Writing plan for a request or claim
BUFFER – identifies previous correspondence incidentally or in subject line - begins with a neutral statement on which both reader and writer can agree
TRANSITION- plants key idea or word
- leads naturally to explanation
EXPLANATION- presents valid reasons for refusal
- avoids red-flag words that forecasts bad news
- includes resale or sales promotion material if appropriate BAD NEWS- softens the blow by deemphasizing the refusal
ALTERNATIVE- suggests a compromise, alternative, or substitute if possible CLOSING- renews good feelings with a positive statement
- avoids referring bad news
- looks forward to continued business
INEFFECTIVE REQUEST REFUSAL -begins with a needless information that could be implied - creates a harsh tone with such negative words
- (sorry, must refuse, violate and liable)
- Throws self-serving comment
- Reveals only tiny bits of the desired data
- Sounds syrupy and quite insincere
EFFECTIVE REQUEST REFUSAL-reflects the writer’s genuine interest in the request - does not implicate compliance
- reasons for refusing a request are objectively presented in an explanation that precedes the refusal - offers more alternative
- looks to the future
DIRECTNESS is ineffective for a bad news because blunting out the bad news at the beginning of the message may cause the reader to be in a poor fame of mind to receive the remainder of the message .reasons for refusal and explanations may never be seen.
-INDIRECT METHOD -allows the writer to explain before announcing bad news. The principal goal of the indirect strategy is presenting the reason and explanation before revealing the bad news. Some readers, However, may prefer to have bad news announced directly.
Indirect strategy’s six elements:
Before applying the indirect strategy analyze the reasons underlying the bad news.
An effective buffer is neutral, upbeat, and relevant.
Neutral- does not signal the bad news that is to follow nor falsely suggest that good news will be forthcoming
Upbeat- emphasizes something positive for the reader(resale material that relates to a product, a compliment or praise for the reader or statement that builds goodwill.
Relevant- refers to the situation at hand
Ex. A letter denying the request for credit for merchandise that a customer wishes to return employs a resale buffer. Your selection of an ambassador top-grain pigskin leather attaché case is a smart one, Mrs. Silva, because these cases combine fashionable styling with fine workmanship and peerless leathers.
Try not to forecast bad news nor falsely imply good news.
Reference to a key word or idea builds a transition between the buffer and the following exlanation.
BUILDING A SMOOTH TRANSITION
After the opening buffer statement, use a transition that guides the reader to the explanation that follows. Avoid red-flag words:
They are dead giveaways that a bad news is to come.
Notice how the key words candidate and contribution forms a link between the buffer ant\d the explanation for refusing the request.
Your efforts to build a campaign chest for city council candidate BUFFER Gladys Harris are commendable. This candidate deserves the
support of civic-minded businesses and individuals who are able to make contributions. TRANSITION
Your candidate, if elected, will help administer funds to municipal EXPLANATION departments and offices. As you may know, a significant portion of our business involves providing supplies or city offices. City council members who have accepted campaign contributions from vendors supplying city...