The purpose of the business message portfolio assignment is for you to practice applying the principles of effective written business communication in a variety of situations: good news and neutral (Chapter 7), bad news (Chapter 8), and persuasion (Chapter 9).
You will prepare the following THREE messages on Microsoft Word based on scenarios and example formats described in the eBook:
Message #1: A Direct Inqiry, (an e-mail). Use e-mail format Use your name and address for the sender. Make up a signature block for yourself. Example format: page 216.
Scheduling Software Training: You work for a large credit union that is upgrading the software it uses to manage and maintain members’ account and personal information. Everyone who works with or has access to members’ information (tellers, customer service representatives, financial officers, loan representatives, department supervisors and managers, employee trainers, technical writers, marketing specialists, clerical staff, and information systems specialists) will need training on the upgraded software. Your boss has asked you, as the lead corporate trainer, to coordinate training sessions. Because of a recent pandemic, many of your employees are working remotely, while some are working onsite in their offices. Therefore, you must find training that is done virtually but that is also live and interactive so that employees can ask questions as they learn the new system.
You discover that the makers of the software (Financial Software Systems, Inc.) can provide the live virtual training you need. You have 500 employees who will need training, and because you want employees to be able to interact with the trainer and ask questions, you want to conduct the training in groups of 15–20 employees. You have a corporate training room with 20 computers, a reliable Internet connection, and a data projector for your onsite employees. Others will need to make sure they can access the trainer from their home offices. The software will be installed in six months. Ideally, you would like to train all of your employees in the two months before the installation. That way they can continue to practice on the software installed in the corporate training room if they would like.
Although you have thought about calling for the information, you decide to write so that you have a permanent record of the answers to your questions. Write an email to Ms. Whitley Freeman, Training Coordinator, to inquire about Financial Software, Inc.’s availability to provide training during the time period you require and for information that will help you decide whether Financial Software Systems, Inc., can provide the training you need in the timeframe that you have.
Message #2: A Refused Request, (a typed and printed letter). Make up a letterhead for your company. Make up an inside address for Collin Mallard. Sign the letter with your name. Example case and format: page 271.
Rejecting a Meeting Location: As executive director of the Northwest Human Resources Institute, you have been gathering information to help the organization’s board of directors decide where to hold its annual meeting three years from now. Specifically, the board has asked you to investigate two possible sites: Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon. In both cities you received good help from representatives of the chamber of commerce, but Collin Mallard of Seattle was particularly helpful. He went out of his way to show you the city and give you insider information on its attractions and restaurants. He also took you to the hotels with appropriate facilities for your event and introduced you to the managers. Overall, he was a delightful tour guide. You were hoping to send your organization’s business his way.
However, the board has decided on Portland for the meeting. Now it is your job to inform Mr. Mallard that Seattle’s bid has been turned down. Certainly, you will express your thanks for his help. You can also report that the decision was a close one and that Seattle will be considered for later years. Research the two cities and come up with plausible reasons why Portland was chosen.
Send your message to Mr. Mallard via letter. Remember that the board will see a copy of it.
Message #3: A Persuasive Request, (a typed and printed memo). Use correct memo formatting and make up a group memo address for employees. Example case: page 304 and example format: page 87.
Persuading Employees to Get a Professional Headshot: You are an intern in the human resources department at a financial services firm. When new employees are hired, they have their photo professionally taken for use in company publications and on the company website. Other employees are supposed to have their photos updated every three years, though this rule is not enforced. However, because your company is undergoing a major redevelopment of its website and social media outlets, your boss has decided that everyone should have his or her photo updated, regardless of the last time the picture was taken, so that the photos all have the same background and look. A couple of weeks ago, your boss sent a message to the staff letting them know that at some point in the next three weeks, each person should arrange to have a photo taken at Littrelle Photography, which is about five minutes from your office. Evening and weekend appointments are available. There is no cost to employees.
You are in the last week of that three-week window and only 5 of the 75 employees have had their photos taken. In reading his original message, your boss realizes that he assumed everyone would get a photo taken and didn’t realize he would have to be so persuasive. Your boss is now counting on you to write a persuasive announcement to the employees requesting that they get the photo taken. You have extended the time period by an additional two weeks, but you really cannot extend it further because your new sites go live soon. As you write the memo, think about why these photos might be important to the firm and to its clients. Think, too, about why people should care that they have an updated photo.
Revising the Messages:
After writing the drafts, you will revise/polish them (see Chapter 2) until the messages are ready to “send.” Work on the messages as they are practiced in class and online.
· An electronic copy of only the final drafts of your message should be submitted to Canvas under Major Assignments – Business Message Portfolio by 11:59 PM on April 3.
· Points will be assigned based on how well you apply the principles of business communication discussed in the textbook and in class (see the Scoring Rubric in the syllabus). One message, of my choosing, will be graded thoroughly for a total score of 80 points. The other two messages will be scored 10 points each for formatting.