Professional Communication

letter N

Professional
Communication
Routine Messages
Primary purpose:
Information
Secondary purpose:
Goodwill
Routine inquiry or request letters are deductive, s
imple, and common. The information in the letter w
ill
determine the quality of information received in th
e response.
Request Blueprint
1.
Opening
a.
Introduce your request, major statement, question,
or polite command.

Will you please answer the following questions rega
rding your business conference facilities:

What is the procedure for using your business slide
s in our corporate management training
seminars?
b.
Avoid long explanations that precede the main idea.
2.
Body
a.
Explain the request logically and courteously.
b.
Include details necessary to help the reader respon
d to your request correctly.
c.
Consider numbering or bulleting your questions (if
more than one) for easy reading and answering.
d.
List questions logically or most important first.
3.
Closing
a.
State clearly what action you want the reader to ta
ke—and when. Include specific end date if
appropriate.

Please send your catalog by April 14.

I would appreciate receiving the answers to my ques
tions before October 30 so I may make a
decision before November 6.
b.
Make action easy, if appropriate, by including a po
st-paid reply envelope, your telephone number,
email, or any other appropriate, helpful informatio
n.
c.
Express appreciation and, if appropriate, include a
statement of goodwill or reader benefit.
d.
Avoid trite expressions.
Response to Request Blueprint
1.
Opening: Deliver the most important information fi
rst—answering the question(s) or recognizing the
request.

Yes, the Hilton is able to accommodate 200 business
professionals on May 12-15, and I have
included a list of all finalizing details.

The managers of ABC Inc. accept your $1.1 million c
onstruction bid.
2.
Body
a.
Arrange information in logical sequence.
b.
Explain and clarify with supporting details (includ
e details necessary to help the reader).
c.
Provide additional information (sale, resale, PR).
d.
Build goodwill.
3.
Closing
a.
End pleasantly.

Peaceful, quiet Sierra Spa serenity awaits your vis
it. Please call (916) 589-8820 today for
reservations.

Please call (916) 589-8820 for more advice on organ
izing an exciting event at Sierra Spa.
b.
Request action, if necessary.
Poor Example of a Request Letter
Assume you saw an advertisement in the October issu
e of
Workforce
magazine about a software
program called Resumix that you believe may be help
ful to your managers in processing the
hundreds of résumés your company receives monthly.
Because you want to ascertain whether or
not this program would be effective, you write a qu
ick draft of a request for information as
shown below. You need answers by December 1 becaus
e your company usually receives a rush
of job applications beginning the first week in Jan
uary.
Improve your draft to bring it into compliance with
the principles of professional business
correspondence. Create a company letterhead for yo
ur company including a return address
(Check
Gregg Reference Manual
). Keeping the reader(s) in mind, change the salut
ation to non-
gender-biased language. Send the letter to Resumix
, Inc., 140 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, NY
11354-1400. Add any necessary information.
Dear Sir:
In addition to learning if the program can sort can
didates into the categories as
you mentioned in your ad, I’m wondering if the prog
ram can read all the different
type fonts and formats that candidates use on their
résumés. Another important
consideration for us is training and troubleshootin
g. If we need help with the
program, would you supply it?
Thank you for your cooperation.
Sincerely,
Content

Request is introduced before explaining = direct ap
proach

Necessary details are included for completeness

Details are organized for easy comprehension

Action is clearly indicated

Trite expressions are avoided

Business professional tone and writing style is use
d (also refer to 5 Cs)
Format

Letter is centered on the page

At least three paragraphs are used to convey inform
ation

Block or modified-block style is correct (including
paragraph style)

Open or mixed punctuation is used correctly

Spacing between letter elements is correct

Return address is expressed correctly

Courtesy title is used with inside address (if to a
n individual)

Salutation matches first line of inside address

Business closing is used

Enclosure notation is included if necessary

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