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Two Negative Message Letters

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Write TWO Negative Message letters (one Bad News on any topic and One Arguable Claim (complaint Letter). It is important that you choose a topic that will allow you to develop the letter sufficiently to make the length guidelines, and will also demonstrate your skills as a writer. Write in the concise style characteristic of good business writing and in a language and tone appropriate to your audience and purpose.

One needs to be an Arguable Claim Letter (non routine) - which means that there is no warranty or 'contract' and you have a problem that needs resolution. Prepare both letters using the Indirect, Negative Message Pattern.

These letters convey negative information, so they open with a buffer that sets a professional tone that is sensitive to the reader. The buffer is followed by the explanation, then the bad news and ends by trying to leave the reader with a goodwill closing.

You might write for reasons such as the following:
A letter to the editor, complaining about a particular issue of interest to the community.
A performance appraisal letter that contains negative information.
Rejection to a job candidate
A letter regarding dissatisfaction with an item that is no longer in warranty or where you have no sales receipt
Dissatisfaction with a travel or dining experience
Problems with billing for something (such as a phone bill, power bill etc)

In all cases, imagine the kind of correspondence that you may be called upon to write in your current position or in the business you hope to enter.

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Solution Summary

This solution includes two negative message letters, one an arguable claim letter, the other one bad news on any topic. Both letters follow the indirect, negative message pattern.

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Dear Ms. Smith:

It was a pleasure to meet with you last Thursday. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit our headquarters to meet our interview team. Your experience in the apparel industry is quite impressive. We enjoyed hearing your thoughts on the industry and the changes that have transpired in the last few years. We enjoyed meeting you and appreciate your interest in ABC Clothing Company.

As you can imagine, we had a record number of qualified applicants for the Head Buying position. In fact, the quality of the applicants was the finest I have seen in all my years of ...

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  • BA, University of Southern California
  • MSS, United States Sports Academy
  • Ed.D, Boise State University
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