The AIM Planning Process for Effective Business Messages – Ch 5 – Creating Effective Business Messages

Flashcard maker : Lily Taylor
AIM Planning Process
1 – Audience analysis
2 – Idea development
3 – Message structuring
Audience Analysis
Identify reader benefits and constraints
Consider reader values and priorities
Estimate your credibility
Anticipate reactions
Consider secondary audiences
Idea development
Identify and analyze the business problems at hand;
Clarify objectives
Message Structure
Frame the main point
Set up the structure/logic of the message
Audience Analysis Components
Identify reader benefits and constraints
Consider reader values and priorities
Estimate your credibility
Anticipate reactions
Consider secondary audience
Identifying Reader Benefits
Single most important planning step
Readers respond when you provide them with something that they value
***when you communicate no apparent benefits, your readers are unlikely to engage
Identifying Reader Constraints
Think about the constraints your audience faces
your reader will often see value in your messages but may not be able to respond as you hope because they:
don’t have time
or authority to make certain decisions
Considering Reader Values and Priorities
What they value, prioritize, and prefer
Enduring beliefs and ideals that individuals hold
Involves ranking or assigning importance to things, such as projects, goals, and tasks.
Priorities tend to shift more than values.
Estimating your Credibility
Readers will inevitably judge your recommendations, request, and other messages based on their view of your credibility.
Stay aware of your strengths, weaknesses, and goals. Your reputation depends on adding value in the workplace.
Anticipating Reactions
In the planning stage:
Envision how other will respond to your message
Imagine how the readers will think, feel, and act as they read it.
Think about what you want to achieve in terms of workplace relationships.
Keeping Secondary Audiences in Mind
Anticipate that individuals other than your primary recipient will view your message.
In some cases, you will distribute your message to additional individuals whom it will affect.
Consider which secondary audiences will view your messages and, if necessary, modify them according.
Idea Development
Involves sorting out the business issues and objectives, collecting as many relevant facts as possible, and making sound judgments about what the facts mean and imply.
Idea Development Components
1 – Identify the business problems
2 – Analyze the business problems
3 – Clarify objectives
Identifying the Business Problem(s)
Identify business problems
Involves understanding an organization’s business objectives and related challenges
**Asking many questions from a lot of angles**
Analyzing the Business Problem(s)
Analyzing the business problem typically involves uncovering relevant facts, making conclusions, and taking positions.
Are statements that can be relied on with a fair amount of certainly and can be observed objectively.
(most things are not absolutely certain in the business world)
Are statements that are reasoned or deduced based on facts
Stances that you take based on a set of conclusions
Clarifying Objectives
Clearly identify your goals.
Will help balance your preferred work outcomes with your work relationships.
Message Structuring
Identifying and framing the primary message and;
setting up the logic with supporting points and;
a call to action
Message structure Components
1 – Frame the primary message
2 – Set up the structure and logic of the message.
Framing the Primary Message
Involves showcasing a message from an overarching theme.
Focuses a reader or listener on a certain key idea or argument and highlights the premises and support for this key idea or argument
The art of creating effective frames
involves capturing your primary message in a short, memorable statement of 15 words or fewer.
Setting Up the Message Framework
Most business arguments employ a direct or deductive approach.
They begin by stating the primary message – typically a position or recommendation.
Then lay out the supporting reasons.
Most business messages conclude with a call to action. The call to action in many cases is a more detailed and elaborate version of the initial position or recommendation.
Deductive Business Message Components
Opening Paragraph
* Primary message as topic sentence.
* Preview sentence as concluding sentence: We Should do [Position] because of Key point 1, Key point 2, and Key Point 4

* Supporting paragraphs for each key point
* Key points as topic sentences.
*Most paragraphs are three to five sentences and 40 to 100 words

Concluding Paragraph
* Restates primary message
*Contains a call to action – specific steps to be taken.

Indirect or Inductive
Provide supporting reasons first followed by the primary message.
Setting the Right Tone
Demonstrate positivity
* Display a con-do, confident attitude
* Focus on positive rather than negative traits
* Use diplomatic, constructive terms

Show Concern for others
* Avoid relying too heavily on I-voice
* Respect the time and autonomy of your readers
* Give credit to others

Avoiding unsupported Generalizations
Provide supporting facts for your claims
Avoiding Faulty Cause/Effect Claims
Try to identify causes and effects.
Choose language and reasoning carefully.
Avoiding Weak Analogies
Strong analogies serve to bolster your arguments
Avoiding Either/Or Logic
One of the main characteristics of critical thinking is to remain flexible and open to alternative explanations and options.
Avoiding Slanting the Facts
Slanting means presenting only those facts that are favorable to your position.
Avoiding Exaggerations
Exaggeration impacts readers’ perceptions of your overall credibility as well as the credibility of the message.

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