COMS3302Ch4 - Planning Business Messages Planning Business...

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Unformatted text preview: Planning Business Messages Planning Business Messages COMS 3302 Chapter 4­­Putnam Understanding the 3­Step Writing Process Understanding the 3­Step Writing Process • Following these steps will help ensure that your message is effective—meets your audience’s needs and gets you point across. • And also does so efficiently—does not waste their time in the process. • See Figure 4.1 on page 91 for details Chapter 4 2 Understanding the 3­Step Writing Process Understanding the 3­Step Writing Process 1. Planning—(Chapter 4) Analyze the situation; what’s your purpose and who’s your audience? Gather the information need to write the message Pick the right medium to send the message Now you can organize the message (direct or indirect) Chapter 4 3 Understanding the 3­Step Writing Process Understanding the 3­Step Writing Process 1. Writing the Message—(Chapter 5) Write for your audience; adapt to fit their needs Be polite; emphasize the positive; avoid biased language Be conversational in tone, yet professional Establish your credibility and protect your company’s image Chapter 4 4 Understanding the 3­Step Writing Process Understanding the 3­Step Writing Process 3. Complete the Message—(Chapter 6) Revise your first draft; look at content and readability Check your grammar, sentence construction, and paragraph clarity Proofread it and then send it to your audience using the appropriate technology Chapter 4 5 Understanding the 3­Step Writing Process Understanding the 3­Step Writing Process In general, about 50% your time for planning is wise About a 25% of your time for writing And about the last 25% for revising and editing These are not hard­and­fast rules but general guidelines Each message is uniquely itself Chapter 4 6 Analyzing the Situation Analyzing the Situation Identifying your audience and purpose is normally pretty easy—”who am I writing to and why am I writing them?” Don’t write anything until you answer these fundamental questions! Chapter 4 7 Analyzing the Situation Analyzing the Situation “Defining Your Purpose” Your purpose—general and specific General is broad­based like “to inform” or “to persuade” Specific then addresses what you want them to know, do, think, feel, etc, once they are done reading your message. Everything we include in the message should be in support of our specific purpose. Chapter 4 8 Analyzing the Situation Analyzing the Situation “Defining Your Purpose” But make sure your specific purpose meetings the following four criteria: 1. Will it help to change something? (If it can’t then why send it?) 2. Is it realistic? (Oftentimes change comes slowly and in very small steps) 3. Is this the right time for it? (It may be a good idea but delivered at the wrong time) Chapter 4 9 Analyzing the Situation Analyzing the Situation “Defining Your Purpose” But make sure your specific purpose meetings the following four criteria: 4. Is it acceptable to your organization? (What are you company’s guidelines or rules for communication and to whom?) Chapter 4 10 “Developing an Audience Profile” This is the process of identifying a person’s needs and predicting their reaction to your message The more you know about the audience, the more accurate your prediction will be If it’s an audience of strangers, we need to take a more generic approach Analyzing the Situation Analyzing the Situation Chapter 4 11 “Developing an Audience Profile” Consider the following when analyzing your audience: a) Who’s your primary audience? The decision­ makers and key people. But don’t ignore the secondary audience members in the process b) How many are there? And where are they located? The answers to these questions will dictate how best to reach them Analyzing the Situation Analyzing the Situation Chapter 4 12 “Developing an Audience Profile” Consider the following when analyzing your audience: a) What is it’s composition? Age, education, rank and status, experience, etc. b) What is its general level of understanding about this issue? Do they know a lot? Very little? What? c) What are their expectations/preferences? Do they want details or just the big picture? Chapter 4 13 Analyzing the Situation Analyzing the Situation “Developing an Audience Profile” Consider the following when analyzing your audience: a) How do you think they’ll react? Will they be happy, mad, unmoved? This is key to helping you decide how to organize the message to help ensure success of your specific purpose. Analyzing the Situation Analyzing the Situation Chapter 4 14 Gathering Information Gathering Information You need to get information before you can write a message—hopefully no is shocked by that revelation! So where do you get information to write your report? 1. Other people’s views 2. Company reports and documents 3. Talking to your boss or other supervisors Chapter 4 15 Gathering Information Gathering Information 1. From your audience—what do they think or want to know? 2. And of course, in our case, the writing assignment descriptions in your syllabus Chapter 4 16 Gathering Information Gathering Information Providing the Required Information Use the journalistic approach: who, what, when, where, why, and how. To ensure that you give your audience quality information, follow these guidelines: 1. Check and double­check the accuracy. Your reputation is on the line; don’t send the wrong information to your audience. 2. Make sure it’s ethical—don’t distort, omit or otherwise slant the data in your favor. Chapter 4 17 Gathering Information Gathering Information Providing the Required Information 3. Make sure it’s pertinent—is it relevant to their needs and interests? If you address their concerns, they’ll appreciate it. Don’t stick in stuff that is irrelevant or you’ll irritate your audience. Chapter 4 18 Selecting the Right Medium Selecting the Right Medium You have to decide…what medium will I send my message? Choices, choices…be sure to make the right one! Modern day business offers many options and the communicate has to decide which to use The choice is dependent on many factors. Study Table 4.1 on page 100 for details Chapter 4 19 Selecting the Right Medium Selecting the Right Medium Oral Media The face­to­face option is best if the message is highly personal or important If you need to monitor reactions on the spot When emotions are high When you need to monitor nonverbal reactions in your audience Chapter 4 20 Selecting the Right Medium Selecting the Right Medium Written Media Gives you better control over the message; careful thought can (and should) go into each word Good when immediate feedback is not needed Often gives a stronger sense of importance; the “hard copy” image Gives permanent record Chapter 4 21 Selecting the Right Medium Selecting the Right Medium