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Professional Business Letter Assignment

Professional Business Letter Assignment
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Purpose
While the ever-evolving technology is enabling faster methods of exchanging information, the business letter remains the foundation of all business communication. Professionals are expected to understand and apply the standard business letter format in their written correspondence with internal and external audiences. Among the most difficult letters to write are those that inform the reader of bad news. No one likes to receive bad news, and keeping the good-will of the recipients can be a challenge.
Your Task:
You will assume the role of the store manager for a major department store located in a medium-sized (60,000 population) mid-western city. You have just been notified by your corporate offices that your store is scheduled to close on October 1, 2017. (Choose Sears, JC Penney’s, or Macy’s as the store you are writing about.)
You are not worried about yourself because you are close to retirement age and can take a buyout from the company. However, you are concerned about your 95 full and part-time employees since many of them depend on this as a large part of their income and will be seriously hurt financially by this closing. Employees could apply at other stores in your chain, but the nearest other store belonging to your chain is located over 100 miles away. Also, there is only one other competitor chain department store located in your city, which also limits employment opportunities.
You must write a letter to employees notifying them of this closing before the public notice comes out and the employees hear it from the news media. You know this will be upsetting news to nearly all of them.
Employees with at least 25 years of employment will be offered early retirements, but that represents only 10% of your employees. In addition, employees with at least 15 years of employment will be offered five weeks of severance pay. That will provide benefits for another 20% of current employees, but that leaves 70% of employees who will not receive any severance pay at all.
You have contacted the career planning and placement office at the local college, and they have offered to counsel employees on finding jobs or returning to college if they are interested. Unemployment payments may be available to some full-time employees as well, so you want to suggest that employees contact the local unemployment office to see if they are eligible for benefits if they cannot find another job before their last day of work.
For the purposes of the letter format, you will use fictional information for the name of the letter’s sender and the return address. Address the letter to “”Employees” and make up a generic address for this assignment.
Note: It is OK to add minor details that make sense if you want to offer a “silver lining.” (Silver linings are not necessary, however.) In other words, you can make up some logical details about the closing, as long as you do not change the details of the letter assignment. However, you should not go as far as doing something like giving all employees a $5,000 bonus or promising to write a letter of recommendation for all employees.

FORMAT
The letter should adhere to the following format:
Type 12-Point; left-justified
Font Calibri, Arial, or Times New Roman,
Line Spacing Single; Block style; Remove extra After line spacing that Word uses as a default
Margins 1 inch on all sides
Length One page or less, including signature
Letter Format Example Pearson Business Reference and Writer’s Handbook pp. 265-279 or BCOM, p. 113 & p. 152. Include a recipient and a return address. Note: Do NOT use any copied logos in your letter as you do not have written permission from that company!
Organizational Pattern Indirect (inductive) approach. (Three paragraphs that follow the pattern for an indirect or bad news message – opening, body, and closing, as described below.)

Your letter should follow the pattern described in Chapter 7, Section 2, of your textbook:
• An opening paragraph that is neutral, but does NOT give it away here. Should build good-will with the reader by using one or more of the techniques listed in section 7-2a.
• A body that provides an explanation (facts, analysis, and reasons) for the bad news, then states the bad news. The point here is that a reader is much more likely to accept bad news if he or she knows why it is necessary. Use techniques described in 7-2b to provide this buffering explanation which is logical and shows a benefit to the reader. Also use techniques described in 7-2c to position the bad news statement strategically and use positive language, rather than negative language which stresses the bad news. You can also use techniques described in Section 7-2d on “silver linings” if appropriate to the situation.
• A closing that shifts focus away from the bad news by looking forward, is positive, and indicates a continuing relationship with the receiver. Use techniques described in 7-2e.
Preparation
Students will read and use the following chapters in the BCOM text:
• Ch. 6 – Delivering Good- and Neutral-News Messages
• Ch. 7 – Delivering Bad-News Messages
You should also be reading the items posted this week on delivering bad news.
Criteria for Evaluation
• Demonstrates responsiveness to the audience’s subject knowledge, attitudes, interests, and values as well as the purpose and occasion.
• Employs format specifications detailed in the “Your Task” section of this assignment description.
• Incorporates effective language for the audience, purpose, and situation.
• Utilizes the appropriate organizational pattern for the message’s purpose.
• Reflects professional communication standards including tone, grammar, and overall writing standards.
• Avoid plagiarism and copyright

Chapter 6
https://reader.yuzu.com/books/9781337516488/pageid/107
Chapter 7
https://reader.yuzu.com/books/9781337516488/pageid/125

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Professional Business Letter Assignment

Last Updated on February 14, 2019

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