Chapter Eight1     Understanding the Principles of       Business Communication                     Bedford/St. Martins (c...
Chapter Eight2                     Table of Contents       Writer’s Checklist: Selecting the Medium       Writer’s Check...
Writer’s Checklist: Selecting the Medium3        Consider your audience, purpose, and what is typical or         expected...
Writer’s Checklist: Selecting the Medium    (continued)4        Use instant messaging when you need to communicate       ...
Writer’s Checklist: Selecting the Medium    (continued)5        Use faxes when the exact image of nondigital         docu...
Writer’s Checklist: Selecting the Medium    (continued)6        Use face-to-face meetings for early contacts with        ...
Writer’s Checklist: Using Tone to Build    Goodwill7     Be   respectful, not demanding.     DEMANDING         Submit you...
Writer’s Checklist: Using Tone to Build    Goodwill (continued)8     Be   polite, not sarcastic.     SARCASTIC           ...
Writer’s Checklist: Using Tone to Build    Goodwill (continued)9     Be   positive and tactful, not negative and condesce...
Writer’s Checklist: Managing Your E-mail     and Reducing Overload10      Given the high volume of e-mail in business, you...
Writer’s Checklist: Managing Your E-mail     and Reducing Overload (continued)11         Set priorities for reading e-mai...
Writer’s Checklist: Managing Your E-mail     and Reducing Overload (continued)12         Copy yourself or save sent copie...
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Writing That Works Chapter 8

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This is an overview of some key points from Chapter 8.

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Writing That Works Chapter 8

  1. 1. Chapter Eight1 Understanding the Principles of Business Communication Bedford/St. Martins (c) 2010 Writing That Works | Chapter 8
  2. 2. Chapter Eight2 Table of Contents  Writer’s Checklist: Selecting the Medium  Writer’s Checklist: Using Tone to Build Goodwill  Writer’s Checklist: Managing Your E-mail and Reducing Overload Bedford/St. Martins (c) 2010 Writing That Works | Chapter 8
  3. 3. Writer’s Checklist: Selecting the Medium3  Consider your audience, purpose, and what is typical or expected in your organization. Generally, use written forms and messages for precise wording; use telephone, videoconference, and in-person communication when you need, for example, to resolve a misunderstanding.  Use e-mail to send messages and electronic documents, maintain professional relationships, elicit discussions, and collect opinions from distant as well as wide audiences. Bedford/St. Martins (c) 2010 Writing That Works | Chapter 8
  4. 4. Writer’s Checklist: Selecting the Medium (continued)4  Use instant messaging when you need to communicate and share files in real time with one or more people in multiple locations who do not have convenient access to e-mail at their current locations.  Use letters on organizational stationery for outside business communications; printed letterhead on quality paper communicates formality, respect, and authority.  Use memos (printed and electronic) for in-house business communications — from policy announcements to short reports. Bedford/St. Martins (c) 2010 Writing That Works | Chapter 8
  5. 5. Writer’s Checklist: Selecting the Medium (continued)5  Use faxes when the exact image of nondigital documents must be viewed and when speed matters.  Use telephone and conference calls when give-and-take or tone of voice is important; conference calls, when carefully planned, are a less-expensive alternative to a face-to-face meeting for participants in distant locations.  Use voice mail for short, uncomplicated messages. Bedford/St. Martins (c) 2010 Writing That Works | Chapter 8
  6. 6. Writer’s Checklist: Selecting the Medium (continued)6  Use face-to-face meetings for early contacts with business associates and customers or when solving problems.  Use videoconferencing as a substitute for face-to-face meetings when travel is impractical.  Use Web sites for company or group postings as well as for making available or exchanging documents and files with others. Bedford/St. Martins (c) 2010 Writing That Works | Chapter 8
  7. 7. Writer’s Checklist: Using Tone to Build Goodwill7  Be respectful, not demanding. DEMANDING Submit your answer in one week. RESPECTFUL I would appreciate your answer within one week.  Be modest, not arrogant. ARROGANT My attached report is thorough, and I’m sure that it will be essential. MODEST The attached report contains details of the refinancing options that I hope you will find useful. Bedford/St. Martins (c) 2010 Writing That Works | Chapter 8
  8. 8. Writer’s Checklist: Using Tone to Build Goodwill (continued)8  Be polite, not sarcastic. SARCASTIC I just received the shipment we ordered six months ago. I’m sending it back—we can’t use it now. Thanks a lot! POLITE I am returning the shipment we ordered on March 12. Unfortunately, it arrived too late for us to be able to use it. Bedford/St. Martins (c) 2010 Writing That Works | Chapter 8
  9. 9. Writer’s Checklist: Using Tone to Build Goodwill (continued)9  Be positive and tactful, not negative and condescending. NEGATIVE Your complaint about our prices is way off target. Our prices are definitely not any higher than those of our competitors. TACTFUL Thank you for your suggestion concerning our prices. We believe, however, that our prices are comparable to or lower than those of our competitors. Bedford/St. Martins (c) 2010 Writing That Works | Chapter 8
  10. 10. Writer’s Checklist: Managing Your E-mail and Reducing Overload10 Given the high volume of e-mail in business, you need to manage your e-mail strategically. Avoid becoming involved in an e-mail exchange if a phone call or meeting would be more efficient. Consider whether your e-mail message could prompt an unnecessary response from the recipient and make clear if you expect a response. Send a copy (cc:) of an e-mail only when the person copied needs or wants the information. Review all messages on a subject before responding to avoid dealing with issues that are no longer relevant. Bedford/St. Martins (c) 2010 Writing That Works | Chapter 8
  11. 11. Writer’s Checklist: Managing Your E-mail and Reducing Overload (continued)11  Set priorities for reading e-mail by skimming sender names and subject lines as well as where you appear in a “cc:” (courtesy copy) and “bcc:” (blind courtesy copy) address line.  Check e-mail addresses before sending an e-mail and keep your addresses current.  Check your in-box regularly and try to clear it by the end of each day.  Create e-mail folders using key topics and personal names to file messages. Bedford/St. Martins (c) 2010 Writing That Works | Chapter 8
  12. 12. Writer’s Checklist: Managing Your E-mail and Reducing Overload (continued)12  Copy yourself or save sent copies of important e-mail messages in your topic folders.  Use the search command to find particular subjects and personal names.  Print copies of messages or attachments that you need for meetings, files, or similar purposes. Bedford/St. Martins (c) 2010 Writing That Works | Chapter 8

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