CHAPTER OUTLINE Using the Three-Step Writing Process for Persuasive Messages Ste

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Using the Three-Step Writing Process for Persuasive Messages
Step 1: Planning Persuasive Messages
Analyzing the Situation
Gathering Information
Selecting the Right Media and Channels
Organizing Your Information
Step 2: Writing Persuasive Messages
Step 3: Completing Persuasive Messages
Developing Persuasive Business Messages
Strategies for Persuasive Business Messages
Framing Your Arguments
Balancing Emotional and Logical Appeals
Reinforcing Your Position
Anticipating Objections
Avoiding Common Mistakes in Persuasive Communication
Common Examples of Persuasive Business Messages
Persuasive Requests for Action
Persuasive Presentations of Ideas
Persuasive Claims and Requests for Adjustments
Developing Marketing and Sales Messages
Planning Marketing and Sales Messages
Writing Conventional Marketing and Sales Messages
Writing Promotional Messages for Social Media
Creating Promotional Messages for Mobile Devices
Maintaining High Standards of Ethics, Legal Compliance, and Etiquette
Section 1: Using the Three-Step Writing Process for Persuasive Messages
Learning Objective 1: Apply the three-step writing process to persuasive messages.
Professionals understand that successful businesses rely on persuasive messages for both internal and external communications.
To write successful messages, call on your abilities of persuasion, the attempt to change an audience’s attitudes, beliefs, or actions.
As with every other type of business messages, the three-step writing process improves persuasive messages.
Step 1: Planning Persuasive Messages
Untold numbers of good ideas go unnoticed and good products go unsold simply because the messages meant to promote them aren’t compelling enough to be heard above the competitive noise.
Creating successful persuasive messages in these challenging situations demands careful attention to all four tasks in the planning step, starting with an insightful analysis of your purpose and your audience.
Analyzing the Situation
To define the message’s purpose, be clear about the goal of the message. The best persuasive messages are closely connected to your audience’s desires and interests. Consider these important questions:
Who is my audience?
What are my audience members’ needs?
What do I want them to do?
How might they resist?
Are there alternative positions I need to examine?
What does the decision maker consider to be the most important issue?
How might the organization’s culture influence my strategy?
To understand and categorize audience needs, refer to specific information, such as:
Demographics (the age, gender, occupation, income, education, and other quantifiable characteristics of the people you’re trying to persuade)
Psychographics (personality, attitudes, lifestyle, and other psychological characteristics)
Analyze the audience and consider cultural expectations and practices. Don’t undermine a persuasive message by using an inappropriate or uncomfortable appeal.
Changing someone’s attitudes, beliefs, or actions through a persuasive message, requires an understanding of his or her motivation—the combination of forces that drive people to satisfy their needs.
The more closely a persuasive message aligns with a recipient’s existing motivation, the more effective the message is likely to be.
Gathering Information
Once the situation analysis is complete, gather the information necessary to create a compelling persuasive message.
Selecting the Right Media and Channels
Persuasive messages can be found in virtually every communication format.
Different members of the same audience might prefer different media and channels for the same message.
If you can’t be sure you can reach most or all of your audience through a single media-channel combo, you need to use two or more.
Social media provide some exciting options for persuasive messages, particularly marketing and sales messages. However, these media require a unique approach.
Organizing Your Information
The most effective main ideas for persuasive messages have one thing in common: they are about the receiver, not the sender.
Limiting the scope of the message is vital.
Crafting a persuasive message without focusing on the one central problem or opportunity your audience truly cares about decreases the chances of successfully persuading the audience.
Because the nature of persuasion is to convince people to change their attitudes, beliefs, or actions, most persuasive messages use the indirect approach.
Explain your reasoning and build interest before asking for a decision or action—or perhaps even before revealing your purpose.
In contrast, when you have a close relationship with the audience and the message is welcomed or at least neutral, the direct approach can be effective.
