To: Incoming FSB Students
From: Samantha Dixon
Date: 11 December 2013
Subject: Effective Writing For Audience
Audience is an important factor to consider when writing in business because different pieces of writing will be directed towards different audiences. In order for business writing to be effective, it needs to be written specifically for the intended audience. This semester I have personally experienced the necessity of audience-tailored writing though the four projects assigned for my Business 102 course.
Project One—Email Requests
Audience largely impacted my choice of tone throughout Project One because the two emails are directed towards different people. Since the first email requests information about an organization, it has a formal tone and uses language that appeals to the recipient’s authority. This email starts with “Dear Mrs. Thomas” because I anticipate making a strong first impression. While my primary purpose is to simply request information, I also include the fact that I have “volunteered as a Peer Mentor throughout high school” as a way to subtly “sell” myself as a skilled and experienced potential member of the organization. By closing the email with “thank you for your time,” the recipient knows I am respectful of her busy schedule. The tone of the second email is much more informal because I already have an established relationship with the recipient. I recall my experience as a team leader of his swim team, emphasizing “my dedication to the team in helping us win the championships” to reconnect with my former Business Economics teacher and coach. Upon being reminded of our success and my leadership skills, he may feel more comfortable writing a letter of recommendation for me. I am able to connect with each recipient appropriately by adjusting the tone and language of my emails to suit the audience.
Project Two—Internship Application Letter
I am trying to impress my audience for Project Two, so it is important to show that I match my skills and experiences to Highmark Health Services’s qualifications. To persuade the audience, I relate my personal experiences to the work being done at Highmark Health Services. I mention that my summer job working as a secretary for a government contractor allowed helped me learn “valuable communication skills working with clients and other business professionals in an engaging environment.” This significant experience is notable to the audience because Highmark Health Services’s website states that they are, “looking for candidates with the ability to communicate effectively.” Researching the mission and goals of the audience prior to writing the cover letter allows me to include specific experiences that will help me stand out as an applicant.
Project Three—Recommendation Memo
Understanding what criteria the audience is looking for in a speaker for their new series is crucial for the effectiveness of the summary and recommendation in Project Three.
Highlighting key points from the speech that best connect with the theme of the speaker
Incoming FSB Students
11 December 2013
series is important so it appeals to the FSB student audience as well as the intended audience of the memo. The speaker notices that “switching from active communication and collaboration to more passive models of communication promotes productivity” stating that “interruptions such as managers and meetings hinder the workers’ abilities to concentrate” which is significant because it ties into the theme of the series by challenging the traditional notions surrounding the effectiveness of office workspace. I connect the speaker’s points to Farmer School of Business students and the school’s mission by claiming that this is information the students can use for the rest of their careers, and it will allow them to “enter the global environment with a greater sense of confidence and knowledge.” Being familiar with what the audience is looking for helps me determine what to highlight in order to connect with the audience and theme of the speaker series.
Project Four—“Bad News” Memo
Thoughtful use of language is important in Project Four because this message has an emotional connection to the audience. Since I am relaying a negative message in this memo, I am cautious to use language that both sheds light on a negative situation and also shows respect for the audience. In the opening paragraph, I inform the audience we have not reached our fundraising goals. By choosing neutral words such as “update” and “change,” it shows that I care that the audience is informed. I also use positive language throughout the memo by emphasizing words such as “benefit” and “quality.” Use of this language shows the audience that although goals were not met this year, there are promising plans for the future.
The variety of audiences for these projects requires me to structure each piece differently. It is important to tailor the tone, language, and content to best connect with each audience. When a document is specifically written for an audience, they will feel engaged and will be able to relate easier and connect with the writing.