Letter to Leaders
In chapter 11: Writing for Public Relations, we learn that there are several ways to communicate that are considered strategic. Writing for PR does not only incorporate press releases. They also include writing letters, emails, oral presentations, slide presentations, statements, speeches, newsletters, pamphlets and brochures, magazines, annual reports, websites, etc. Companies have to communicate internally and externally.
In this time of crisis as we fight the Coronavirus COVID-19, we find that strategic effective communication is essential. We have all been receiving updates from the university, our condo associations, cities, or employers that contain important information that is imperative for everyone to understand. These communications are carefully written. The information, length, and mode of delivery have been carefully planned and organized.
This assignment is designed to help you think about how these types of communication are composed and disseminated. Taking into consideration what they include, what they do not include, how long are they, what is the purpose, how are they organized, etc. To prepare for this assignment it is imperative that you read chapter 11. Make sure you pay close attention to section 11.6: Letters.
For this assignments, you are to upload a formal letter addressed to your boss/manager discussing some aspect dealing with the Coronavirus that concerns you at this moment. If you are not currently employed, think of your dream company and address the letter to it (use Mr. Roary Rage as the name of your boss/manager).
- Note: This is NOT just a friendly letter or a rant about something; it should have a focus and a purpose.
- Your letter or email MUST contain:
- A focus and a purpose. Use the following organizational structure:
- What do you want them to know?
- Why is it important for them to know this information?
- What do you want them to do with this information?
- Some data (facts, figures, surveys, etc.) and quotes (direct/indirect). Do not include graphs or images. Make sure you attribute your website information/quotes correctly (check AP Stylebook for specifics).
- Follow these guidelines discussed in your text:
- Don’t be Obsequious
- Don’t be Overly Complimentary
- Don’t Try to be Too Funny
- Don’t refer to personal characteristics, habits, or feelings of the reader
- Use personal pronouns
- Avoid Impersonal constructions
- Avoid the Passive Voice
- Avoid Using Technical Language
- Avoid Wordiness
- A focus and a purpose. Use the following organizational structure:
- Your letter should follow the correct format. Follow the example of a letter in your textbook, which can be found on section 11.6 Letters, Figure 11.2 Parts of a Letter.
- It should contain complete contact information for the receiver.
- A complete signature (name and title or affiliation) and contact information for you, the sender.
- Be single-spaced, 12 pts. Time Roman and fit on ONE page!
- Must follow grammar and AP Style.
- Similarity Score <25%.11_11.6: Letters
LISTEN TO THE CHAPTER AUDIO
Figure 11.2 Parts of a Letter
Despite increased use of the telephone and advances in other
forms of communication, such as e-mail, letters are still one
of the most important and effective means of communicating
in the business world today (see Figure 11.2 ).
Letter writing is an important part of the duties of many PR professionals. This illustration shows the different parts of a business letter. Read the letter itself and take note of the straightforward, businesslike language that is used. Every sentence in the letter contains some information or asks for action from the reader.
In fact, they increased in importance with the installation and
use of fax machines. The well-written letter is impressive and
appreciated by the receiver. The poorly written letter can
establish negative feelings on the part of the receiver that are
extremely difficult to overcome. PR practitioners are often
called on to write letters for their organizations. These letters
may serve a variety of purposes, such as selling a product or
Examine the significance of a well-written letter even
in this age of other advanced communication forms
idea, explaining company policy, answering complaints, and
raising funds. Each of these letters must be carefully crafted
to accomplish its purpose.
Letters are a good way to direct a message straight to the
people you want to receive that message. Most people read
their mail; at least, they begin to read their mail. If a letter
does not quickly give its information and make its point, it is
likely to irritate or lose its reader—or both. Letters are
expensive for organizations to produce and send. They take
time and care to write. Like all other communication, they
must accomplish their mission for the organization.
Letter writing requires precise and concise use of the
language. Letters require that writers come directly to the
point and not waste the time of the receiver. Even if a letter is
obviously written for a large number of people, the reader
should get the feeling that the letter was written to and for
him or her. Letters should never contain any errors in
spelling, grammar, or punctuation. They should also never
show any editing.
The first rule of letter writing is to understand the purpose of
the letter. The letter writer should ask, “Why am I writing this
letter?” and, if necessary, make a list of reasons. There may be
a number of reasons for a letter to be written, but there
should be one overriding purpose. If that purpose is not
evident from the list the writer makes, then he or she should
give more thought to the letter itself.
Similar to the purpose for writing the letter is the action that
is expected of the recipient. Again, the letter writer should
ask a question: “What do I want the reader to do after reading
the letter?” Sometimes the answer is a simple one and comes
directly from the purpose of the letter. At other times, the
intended action of the reader may not be apparent. Again, the
writer should have this action clearly in mind before starting
to write the letter. In any case, the action of the reader should
be as specific as possible.
Once the purpose of the letter and the intended action on the
part of the reader have been established, the writing can
begin. One of the first and most important considerations a
writer should give to a letter is its tone. The proper tone is
essential to the effectiveness of a letter. In most cases of
business correspondence, a letter must be both personal and
professional; it must show the right mix of these qualities. A
letter that is too personal—especially if the writer and
recipient are not personal friends—may offend the recipient
as an invasion of privacy. A letter that is too formal may make
the recipient feel that he or she is not very important to the
Following are some guidelines that will help writers to avoid
being too personal in a business letter:
Don’t Be Obsequious
Don’t Be Overly Complimentary
Don’t Try to Be Funny
Don’t Refer to Personal Characteristics, Habits, or
Feelings of the Reader
Use Personal Pronouns
Avoid Impersonal Constructions
Avoid the Passive Voice
Avoid Using Technical Language
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