For persuasive business messages, the choice between the direct and indirect approaches is also influenced by the extent of the sender’s authority, expertise, or power in an organization:
If you are a highly regarded expert with years of experience, you might use the direct approach in a message to top executives.
In contrast, if you aren’t well known and need to rely more on the strength of your message than the power of your reputation, the indirect approach will probably be more successful.
Step 2: Writing Persuasive Messages
Encourage a positive response to persuasive messages by:
Using positive and polite language
Understanding and respecting cultural differences
Being sensitive to organizational cultures
Taking steps to establish your credibility
Be sure to understand cultural expectations.
Just as social culture affects the success of a persuasive message, so too does the culture within various organizations.
Some organizations handle disagreement and conflict in an indirect, behind-the-scenes way, whereas others accept and even encourage open discussion and sharing of differing viewpoints.
Persuasive messages are often unexpected or even unwelcome, so the “you” attitude is crucial. If the audience is skeptical or hostile, credibility is essential.
Use these techniques to boost your credibility:
Use simple and clear language to minimize skeptical responses.
Provide objective evidence for claims and promises.
Identify sources, especially if your audience already respects those sources.
Establish common ground with the audience by emphasizing beliefs, attitudes, and background experiences.
Be objective and present fair and logical arguments.
Display a willingness to keep the audience’s best interests at heart. Persuade with logic, not high-pressure tactics.
Try to build your credibility before presenting a major proposal or asking for a major decision, so the audience doesn’t have to evaluate both you and your message at the same time.
Step 3: Completing Persuasive Messages
Details can make or break a persuasive message, so don’t skimp on this part of the writing process.
Judge your argument objectively and try not to overestimate your credibility.
If possible, ask an experienced colleague who knows the audience well to review your publish.
Make sure your design elements complement, rather than detract from, your persuasive argument.
Make sure distribution methods fit the audience’s expectations and preferences.
Section 2: Developing Persuasive Business Messages
Learning Objective 2: Describe an effective strategy for developing persuasive business messages, and identify the three most common categories of persuasive business messages.
Persuasive business messages comprise a broad and diverse category, with audiences that range from a single person in your own department to large external groups. Success as a businessperson is closely tied to the ability to convince others to accept new ideas or act on your recommendations.
Strategies for Persuasive Business Messages
Within the context of the three-step process, effective persuasion involves four essential strategies:
Framing your arguments
Balancing emotional and logical appeals
Reinforcing your position
Anticipating objections
Framing Your Arguments
Most persuasive messages use the indirect approach. One of the best known models for indirect messages is the AIDA model, which organizes messages into four phases:
The first objective is to engage readers or listeners in a way that encourages them to want to hear the main idea.
Emphasize the relevance of the message to the audience. Paint a more detailed picture of the starting theme.
Help audience members embrace your idea by explaining how the change will benefit them, either personally or professionally.
Suggest the action you want readers to take and phrase it in a way that emphasizes the benefits to them or to the organization they represent.
The AIDA model is tailor-made for using the indirect approach, allowing you to save your main idea for the action phase.
AIDA can also be used for the direct approach, in which case you use your main idea as an attention-getter, build interest with your argument, create desire with your evidence, and re-emphasize your main idea in the action phase with the specific action you want your audience to take.
With either the direct or indirect approach, AIDA and similar models do have limitations.
It is a unidirectional method that essentially talks at audiences, not with
It is built around a single event, such as asking an audience for a decision, rather than on building a mutually beneficial, long-term relationship.
Balancing Emotional and Logical Appeals
Generally speaking, persuasive business messages rely more heavily on logical appeals than on emotional appeals because the main idea is usually regarding some practical, measurable aspect of business. To find the optimum balance, consider four factors:
The actions you hope to motivate
The readers’ expectations
The degree of resistance you need to overcome
How far you feel empowered to go in order to sell your point of view
As its name implies, an emotional appeal calls on audience feelings and sympathies rather than facts.
However, emotional appeals in business messages usually aren’t effective by themselves because the audience wants proof that you can solve a business problem.
