Chapter 14: Writing E-mail, Memos, and Proposals

I found chapter 14 to be quite helpful. It explores the challenge of managing communication overload, as well as the proper format and use of e-mail, memos, letters, and proposals (Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques). Although, like many, I have a great deal of experience with e-mail, the chapter offers a few techniques to improve readership. They include:

1) Subject line- Say succinctly what the message is about.

2) Salutation- Address the receiver based on the familiarity you have with the person, as well as the formality of the e-mail.

3) First sentence or paragraph- Get to the “bottom line” right away.

4) Body of message- The length of the message should be no more than one screen.

5) Closing- Sign off with the appropriate closing and your contact information (Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques).

Prior to this chapter, I had never heard of proposals in relation to public relations. Essentially, it is a document offering services to an organization. Often times, a potential client will issue a request for proposal and circulate it to various PR firms. The organization will outline its needs and ask interested firms to recommend a course of action (Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques).

A typical PR proposal might include sections about (1) the background and capabilities of the firm, (2) the client’s situation, (3) goals and objectives of the proposed program, (4) key messages, (5) basic strategies and tactics, (6) general timeline of activities, (7) proposed budget, (8) how success will be measured, (9) a description of the team that will handle the account, and (10) a summary of why the firm should be selected to implement the program (Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques).

Communication Briefings suggests that the following four major components make proposals more compelling:

1) Show a need. The opening should be tailored to your readers’ needs.

2) Satisfy the need. Suggest how the event would be organized to meet the needs of the audience and the organization.

3) Show benefits. Stress how the event would improve employee morale, increase media coverage, or improve reputation among key publics.

4) Call for action. Ask for a decision (Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques).

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