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Chapter 4: Communicating Routine Messages and Building Goodwill

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Routine Business Message
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-short, nonsensitive, straightforward communication that asks questions, answers questions, provides information, or confirms agreements
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Goodwill Message
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-any message that gives you the opportunity to establish and sustain in a positive relationship with your audience
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“You” Perspective
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-approach to communication that presents the information from the audience’s point of view -focus on audience needs and wants -how will the audience benefit from your message -avoid “Accusatory Statement” use Impersonal Statement
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Audience Benefits
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-positive outcomes your audience will experience by responding favorably to your request
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Internal Benefits
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-advantages your audience will directly receive from complying with your request Ex: reduced workload, increased professional recognition, or financial gains
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External Benefits
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-advantages that someone else (third party) gains when your audience complies with a request
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Confirmation
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-acknowledgement that you have received information or understood a message correctly -highlight key points
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Announcement
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-message that publicly notifies people of information they need or want to know
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Parallel Phrasing
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-using the same grammatical form for each item in a list (action verbs)
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Examples of Goodwill Messages
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-Thank-You -Congratulatory -Sympathy -For-Your-Information
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Thank-You Message
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-expression of appreciation when someone has done something for you -handwritten are more meaningful -avoid sending same message -include specific content that relates to reason why you are thanking someone
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Congratulatory Message
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-communication sent to recognize someone’s achievements or important events -use direct organization -identify purpose in 1st sentence -provide supporting details -friendly closing
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Sympathy Message (Condolences)
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-expresses compassion and understanding when someone experiences a loss -shortly after you hear of situation -handwritten is more meaningful
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For-Your-Information Message
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-written as an act of kindness to pass along information you think someone may appreciate knowing -Indirect organization- main point at end 1) Keeps channel of communication open 2) May start dialogue that can lead to possible business benefits
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RSS (Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication)
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-format for delivering frequently changing web content to subscribers
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Dashboard
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-single-screen display of data aggregated from different sources (all social media sites integrated)
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Compose Messages with Questions and Requests
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1) Decide b/t Direct or Indirect Message 2) Provide reasons for the request 3) Adopt a “you” perspective and include Audience Benefits 4) Conclude w/ Gratitude and a call for action
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Direct Message
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-Request appears at beginning of message -explanatory details follow
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Indirect Message
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-Question appears later in message after brief explanation
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Claim Requests
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-customer requests for refunds or merchandise exchange -require little explanation
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Accusatory Statement
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-avoid using these -YOU made errors on the forms, YOU must correct
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Impersonal Statement
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-use for “you” perspective -Please correct the highlighted errors
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Specific Call for Action
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-express gratitude then: -makes clear what you need and when you need it
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Compose Informational Messages
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1) Reply to questions w/ direct answer 2) Respond to customer requests by creating goodwill 3) Highlight key points in confirmation messages 4) Organize routine Announcements so they are easy to skim 5) Format instructions so readers can easily follow steps
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Social Media to Build Goodwill
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1) Provide Quick Responses to Questions or Concerns 2) Provide Useful Information that audiences want or need 3) Build positive Social Media Community by Engaging and Interacting with audience