Routine Message

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Example 1: Routine request
Asking for something receiver is likely to give
Direct approach
Opening
▪ start with goodwill words or reference previous communication ▪ what you want to know -- specific question/instruction, general request for information Dear Ms. Tan:
I refer to our phone call this morning concerning my credit card account no 1234567. Would you please send me an itemised statement covering my card account for January? Body
▪ summarise why you are asking, telling; expand on question/instruction, logically, politely ▪ separate paragraphs for each main point; use bullets if necessary According to the invoices I have, the amount owed should be $1,271.54. Your statement shows $1,793.54 owed. Perhaps you have not yet recorded the $401 refund on goods returned on invoice no. J789 last week. But even this possible error does not fully explain the difference. Closing

▪ state action wanted, timeframe
▪ show appreciation in advance; appropriate goodwill words I would appreciate your usual promptness in resolving this matter. Yours sincerely,
Example 2: Favourable response
Complying with receiver’s request
News is good
Direct approach
Opening
▪ identify correspondence being answered
▪ give your reply, say you are giving what is wanted
Dear Ms. Mehta:
As you requested in your April 12 letter, we will be happy to help with your event publicity campaign. Body
▪ expand on what you are giving and why
▪ information in logical order (number, bullet if necessary) ▪ if negative element, give appropriate emphasis
To help us understand the background to this event, Mr. Peter Wu of our advertising department has already started researching similar events in other countries. He will prepare a position paper for you, outlining possible campaign strategies. You can expect his report by April 20. Closing

▪ cordial words adapted to situation
Your event will help put SMU on the map for philanthropic activities. You are taking on a wonderful project and we will be happy to be involved. Yours sincerely,

Example 3: Claim
A product, service has given problems:
▪ you are in the right
▪ ethical companies want to know when customers are unhappy; company involved should want to correct situation ▪ you want to make strong claim
Direct approach strengthens claim
Opening
▪ begin directly; state what is wrong
▪ give key information (invoice number, product identification) ▪ describe response/action wanted
Dear Ms. Wang:
From your invoice L1151 dated January 4, I see that you have sent the gifts I ordered C.O.D. I now need your friendly help to correct the embarrassing situation that has resulted. Body
▪ explain facts; enough detail to allow decision
▪ explain why claim is justified
▪ detail corrective action wanted; state what you want, or say you will let receiver decide Please refer to my original order of August 31 (copy attached) to see that the Barry Manilow CD Collection for Ms. Jane Tse and the PlayBox computer software for Mr. Jack Tse were clearly specified for prepaid shipment. You were to include the bill for these items in the C.O.D. shipment of the Harry Potter books sent to me. Closing

▪ end positively; pleasantly but firm
Please correct this embarrassing error immediately by writing to each of the recipients of my gifts, refunding their money and explaining what happened. Then send copies of your letters and the total bill to me. You have my grateful thanks for putting me back in the good graces of my friends. Yours sincerely,

Example 4: Adjustment grant
News is good
Something bad has happened, you are now correcting it
Main message is good news, but you need to regain lost confidence Direct approach
Opening
▪ begin directly with good news
▪ identify message you are answering
Dear Ms. Peres:
We are enclosing a cheque for $321.40, which is Rhaum’s way of assuring you that your satisfaction is very important to us. Body
▪ no negatives when recalling initial...
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