Letter Writing Techniques – Good News Vs Bad News Letters
There are different strategies and techniques to be discussed when writing good-news and bad-news letters. In good-news letters a writer is conveying good news to the receiver. The first paragraph (introduction) provides the good-news topic (reason for the letter). The second paragraph (discussion) provides the details of the good-news and the third paragraph (conclusion) calls for action.
Bad-news letters use the indirect approach and opens with a neutral idea while providing facts and supporting evidence. The second paragraph presents the reason for the bad news letter. The third paragraph ends with a neutral close. Tact and politeness is required when writing a letter of bad news. A writer of a letter of bad news must pay attention to tone and structure throughout the letter to avoid future problems. Writers must prevent themselves from offending the reader.
All writing is a form of persuasion. A writer tries to persuade their reader to understand his, or her point of view. Attention to wording is essential in a bad-news business letter to prevent breaking the code of ethics. An example for a reason for a bad-news letter is:
A company I work for has been advised to downsize labor cost by any means possible. The only choice I have is to terminate all temporary positions within the company. This decision requires that I write bad news letters to each of the temporary employees, terminating them and explaining to each one the reason for termination. I must take care to use tact and politeness throughout the letter while making it clear that their job performance was excellent and had no bearing on my company decision. When writing to the employee, I should offer a severance pay and to write a letter of recommendation to help the employee with job search. Additionally, medical benefits should be extended for a short time after termination. Additionally, letting the employee know that with his, or her given qualifications and proven abilities, I am confident that he or she will find another position in the near future. End on a calm and upward happy note.