Visual Media Newest of the medium formats Visual elements (pictures, images, etc.) carry the message Often good for conveying complex ideas more easily than other formats Typically will include some text with it to help clarify or support the illustration Chapter 4 22 Selecting the Right Medium Selecting the Right Medium Electronic Media Obviously e­mail is the big one here (as well as blogs, phone calls, text messages, etc) You can reach a lot of people at the speed of light Easy to use (maybe too easy, leading to overuse in many instances) Like all those before this, electronic has many advantages but also disadvantages and needs to be measured against alternatives before using Chapter 4 23 Selecting the Right Medium Selecting the Right Medium What to Consider When Choosing Media Media Richness—the medium that most likely touches your audience’s emotions, allows for easy feedback, is clear, and personal in tone Typically face­to­face is considered the richest of all media But it is not always the smartest business choice Lean media would be impersonal or distant Chapter 4 24 Selecting the Right Medium Selecting the Right Medium What to Consider When Choosing Media Message Formality—the tone and style of your message E­mail tend to be perceived as more casual, less formal A personal meeting with the CEO is likely to be formal A mailed letter carries a more formal style than does e­mail Chapter 4 25 Selecting the Right Medium Selecting the Right Medium What to Consider When Choosing Media Media Limitations—each one (oral, written, visual, and electronic) has strengths and each has weaknesses. Consider that reality before choosing and using Sender Intentions—how do you want your audience to perceive your message? Casual? Seriously? With grave urgency? Whatever the case, pick the medium that best matches your intent Chapter 4 26 Selecting the Right Medium Selecting the Right Medium What to Consider When Choosing Media Urgency and Cost—weigh these factors when choosing media. Time, distance, importance, etc. all factor in your choice of media Audience Preference—particularly true for your boss! How does your boss want to get information from you? Figure it out and do it; you’ll boss will appreciate it. Not just what type of media, but when—what time of day is best to approach your boss. Learn this! Chapter 4 27 Organizing Your Information Organizing Your Information A well­organized message is necessary A poorly­organized message is bad news for the sender To organize your messages be sure to define your main idea (purpose), limit the scope of what you’ll cover and write either in the direct or indirect format Groups your points—make it easy on your reader Chapter 4 28 Organizing Your Information Organizing Your Information A poorly organized message will: 1. Waste the time of your reader and really irritate them 2. Reduces efficiency as it requires more time to sift through disjointed ideas to understand 3. Can damage a relationship 4. Lessens the chances that your goal will be achieved Chapter 4 29 Organizing Your Information Organizing Your Information A well organized message will: 1. Make it easier for your audience to follow your argument and understand your goal 2. Consequently, put them in a better frame of mind and more likely to agree with your reasoning 3. And save them time not having to “read between the lines” Chapter 4 30 Organizing Your Information Organizing Your Information Defining Your Main Idea Typically we want our main idea—the reason we are writing—to be in the opening paragraph If the message is neutral in tone “The meeting is set for 2pm today.” Or if the message is positive in tone “Congratulations on being promoted to VP of French Fries at Wendy’s” Chapter 4 31 Organizing Your Information Organizing Your Information Limiting Your Scope The scope of your message refers to how much material you’ll cover Don’t try to cover too much in one message Make it brief and limit the number of main points or ideas Long drawn­out messages are begging for trouble Chapter 4 32 Organizing Your Information Organizing Your Information Limiting Your Scope The scope of your message refers to how much material you’ll cover For example, ever have a textbook with page after page of nothing but words? No images, no shorter paragraphs? If you try to cover too much in one message, you risk losing readers along with their attention span Chapter 4 33 Organizing Your Information Organizing Your Information Choosing Direct or Indirect Approaches Direct (Deductive) Approach—the idea or topic is put upfront in the opening paragraph Everything that follows supports the main idea Use this for routine messages and positive messages Chapter 4 34 Organizing Your Information Organizing Your Information Choosing Direct or Indirect Approaches Indirect (Inductive) Approach—the idea or topic is put after the supporting evidence You do not deceive or mislead, you simply hold off on your main idea. Let the evidence tell the story and hopefully the reader will fill in the gaps and draw the conclusion you want by the time you write it Chapter 4 35 Organizing Your Information Organizing Your Information Choosing Direct or Indirect Approaches Indirect (Inductive) Approach—the idea or topic is put after the supporting evidence Use this (most of the time—see Chapter 9 for more detail) when giving bad news. You ease into the problem and the main idea should flow naturally from it. Same is true for persuasive messages— normally the indirect approach is wisest. Chapter 4 36 Face­to­Face vs. E­Mail Meetings Face­to­Face vs. E­Mail Meetings Time Magazine, by B. Luscombe The growth of and reliance upon digital communication is actually leading to an increased sense of disconnectedness. Reliance on e­mail, texting, and other social networking choices can lead to less face­to­ face encounters­and isolation Harder to establish trust via online; quality of the relationship can suffer Chapter 4 37 Face­to­Face vs. E­Mail Meetings Face­to­Face vs. E­Mail Meetings Time Magazine, by B. Luscombe Technology makes us more efficient; we gain time but may lose the quality of the relationship Studies show that groups who meet face­to­ face find it easier to develop trust and cooperation Groups who meet only via e­mail or video conferencing were least able to work together well Chapter 4 38 Face­to­Face vs. E­Mail Meetings Face­to­Face vs. E­Mail Meetings Time Magazine, by B. Luscombe E­mail correspondence makes it harder to exhibit a sense of hard work or taking the task seriously In the end, it’s simply not enough to stay in touch only by Facebook, or e­mail. We need to call or see people in person! Chapter 4 39 ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/05/2011 for the course COM 3302 taught by Professor Sdsd during the Spring '11 term at Tarrant County.

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