Letters writing to someone outside your organization OR writing to someone inside your organization because of a special situation
Letter Pattern order of information • Front matter (your addr, date, to addr+) • Salutation (greeting) • First paragraph (one sentence) = purpose • Body paragraphs = pattern • if no pattern obvious, use progressive level of disclosure • Last paragraph = next steps • End matter (close, signature, author name, title) • Enclosures (optional)
Format – three optionsThe LOOK delivers the TONE. • Formal • Cover letter for your resume • Delivering bad news • Medium formal (author wants to create camaraderie with reader) • Non-profit asking for money • Thank you letter • Informal (author needs to mass mail a message) • Warranty message • Recall notice
Content to deliverdetermines what information goes where in the pattern • Neutral news • Good news • Bad news • Mixed news (good news & bad news) NOTE: You must correctly match the CONTENT you’re delivering with the FORMAT which will create the desired TONE, for your letter to be effective.
Neutral News • Merely convey information. • Do not give bad news nor inform the reader of good news. • Are objective: Do not have the author’s feelings injected into the content. • Where information goes? • State purpose in first paragraph • Details/pattern in body • Next steps in close
GOOD News • Conveys positive information. • Does not give bad news. • Don’t by coy or withhold good news until late in letter. • Where information goes? • State purpose in first paragraph = GOOD NEWS • Details/pattern in body • Next steps in close
BAD News • Conveys information that the reader will not like. • Don’t by coy or withhold news until late in letter. • Where information goes? • State purpose in first paragraph = letter purpose = the larger purpose of the situation • Details/pattern in body = state bad news early on and explain situation. • In the body, always end with a way to combat or overcome the bad news. • Next steps in close
MIXED News • Conveys both good news and bad news. • Need to consider more carefully the order of information. • Where information goes? • State purpose in first paragraph = letter purpose of the situation • Details/pattern in body = state bad news first (unless extreme the order of information prohibits). Explain the situation and include a way to combat or overcome the bad news. • Details/pattern in body = then state the good news, so that you can end with good news. • Next steps in close
Next steps • Next steps are a separate paragraph where you explain what the reader can expect to happen next • “If you have any questions, contact me at…” • “You can reach me at…” • “I’ll call you in…” • “We can meet…” • The last paragraph is • NOT the conclusion of the pattern that calls for answering “what now”) • NOR is it a summary
Later … On the job • You will have company letter head, so you won’t need <your addr> at the top of the emails • However, for this class, I want you to learn how to do letters without letterhead
Practice… Stacy Helgoe works as a service technician for EEE Electronic Servicing, 11201 Blanco, Santa Fe, NM 88004, main phone 601-555-6000. Yesterday she went to visit Mr. Glenn Zen, IT Manager, at Schoss-McGraw Associates, 1628 W. 18th Street, Taos NM 88003, to service their computer systems. While there, she billed Harold McGraw (principal at Schoss-McGraw Associates) $500 for her time, but she did not bill him for parts since the machinery was under warranty. However, when she returned to EEE, Stacy’s manager, Marilyn Hoover, informed Stacy that the machinery was not under warranty and that Schoss-McGraw would have to be billed an additional $450.87 for parts. Schoss-McGraw is an excellent client, so Marilyn wants Stacy to be sure to be tactful in requesting the additional money. • Based on this scenario, write Stacy’s bad-news letter to Glenn.
Practice… again… You’ve been at UWB for ??. You feel particularly strong about some aspect of the university facilities you want the facilities department at UWB to know about. So you decide to write them a letter. In researching for the letter, you find out that Tony Guerrero is the Assistant Vice Chancellor, Facility Services, at University of Washington Bothell, Box 358575, 18115 Campus Way NE, Bothell, WA 98011-8246 • Based on this scenario, write your letter.