Describe and discuss similarities and differences between ...

Similarities and differences between routine and positive messages, negative messages and persuasive messages :

Routine messages contain neutral information and form the bulk of business writing. Positive messages automatically convey a feeling of goodwill since they contain positive information that the reader will definitely like to read. Negative messages are more challenging since they convey bad news and yet must be written in such a way that the message is effective in carrying out its purpose. Persuasive messages are written either to motivate the reader to carry out some action or to convert the reader to the sender’s way of thinking.

All these four forms of messages – routine, positive, negative and persuasive – have elements of similarity and difference with each other.

The basic similarity between these messages is that all these messages should follow the three-step writing process ie. planning, writing and completing. The message should be planned properly by analyzing the situation, gathering the relevant information, deciding on the medium of communication and generally getting organized. It should then be composed and written down in such a way that it is properly aimed at the target audience. Completing the messages involves revision, proofreading, production and finally distribution to the reader/readers. All these messages should be written in such a way that all the information is clearly and concisely conveyed and is complete in all respects. While writing any message, proper courtesy should be practiced at all times whether the message is negative or positive. All such messages should follow the standard business format so that they are easily understandable by the reader. The purpose of the letter should be identifiable from the very first sentence. In all forms of business messages the tone of writing should be confident, polite and genuine. The tone conveys the attitude of the writer and it should be such that the message is effective in carrying out its purpose.

All the four types of messages are also fundamentally different and need to follow different strategies to be effective. Routine and positive messages follow a similar pattern and place the most important information in the very beginning. But the difference is that routine messages place more importance on presenting the facts and information – they state the main idea, provide all relevant details and cordially close the message. Positive messages are more upbeat. Since these messages automatically create good rapport as everybody likes to receive good news hence positive messages are more focused on highlighting the good news. Negative messages are the most challenging since the reader is bound to feel an unpleasant emotion on reading a negative message. Negative messages require extra care and the bad news should not be placed at the very beginning. In negative messages the initial part of the message should be such that the reader finds something to agree on and the message establishes a certain rapport with the reader. After this buffer beginning has created the psychological preparation, the message can go on to state the negative aspect. Negative messages should also try to create the feeling that it is in the long-run best interests of the reader. Persuasive messages are strongly focused on the target audience so that they are motivated to act in a certain way or are changed over to the opinion of the sender. Persuasive messages are neither positive nor negative. In persuasive messages, the sender’s point of view is presented more forcefully and is backed up with more data and information than the opposing point of view that the sender does not agree with.

Thus all these different types of messages have basic differences in the way they are composed and presented but they all carry the similarities of presenting correct information and practicing courtesy and a proper tone of writing.


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