Letters and E-mail

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Letter Format
• General
– 1 to 1-1/2 inch margins
– Centered on page
– Single-spacing within paragraphs
– Double-spacing between paragraphs and sections
– Quality paper
– Full block style (every line flush with left margin)
Writer’s Address or Letterhead
• Type address with no name
• Official company letterhead
Date
• Spell out month and use complete numerals
for the year (not 8/27/13)
• Example
– August 27, 2013
Inside Address
• Recipient’s name, title, and address
• Use appropriate title, department, or company
name if necessary
• Examples: Director of Human Resources,
Human Resources Department, H & H
Manufacturing
Salutation
• Dear _________:
• Use title, department, or company name if
necessary
• Avoid anonymous and sexist greetings (To
Whom It May Concern, Dear Sirs, Dear
Sir/Madam)
Complimentary Close
• Use traditional closing followed by a comma
• Example: Sincerely,
Signature/Name
• Triple or quadruple space after the
complimentary close and type your name
• Place comma between your typed name and title
or place title underneath name
• Sign your name between the closing and your
typed name using black or blue ink
Typist’s Initials
• Your initials/typist initials
• GB/pw
Enclosure Line
• If you are sending another item with the letter,
include Enclosure, Enclosures, Enclosures (3),
or Enclosure: Receipt
• NOTE: Also mention enclosure in the body of
the letter
Copy Notation
• Use when a copy or copies of letter are being
distributed to another reader or readers
• cc: Name(s), title(s) (appears on all copies of
letter)
• bcc: Name(s), title(s) (appears only on blind
copy)
Claim Letter Addressed to Customer
Service Dept.
Enclosure
cc: John Peters, CEO
Enclosure
cc: John Peters, CEO
bcc: Felicia Jones, Attorney at Law
Abbot and Jones Law Firm
Writing and Organizing Letters
Content
• Brief introductory paragraph that establishes context
and states the letter’s purpose concisely.
• Middle paragraph(s) that convey the content of the
message in a logical order.
• Brief concluding paragraph that politely requests
action, thanks the reader, or provides additional
relevant information.
• Two approaches
Organization
– Traditional, Direct Approach
– Indirect Approach
Direct Approach
• Anticipates no resistance to message
• Communicates good news, straightforward
information, requests likely to be granted
• Begins with an up-front statement of purpose
Indirect Approach
• Anticipates resistance to message
• Communicates “bad news” of some type
• Begins with a buffer—material designed to
win trust and goodwill; postpones the “bad
news” or negative message
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Agreement
Appreciation
Cooperation
Fairness
Good News
Praise
Understanding
Buffers
Using E-mail Effectively
E-mail Use
• How many use it regularly?
• Why or when do you use it?
Statistics: Radicati Group
• 825 million business e-mail accounts
worldwide as of 2012
• Expected to grow to 1.15 billion (35% by 2016)
• As of 2012, 89 million business e-mails sent
per day
• About 105 per day, per account
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Advantages of E-mail
Quick sending and replying
Inexpensive
Embedded internet addresses
Attached files
Easy distribution of copies
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Potential Disadvantages
Overuse
Sloppy Habits
Difficulty of Retrieval
Security Concerns
Less “permanent” paper trail
Limitations of E-mail
• E-mail in the workplace is generally not
used for extremely important or formal
messages or for personal use.
• Instead, use e-mail for routine
communication
E-mail Format
• Modification of traditional memo: From, Date,
To, Subject, CC
• Organize each e-mail the same way you would a
letter.
• Use paragraph breaks if needed
• Include salutation if desirable and signature
block
Guidelines for E-mail
• Avoid using fancy formatting (italics, boldface,
tab spacing, and so forth)
• Check your message for spelling and grammar
before you send it.
• DON’T WRITE IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. DOING
SO IS OFTEN VIEWED AS “SHOUTING” AND ALL
CAPS IS HARD TO READ.
• Follow your company’s guidelines for using email.
• Avoid “spamming” and “flaming.”
• Be brief.
• Follow-up.
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