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Assignment: Compose a Letter to Whirlpool employees (Case Study...


Compose a Letter to Whirlpool employees (Case Study 6-2: Whirlpool Corporation).

Details: After reading case study 6-2 (An invitation to wellness at Whirlpool Corporation), assume the role of the Employee Communication Manager at Whirlpool. Write a personal letter to each employee (use one sample fictitious name and address) for Ms. Dana Donnley’s signature. The letter (see template of block format on page 385) must be persuasive and should address the issues regarding the acceptance of wellness programs.

Dana Donnley, Director of Employee Communication for Whirlpool Corporation, mentions the main benefits of participating in the program; but, of course, if you can think of additional, relevant issues, include them in your letter.

You must use block format (use the template of Appendix C).

Regarding the number of paragraphs and/or words in your letter, I won't restrict you. Write concisely, but not skimpily. Omit irrelevant issues, and include relevant details. Of course, you'll need to include persuasive elements (see below).

Consider the following persuasive strategies and concepts to persuade your audience to take action.

* The basic elements of persuasion are (1) building credibility, (2) establishing a problem, need, or opportunity, (3) focusing on benefits, (4) constructing logical arguments, (5) appealing to emotions, (6) anticipating concerns and objections, (7) calling to action.  

* Before you start, think about the audience, purpose, and main idea of your letter. Also, what impact and outcome should your letter have? Will you have to address ethical issues?

* Who is your audience? Whirlpool employees? Explain to them the purposes of the program, the reasons for their participation, and the benefits you expect them to derive from doing so. Take into account the diversity of the employees but address each employee directly.

* Start with an attention-getter to motivate the audience to read further. Then emphasize why the program is beneficial and what kinds of benefits the audience can expect.

* In your arguments, appeal to logic (but avoid faulty logic!).

* Appeal to emotions and values (use techniques like social proof and reciprocity).

* Anticipate concerns. You can go beyond what Ms. Donnley mentioned.

* Try to visualize the outcomes.

* In your last paragraph, call to action (encourage the audience to take an immediate step such as registering, etc.).

You can use details of the case and external sources as a guide for your letter. I encourage you to develop clear, concise, and substantive (but not wordy) paragraphs.

Textbook: O’Rourke, J. S. (2013). Management Communication: A Case-Analysis Approach, 5th ed.  Pearson Prentice Hall.

2 Attachments
APPENDIX C SAMPLE BUSINESS LETTER BIG DOG SOFTWARE Innovative Applications • Enterprise Software • Business Control Systems October 25, 2012 Mr. Ryan P. McCarthy 786 Elliott Street Seattle, WA 91277-3022 Dear Mr. McCarthy: This is an example of the Full Block Letter style , one of the most popular styles in business use today. The primary reason the Full Block style is so popular is its clean, efficient look. Typists favor this style, too, because it’s easy to prepare and simple to compose. Each element in this letter style begins at the left-hand margin. That includes the date, the inside address, the salutation, each body paragraph, the complimentary close, and the signature block. There is no need to use additional keystrokes to center the date or to move the complimentary close and signature block to the other side of the page. Please note that this letter style uses full punctuation, including the colon following the salutation and the comma following the complimentary close. The open, or ragged, right- hand margin gives the letter a slightly informal appearance, yet requires no additional work on the typist’s part. This is the most common variation of business letter format in use today. Some writers prefer other styles, especially if the letter extends beyond one page, because it’s easy to tell where a paragraph begins if it’s indented. In the Full Block Letter style, none of the paragraphs are indented. The letter is composed with a single space between lines within each paragraph and two spaces between paragraphs.
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CASE STUDY 6-2  An Invitation to Wellness at Whirlpool Corporation  “We know there is a direct correlation between employee wellness and the use of  insurance benefit dollars. Employees who are well spend less of the company’s money.  They feel better. They’re more productive. And, of course, they lead healthier, happier  lives.”  Dana Donnley is Director of Employee Communication for Whirlpool Corporation, a  $12.1 billion appliance manufacturer and marketer with assets placing it 143rd on  Fortune magazine’s list of 500 largest business organizations. With corporate  headquarters in Benton Harbor, Michigan, Whirlpool has more than 39,000 employees in  the United States and 30 foreign nations.  “During the month of his or her birthday,” Donnley said, “we offer each employee in the  headquarters a free mini-physical. Our company health nurse sends a letter to each  employee sometime toward the end of the month before their birthday, inviting that  person to participate.” Is this letter persuasive or directive in tone? “Oh, it’s persuasive,”  Donnley replied. “The program is entirely voluntary. We pick up the cost and certainly  encourage each employee to participate, but we can’t make them do it. We’ve got to  persuade them that it’s in their best interest to have a physical at least once a year.”  “The biggest objection,” said Donnley, “usually revolves around confidentiality. People  are concerned about that and sometimes have questions regarding how the information  will be used. We do our best in that letter, and in personal conversations, to convince  them that the results of these physicals are entirely confidential. The company doctor will see the results and then mail them to the employee. We don’t keep any records—the  employee gets the original and no copies are made.”  What’s involved in the physical? “Well, it’s fairly comprehensive. The nurse records  each employee’s height, weight, blood pressure, and vital signs. A routine exam is  performed, testing various functions and reflexes, providing each employee with a  relatively complete work-up.”  What’s the doctor looking for? “This is a screening program designed to let our  employees know the general condition of their health. A number of different illnesses and diseases can develop without any outward symptoms. And, of course, if he catches  something early—before it has a chance to progress very far—it’s all to the employee’s  benefit. In such cases,” she added, “we’ll recommend that the employee contact his or her family physician and seek appropriate treatment.”  Does Whirlpool have trouble getting people to participate? “Not really,” said Donnley.  “Most people are eager to be involved. That hasn’t always been the case, though, and it’s  taken a concerted effort on our part to persuade them that this wellness program benefits 
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