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Ace Institute of Management

Two Main Aspects of Business Correspondence

How it communicates to its customers and to the general public. How it does within its walls.
A document can be beautifully written, but

if it does not have clear objectives and does not satisfy the needs or expectations of its readers, then it is not an effective business document.

Business Writing
Audience Oriented

- concentrate on looking at a problem from the receivers perspective. Purposeful -write to solve problems and convey information. Economical -present ideas clearly but concisely. Length is not rewarded.

Three steps of Writing Process

Step 1: Plan your message (planning).

Step 2: Write your message (drafting).

Step 3: Complete your message (revising

& preparing the final draft).

Establishing the purpose of the document. Assessing the readers. Gathering and collecting information and ideas. Analyzing and organizing.

Grouping the information and putting them in a logical order. e.g.: describing the problem, presenting your evidence and ending with a solution.
Choosing a form, channel and format.

Being flexible.

avoid perfectionism when drafting. Keep going. dont let minor problems with wording and grammar distract you. Using your own favorite strategies. e.g. write at your most productive time of the day. talk aloud to clarify your thoughts, take breaks, promise yourself a little reward, etc.

Revising & final draft

Revising contents, structure and format.

necessary information included? does the overall meaning of the message come through? is the formatting appropriate and helpful? Editing sentences and words. focusing on the style, coherence, word choices. Proofreading. mechanical and grammatical aspects like spelling, typography, punctuations, etc.

Business Correspondence
Letter is a traditional form of business message but

still occupies an important place in the business world. Its purpose is to represent the writer and his/her topic rather formally to the recipient. Very useful in corresponding with an external party whom you dont know. Serves as a record for future reference. Leaves a more durable impression on the receivers mind than an oral message.

Can reach anywhere, so used to widen

the area of operations.

Legal document.

Used to build goodwill.

Examples: enquiries & replies, circulars,

sales letters, application letters, letters to the press, memos, emails, etc.

Business Correspondence contd

Direct inquiry,
Indirect situations,

Persuasive requests and collections,

Sales and applications, Memorandums

Direct Inquiry
Direct inquiry letters that ask for

information; the routine exchanges of information that businesses need.

It is written in the matter of fact way

which saves your and readers time.

State your request up front

Place your request first.

How to do
Pay attention to the tone. Assume your audience will comply. Punctuate questions and polite requests

differently. Be specific. Specify your intentions through words that are simple but direct.

Explain and justify your request

In the body, explain your initial request;

explain in smooth and logical way. List a series of questions that you need information on Ask the most important questions first. Ask only relevant questions. Deal with only one topic per question.

Courteous Close
Close your message with three

important elements Information about how you can be reached.

Your personal information and contact number to help them respond to you easily.

An expression of appreciation or

goodwill. A specific request.

Common Reasons
Asking for information and action (routine

inquiries). e.g. for investigating open positions for employment.

For gathering information regarding products or services.

Asking for recommendations. Making claims and requesting adjustments. Sending routine responses and positive messages

Asking for information and action

We write this type of letter when you need

to know about something. In essence, simple requests say: What you want know or what you want readers to do Why youre making the request Why it may be your readers interests to help you

Asking for Recommendations

Asking for information about people . Two special considerations to be made.
Respecting the rights of the people

involved, both legal and moral.

For legal and ethical reasons ,ask questions which are related to the job. Avoid questions about the applicants race, religion, sex, age, pregnancy and marital status. Avoid questions regarding arrest and conviction record, mental and physical disabilities. Hold any information received in confidence.


the questions around the job


Making claims and Requesting Adjustments

In your claim letter
Explain the problem and give details. Provide backup information. Request specific action.

Be prepared to document your claim.

Send copies and keep the original documents. Be as specific as possible about your expectations. End with cordial words.

Tips to write letters making claim

Maintain a professional tone, even if you are

extremely frustrated. Open with a straightforward statement of the problem. Provide specific details in the body. Present facts honestly and clearly . Politely summarize desired action in the closing. Clearly state what you expect as a fair settlement, or ask the reader to propose a fair adjustment. Explain the benefits of complying with the request, such as your continued patronage.

Sending Routine Responses and Positive Messages

Goals of sending a routine responses.
To communicate the information or

the good news.

Answer all questions. Provide all required details. Leave your reader with a good impression of you and your firm.

Be courteous and upbeat and maintain a

you-oriented tone.

Strategies for routine replies....

Like other letters, these types of letters

also have an opening a body a close Readers will be mainly interested in what you have to say, youll use a direct approach

Strategies contd.....
Opening: Place your main idea in the opening Body: Explain all the relevant details

Close: Use a cordial tone; perhaps highlight the benefits to you readers

Start with the main Idea

Be clear and concise
Identify the single most important

message before you start writing

Start with the main idea.....

Instead of this
I am please to inform you that after deliberating the matter carefully, our human resources committee has recommended you for appointment as a staff accountant

Write this
Congratulations. Youve been selected to join our firm as a staff accountant, beginning March 20.

Provide necessary details and explanation

Explain your point :- audience/reader will

have no confusion or doubt.

Maintain a supportive tone throughout.

Embed negative statements in positive

contexts or balance them with positive alternatives.

Talk favorably about the choices the

customer has made.

Embed negative statements.....

Instead of this

Write this
The new Olympic line has replaced the Gatsby sweater that you asked about. Olympic features a wider range of colors and sizes and more contemporary style.

No, we no longer carry the Gatsby line of sweater .

End with a courteous close

Let your readers know that you have

their personal well-being in mind.

If further action is required, tell readers

how to proceed and encourage them to act promptly.

Answering Requests for information

Three main goals of answering requests
To respond to the inquiry and answer

all questions.
To leave your reader/s with a good

impression of you and your firm.

To encourage future sale or business.