy-to-use software applications. 27 | P a g e
  28. 28. In this section, you will learn about legal and ethical considerations for the use ofcommunication technology. Legal issues pertain to laws prescribed and enforced by agoverning authority. Ethical issues relate to value systems and cultural beliefs aboutwhat is acceptable or unacceptable behavior. Ethics are principles of conduct governingindividual or group behavior. Technology brings with it a number of legal and ethicalchallenges. These issues pertain to copyright and privacy as well as employee behaviorand organizational actions.Cell Phones and Other Mobile Devices:Ethical and legal issues pertinent to the use of cell phones, handheld computers, and othertelecommunication mobile devices evolve as rapidly as the technology itself. Issuescenter on using these devices in a manner that respects the rights, safety, and privacy ofothers.Legislatures have considered laws restricting the use of cell phones in automobiles, citingthe danger of driver distraction during phone conversations. Employers should takenotice of this risk if employees are conducting business by phone while traveling by car.Employers may consider banning cell phones while driving on company time or requiringhands-free cell phones.Another questionable cell phone practice is the use of its camera to take pictures ofpeople without their knowledge. This becomes even more an invasion of privacy if thepictures are embarrassing to the subject or posted to the Web for others to view. If suchpictures are published, to the Web or otherwise, legal action may result.Ethical use requires courtesy, respect, and concern for others. A common heuristic orexperiential guide for individual rights says that your rights end where the other person’sbegin. In other words, if your behavior becomes excessively intrusive or dangerous toothers, your behavior exceeds your rights.E-Mail and the Internet:Whether employees work on-site or off, organizations are concerned that workers usetechnology appropriately. Misuse of e-mail and Internet such as exchange e-mail with 28 | P a g e
  29. 29. family and friends, forward jokes to coworkers and others, play games, engage in daytrading, or just surf the Web, these resources not only threatens productivity and createslegal concerns but also may endanger the company’s image.Legal concerns about misuse of e-mail and the Internet relate to liability and privacy.Most employers want to trust employees and respect their privacy, but they fear theorganization will be liable for the content of e-mail. Computer systems can retainmessages long after they have been deleted from the user’s mailbox. Gossip, derogatorycomments, lewd or obscene messages or graphics, harassing messages, or any number ofother items could be retrieved from e-mail files and used as evidence in court cases. Inaddition, having such messages originate or circulate within the workplace negativelyaffects the organization’s legal responsibility for a harassment free environment, couldultimately tarnish a company’s good image, and decreases productivity.Organizations often choose to develop clear policies on the use of e-mail and othercompany resources. Such policies become a part of the employee handbook and alertemployees that the Internet sites they visit and their e-mail and voice mail are not private.The final word of advice for employees is to treat e-mail, voice mail, and other electronicmessages as if they will be public knowledge. Confine messages to business, and limitthe time you spend communicating with family and friends while you are at work.Accessing pornographic websites, sending sexually suggestive messages, or revealingcompany trade secrets is a recipe for losing your job and may result in legal charges.Computer Fraud:Illegal uses of the Internet include attempting to gain unauthorized access to the computersystems of others or deliberately attempting to disrupt the computer system or destroydata by spreading computer viruses or using other means.Computer viruses and worms disrupt businesses and Internet connections. A virusprogram attaches to a file and replicates itself, corrupting the data of the invaded file orattempting to crash the machine. Another type of computer virus encrypts files on thehard drive of computers, locking them to the owner. The owner receives a ransommessage demanding online payment for the digital key to unlock the files. Worms are atype of computer virus that invades a computer, stealing its resources and using networksto spread itself. Small programs can be attached to an unsuspecting, unprotected third- 29 | P a g e
  30. 30. party computer site. Such a program can send millions of requests for information fromthat computer to others.Organizations use firewalls and filters on their computer systems to protect their data, buthackers or terrorists have the capability to breach this security. Antivirus softwarecompanies continue to update protective software as new viruses occur. Therefore, youshould regularly install antivirus software updates as they become available.Copyright:Original works of authorship—including written works, art, music, photographs,multimedia, and computer software—qualify for copyright. Copyright is a legal right ofthe owner to control reproduction, distribution, and sale of the work. Legal use ofcopyrighted material obtained from the Internet follows the same fair-use guidelines asare applicable to printed, electronic, or other types of work. Copyright law grants a rightof fair use to the public.If you are quoting material, be sure to quote it accurately and give credit to the source.Further, you cannot be certain material is free of copyright just because you do not see acopyright notice on the material. In most cases, protected work would have the symbol ©or the word Copyright followed by the year. However, a good practice is to cite thesource if in doubt about the copyright.Illegal copying of software is software piracy and can result in severe legal penalties.You can copy software that is freeware; however, shareware restricts copying. Copyrightlaws protect commercial software. Laws governing copyright and the fair-use doctrineare complex. Most libraries have the material published by the U.S. Copyright Office onthese topics. Business communicators must make themselves aware of the laws andguidelines that apply to their messages. 30 | P a g e
  31. 31. Cookies: Internet research is controversial. Technology makes it feasible to gatherdata about computer users without their knowledge or permission, a practice that manyconsider unethical and an invasion of individual privacy. As experienced computer usersknow, many e-commerce sites use tracking software that stores information about you onyour computer in a brief text file called a cookie. This stored file can be read each timeyou visit their site; it enables you to be greeted by name when you return to the websiteand may include your encrypted credit card information to eliminate the need for reentryof data upon subsequent orders. Objections arise because web advertisers may secureinformation from these files to track your preferences and online shopping habits. Toallay concerns about cookies, organizations frequently include a privacy statement ontheir websites that explains types of data gathered and their use.Spam E-mails: When the same e-mail goes to multiple persons who, given theoption, would not want to receive it, the message is considered spam. These massmailings often promote questionable products, schemes for making money, or servicesthat are only marginally legal. Responding to spam usually leads to more spam and canlead to harassment and identity theft or attempts to steal your credit card number.Organizations use software filters to block some of the spam. It is difficult to block toomany terms, or information may be blocked that is not spam. If a persistent spammessage comes repeatedly, you can have all messages from that e-mail addressautomatically sent to Trash.Phishing: Phishing is a common problem with e-mail and sometimes with the phone.The phisher uses a logo or other identifying information that appears to be that of areputable company and asks that you verify your personal information. Sometimesphishers say that they are from a fraud investigation unit or that you have won a prize andmust verify your personal information. Legitimate companies don’t ask for your personalaccount information by phone or e-mail, except in sales transactions and on encryptedsites. If you receive a phishing e-mail that asks for personal information, don’t open thelink. The phisher is an identity thief. Don’t provide your personal information to anyoneunless you have verified that person’s identity with a trusted source. If you give accountnumbers, PINs, or passwords to a phisher, immediately notify the companies with whichyou have accounts. Also, report the phishing e-mail to the company that was falselyrepresented. 31 | P a g e
  32. 32. REFERENCES1. Business Communication 7th edition by KRIZAN, MERRIER, LOGAN & WILLIAMS2. Business Communication Process & Product 7th edition by MARY ELLEN GUFFEY & DANA LOEWY3. Business Communication Today 9th Edition by COURTLAND L. BOVÉE & JOHN V. THILL4. Essentials of Business Communication 8th Edition by MARY ELLEN GUFFEY & DANA LOEWY5. Effective Business Communication by Herta A Murphy, Herbert W Hildebrandt, Jane P. Thomas. 32 | P a g e