Book Title
M: Business Communication 3rd Edition

978-0073403229 Chapter 6 Sample Solutions To Problem-Solving Cases

April 5, 2019
Chapter 06 - Writing Bad-News Messages
Sample Solutions to Problem-Solving Cases
Indirect Claims, Case #16
The main trap to avoid here is using language that is too dramatic and indignant. You need to express
your displeasure, but in a way that focuses on the facts instead of your feelings. Also, you need to
convey that this was not just an unpleasant experience for you as an individual customer, but for the
entire office staff.
Adjustment Refusals, Case #20
Like most messages that refuse to make a requested adjustment, this one needs both to say “no” and to
somehow re-sell the reader on the value of the company’s products or services. More specifically, the
purpose of the message is to courteously but clearly refuse Ms. Hay’s request for a refund while also
maintaining her goodwill.
Students should anticipate that the readers reaction will be, at the very least, disappointment and
perhaps even anger. They should thus use the indirect approach by beginning the message with a
buffer, fully explaining and justifying the reasons for the decision, presenting the bad news as
positively as possible, offering an alternative solution, and ending on a positive note.
Negative Announcements, Case #33
Students may be familiar with the situation outlined in this case—when coworkers are not all keeping
up with their responsibilities to each other and to the overall cleanliness of the company. Before
addressing the case, talk with students about experiences they may have had similar to this one at
Iverness Form and Function, LLC. Have them discuss the effectiveness of angry messages left in
shared spaces.
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