A logical appeal calls on reasoning and evidence. A logical appeal makes a claim based on a rational argument, supported by solid evidence.
When appealing to the audience’s logic, you can use three types of reasoning:
With analogy, you reason from specific evidence to specific evidence.
With inductive reasoning, you work from specific evidence to a general conclusion.
D With deductive reasoning, you work from a generalization to a specific conclusion.
To guard against faulty logic, follow these guidelines:
Avoid hasty generalizations.
Avoid circular reasoning. Circular reasoning is trying to support your claim by restating it in different words.
Avoid attacking an opponent. Show the weaknesses in the opponent’s argument instead.
Avoid oversimplifying a complex issue.
Avoid mistaken assumptions of cause and effect.
Avoid faulty analogies. Be sure that the two situations being compared are similar enough for the analogy to hold.
Avoid illogical support. Make sure the connection between your claim and your support is truly logical and not based on a leap of faith.
Reinforcing Your Position
Once the basic elements of your argument are established, step back and look for ways to bolster the strength of your position.
Next, examine your language
Use vivid language and abstractions carefully and honestly.
In addition to examining individual word choices, consider using metaphors and other figures of speech.
When asking for something, audience members will find it easier to grant a request if they stand to benefit from it.
Anticipating Objections
Even the most compelling ideas and proposals can be expected to encounter some initial resistance.
The best way to deal with audience resistance is to anticipate as many objections as possible in advance.
By bringing up potential problems right away, you demonstrate a broad appreciation of the issue and imply confidence in your message.
Anticipating objections is particularly important in written messages, when you don’t have the opportunity to detect and respond to objections on the spot. Find the holes before the audience does. Then find solutions to the problems you’ve uncovered.
When anticipating objections, keep these three strategies in mind:
You don’t have to explicitly discuss a potential objection.
Present all sides to the situation, explaining the pros and cons.
Be open to compromise.
Avoiding Common Mistakes in Persuasive Communication
Take care to avoid these common mistakes:
Using a hard sell
Resisting compromise
Relying solely on great arguments
Assuming that persuasion is a one-shot effort
Common Examples of Persuasive Business Messages
Most of these messages can be divided into persuasive requests for action, persuasive presentations of ideas, and persuasive claims and requests for adjustment.
Persuasive Requests for Action
The majority of persuasive business messages involve requests for action.
In some cases, those requests are anticipated or will require minimal effort on the recipient’s part, so the direct approach is fine.
In others, you’ll need to introduce your intention indirectly.
Your goals in persuasive request for action are:
To gain credibility
To make readers believe that helping you will indeed help solve a significant problem
To close with a request for a specific action or decision
Persuasive Presentations of Ideas
You may encounter situations in which you simply want to change attitudes or beliefs about a particular topic, without asking the audience to decide or do anything—at least not yet.
The goal of your first message might be nothing more than convincing your audience to reexamine long-held opinions or admit the possibility of new ways of thinking.
Persuasive Claim and Requests for Adjustment
Professionals and consumers sometimes encounter situations in which they believe they haven’t received a fair deal by following normal procedures.
These situations require a more persuasive message.
The key ingredients of a good persuasive claim are a complete and specific review of the facts, using a confident and positive tone.
Begin persuasive claims by outlining the problem and continue by reviewing what has been done about it so far, if anything.
Be clear, calm, and complete.
Be specific about how you would like to see the situation resolved.
Next, give the reader a good reason for granting the claim.
Show how the individual or organization is responsible for the problem and appeal to the reader’s sense of fair play, goodwill, or moral responsibility.
Don’t get carried away, don’t complain too much, and don’t make threats. People generally respond most favorably to requests that are both calm and reasonable.
Close on a positive note that reflects how a successful resolution of the situation will repair or maintain a mutually beneficial working relationship.
Section 3: Developing Marketing and Sales Messages
Learning Objective 3: Describe an effective strategy for developing marketing and sales messages and explain how to modify your approach when writing promotional messages for social media.
