Book Title
M: Business Communication 3rd Edition

978-0073403229 Chapter 2 Critical Thinking Questions Part 2

April 5, 2019
Critical Thinking Questions
1. Interview a working professional about his or her writing process. In addition to asking
about general strategies for different kinds of writing, ask how he or she tackled a
particularly difficult writing situation. Write the results of your findings in a brief memo
report to your instructor. (LO1)
Individual answers will vary.
2. Find a sample of business writing and evaluate its use of formatting elements. If they are
effective, say why; if not, explain what you would do differently. (LO1)
Individual answers will vary.
3. Using various formatting devices, turn the following contents into a readable, attractive
flyer, brochure, or email announcing a health club’s new rates for employees of a nearby
hospital. (You may want to consult Bonus Chapter As advice on formatting.) (LO1, LO3)
New Special Rates for Metropolitan Hospital Sta!
The Health Club is now oering special rates for all Metropolitan Hospital employees. The Club
is a full-service exercise club located at 42 Adams Street, just across from the hospital. Our
facili)es may be a good option for Metropolitan employees to explore. We oer the following
4. Instructions: Write a text message shorter than 160 characters for each of the cases below.
Be sure your message is both clear and complete. (LO5)
a. You own three coffee shops around your area. Although you have a loyal base of
regular customers, you realize that there is both room to grow this base and a real
need to compete with the growing presence of Starbucks and other competitors.
Your coffee is good and reasonably priced, but seasonal fruit and muffins have long
been your specialties. In fact, since the local television station included your shop in
a healthy eating segment, your low-fat muffins have been selling out every day even
though you have been increasing production. When some of your loyal customers
started grumbling about not always being able to get them, you knew you wanted to
serve your customers better. Because most of them have mobile phones, text
messaging seems like an obvious solution. You have decided to offer an opt-in polling
service that would ask their preference for a particular low-fat muffin or fresh fruit.
Your customers could select the days of the week they would be interested in getting
the poll. Although they would not be placing an order, they would be helping you
plan. You’ll also be spending well-targeted promotion dollars while creating
goodwill with your loyal customers. Now you need to write this poll question.
b. You are on your way to the airport for a trip to a weeklong conference when you
remember a file you were supposed to send to a customer. So many last-minute
details came up that you really don’t remember if you sent it. Unfortunately, you
cannot access your work computer from outside the company firewall, but you have
a colleague, Chris VanLerBerghe, who would be able to check your email outbox to
confirm whether or not you sent it. Chris could also send the file, if necessary.
However, you cannot reach her by phone now because she is in an important
planning meeting, so you decide to send a text message with the exact information
she will need to help you out. Be sure your message is both clear and complete.
c. As you are in the morning sales meeting, your mobile phone vibrates, indicating that
you have an incoming call. You recognize the source—Yesaya Chan, the high school
student you are mentoring/tutoring in math. When you are finally able to listen to
the call, you learn that Yesaya needs your help tonight because his teacher moved a
test up a couple of days. He wants to know if you can meet him at the local library at
5 pm, noting that it will be open late tonight. You will say yes, but the earliest you
can be there on such short notice is 6 pm. Suggest that he still go to the library at 5
pm and work as many of the review problems on his own as he can. You will help
him with the others when you get there. Because he is probably in class now, you
will send your response as a text message so it won’t interrupt his class.
5. Assume the role of the hotel manager we discussed in the “Planning the Message” section
of this chapter. The air conditioning has stopped functioning on one of the busiest and
hottest weekends of the year. You need to explain the situation and what you are going to
do (or have done) about it to three audiences: your guests, your co-workers who will be
helping you solve the problem, and your boss, who will not be at the hotel until Monday.
Develop a plan for the message you will send to each of these audiences in which you follow
the five steps discussed in this chapter for planning a message. Be sure you consider your
goal in communicating with each audience, the format/ channel your communication will
take, the content each audience will need, and the tone and style that will be appropriate
for each audience. (LO1)
6. You work as a marketing director for a national chain of clothing stores specializing in
professional wear for men and women. You think it would be a great idea to run daily
specials and advertise them on Twitter, Facebook, and email. However, when you take your
idea to the weekly management meeting, some question what these advertisements would
look like. Using what you’ve learned about planning messages, writing email, and
communicating through social media, write a sample message for each medium. How long
will your messages be? What type of content will you include? What will you say in one
medium that you might not say in another? What might be the advantages of one medium
over another? (LO1, LO3, LO5, LO6, LO7)
7. You work as a developer for a software company. You're writing an announcement to all
company employees reminding everyone of an all-hands meeting tomorrow. The
announcement will be posted on the company intranet, which employees know to check
multiple times per day, as that's your company's preferred mode of internal
communication. The purpose of the meeting is to make sure everyone is ready for the
go-live of your software at a local clinic. It's really important that every one knows how to
document any support calls from the clinic and the protocol for prioritizing calls for
service not that you're expecting difficulties; you just want to make sure your support for
the clinic is organized and orderly. Use the inverted pyramid approach to organize your
message. (L01, LO7)
Students’ answers may vary but should take a form similar to this example:
To: All Employees
Re: Mandatory Meeting Tomorrow, (date)