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business communication 2 - The Direct Plan When you are...

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The Direct Plan When you are dealing with positive (good news) or routine (neutral) matters, you can get straight to the point. As you know, business people like to get to “the bottom line” quickly. Here is the direct plan : Begins with the good news and summarize the main points. Provide an explanation. Present negative elements, if any. Explain reader benefits. Include a goodwill closing. Whether your message is for an internal audience (memo) or for an external audience (letter), this organizational plan allows you to communicate efficiently. Let’s say that you are writing to inform an employee under your supervision that she has been awarded a promotion. Your introduction should get to the good news as quickly as possible. This technique is known as positive emphasis. The firs sentences, for example, can be... "Congratulations! You have been promoted to Assistant Manager." Following the initial good news, you should continue with an explanation of some basic details. In this case, you can write... "Your promotion becomes effective as of the first of the coming month. Your new pay rate will be reflected as of the coming month also. Your new duties as Assistant Manager become effective immediately." Although you have probably communicated this information verbally, through a phone call or face-to-face, the memo you are writing makes it official and still evokes a positive response from the reader. Explanation After you have shared the good news and covered the basic details, you need to provide further explanation. This section of your communication is the longest part and can involve more than one paragraph. In the promotion memo, you now move to discussing your Assistant Manager’s new duties. You might want to list them in a bulleted or numbered list. For example, you can write: "Your duties as Assistant Manager include: Supervising personnel in this department Attending weekly meetings Dealing with customer complaints Handling correspondence Reporting the Manager on a daily basis" If there are any negative features of the message, you can cover them here. For example, you might write, “Because you are new to dealing with customer complaints, you are invited to attend a training session on conflict resolution.” In this section, you should anticipate the reader’s questions and try to provide answers. Reader Benefits Even though a good news situation seems to include reader benefits automatically, you should go beyond the basic message to explore the details of the good news. In the promotion memo, you can follow the explanation in the body section with a paragraph near the end detailing some of the additional benefits of the Assistant Manager position. For example, you can write: "The selection process for Assistant Manager involved a number of fine candidates. The fact that you won the position indicates that the company feels you have strong management capabilities. The position of Assistant Manager is designed to advance employees into senior management positions." In looking to the future, you can add further benefits to the good news of promotion. As always in business
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