Marketing and sales messages use the same basic techniques as other persuasive messages, with the added emphasis of encouraging someone to participate in a commercial transaction.
Although the terms marketing message and sales message are often used interchangeably, they are slightly different.
Marketing messages usher potential buyers through the purchasing process without asking them to make an immediate decision. They focus on such tasks as introducing new brands to the public, providing competitive comparisons, encouraging customers to visit websites for more information, and reminding buyers that a particular product or service is available.
Sales messages take over at that point, encouraging potential buyers to make a purchase decision then and there. These messages make a specific request for people to place an order for a particular product or service.
Most marketing and sales messages, particularly in larger companies, are created and delivered by professionals with specialized training.
However, as a manager, you may be called on to review the work of these specialists or even to write such messages in smaller companies.
Planning Marketing and Sales Messages
The essential panning steps include:
Assessing customer needs
Analyzing the competition
Determining key selling points and benefits
Anticipating purchase objections
Writing Conventional Marketing and Sales Messages
Most marketing and sales messages are prepared according to the AIDA model or some variation of it. A typical AIDA-organized message:
Begins with an attention-getting introduction
Generates interest by describing some of the product’s or service’s unique features
Increases desire by highlighting the benefits that are most appealing to the audience
Closes by suggesting the action the sender would like the audience members to take
Writing Promotional Messages for Social Media
The AIDA model has long been successful with marketing and sales messages. However, communicating with customers in the social media landscape requires a different approach. Follow these guidelines:
Facilitate community building.
Listen at least as much as you talk.
Initiate and respond to conversations within the community.
Provide information that people want.
Identify and support your champions.
Be authentic; be transparent; be real.
Integrate conventional marketing and sales strategies at the right time and in the right places.
Creating Promotional Messages for Mobile Devices
Mobile advertising and mobile commerce (sometimes referred to as m-commerce) are two of the hottest developments in marketing communications.
The types of marketing and sales messages created for mobile audiences range from short, simple text ads that appear next to search engine results to mobile-optimized video.
Companies emphasize mobile marketing because mobile devices now play such a big role in consumer buying behavior.
If you are involved with creating mobile marketing or sales messages, keep two essential points in mind:
Like all mobile messages, promotional messages need to be kept short and simple.
The mobile experience needs to be fast and straightforward. Mobile users will quickly abandon websites that don’t load quickly or are confusing to navigate.
Section 4: Maintaining High Standards of Ethics, Legal Compliance, and Etiquette
Learning Objective 4: Identify steps you can take to avoid ethical lapses in marketing and sales messages.
The word persuasion has negative connotations for some people, especially in a marketing or sales context.
However, effective businesspeople view persuasion as a positive force, aligning their own interests with what is best for their audiences.
Marketing and sales messages are covered by a variety of laws and regulations. Keep the following legal considerations in mind:
Marketing and sales messages must be truthful and nondeceptive.
You must back up your claims with evidence.
“Bait and switch” advertising is illegal.
Marketing messages and websites aimed at children are subject to special rules.
Marketing and sales messages are considered binding contracts in many states.
In most cases, you can’t use a person’s name, photograph, or other identity without permission.
Meeting your ethical and legal obligations will go a long way toward maintaining good communication etiquette.
However, you may still face etiquette decisions within ethical and legal boundaries.
Taking an audience-centered approach, in which you show respect for your readers and their values, should help you avoid etiquette missteps.
Technologies such as opt-in email also give communicators new ways to demonstrate sensitivity to user needs.
You will be presenting your research report. Because this is an online class it will have to be a virtual presentation. You will need to create PowerPoint slides and either (1) “Click to Add Notes” at the bottom of each slide (2) Click on the “Slide Show” tab in PowerPoint, then click “Record Slide Show” – if you choose this option, your presentation should be approximately 5-10 minutes in length; or (3) If you are not sure how to do either of the following two options, then you will still need to create a PowerPoint Presentation and include a Word Document explaining the bullets on each slide (use appropriate numbering).

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