Chapter 4 Bad-News Correspondence
The Direct Approach
Use the direct approach if the bad news is expected or not very important.
1. State the bad news simply and directly.
2. Give the reasons.
3. Give an alternative, if possible.
4. Close with a goodwill statement. Don’t refer back to the bad news.
The Indirect Approach
Use when you don’t know the reader well, or if the bad news is unexpected or could
cause a negative emotional reaction.
1. Begin with a neutral or pleasant opening statement related to the subject.
2. Discuss the circumstances leading to the bad news.
3. State the bad news as positively as possible. You may be able to imply the
bad news without actually stating it.
4. Give a helpful suggestion or alternative, if one exists.
5. Close with a goodwill statement.
When using the indirect approach remember these tips:
Don’t mislead the reader with an opening that is too positive.
Do keep the reasons or explanations as short as possible.
Do make sure the reader is clear about the bad news.
Do avoid negative words and phrasing.
Don’t end with a statement that is artificially upbeat.
Turning Down a Job Applicant
A company should be concerned with its public image, and treating job applicants
poorly can give a business a bad name.
Personalize the message.
Devise one or several form letters.
Try avoiding the individual as a person. Focus on the company’s selection.
If you would never consider the applicant for the job, do not suggest that you would.
Make sure you indicate if it’s one job, or all jobs.
Declining an Invitation
Show that you appreciate the invitation.
Acknowledge the importance of the organization or e