Bad News Message Writing Activity
Danny Johnson, an excellent employee in the Sales Department, has requested that the company allow employees to bring their dogs to work for one Friday a month. He says that the Pet-sitters International Team started “Take Your Dog to Work” day ten years ago, and many offices across the state set aside a day to help raise awareness of what good companions dogs are. Danny also had another motive: he hopes to inspire fellow office workers to adopt dogs.
Danny is a conscientious employee whose work is valued within the company. However, his request must be denied. You can’t imagine how to puppy-proof the entire office. What about electrical cables and wires? How about the carpet and possible accidents? What if some dogs became overly friendly with each other? What if the dogs became upset or agitated? You think productivity would plummet, and you can see no value in the proposal. Much as you admire the work of Danny, you can’t grant this request. As division head, compose a bad news message refusing the request without alienating Danny Johnson. Use similar business message format as the examples in Chapter 9 (page 301, 306, and 307).
Task 1: You will create a new discussion topic with your bad news message.
Task 2: You will critique 3 of your classmates bad news messages by focusing on the following items:
- Is the bad news and the reasoning behind it clear?
- Does the writer adhere to standard business message format?
- Does the writer offer alternatives to the bad news, or are there no possible alternatives?
- Is the tone overly negative or angry, causing the reader to tune out the bad news?
- Is the tone overly solicitous, causing the reader to believe the bad news is really good news, or to miss the bad news entirely?
- Is the document free of mechanical errors (spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc.)?
- Is the document free of awkward and wordy phrasing?
- How could the message be reworded or changed to improve it?