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Chapter 4

PLANNING BUSINESS MESSAGES


Multiple Choice
1. The three primary steps involved in preparing a business message are
a. planning, writing, and completing.
b. informing, persuading, and collaborating.
c. defining the purpose, the main idea, and the topic.
d. satisfying the audience's informational, motivational, and practical
needs.
ANSWER: a; DIFFICULTY: easy; PAGE: 90; TYPE: concept
2. In developing business messages, the stage during which you step back to see
whether you have expressed your ideas clearly is the
a. planning stage.
b. writing stage.
c. completing stage.
d. feedback stage.
ANSWER: c; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 91; TYPE: concept
3. In preparing business messages, you should devote about ______ percent of
your time to planning.
a. 10
b. 20
c. 50
d. 70
ANSWER: c; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 91; TYPE: concept
4. Which of the following is not a general purpose common to business
communication?
a. To inform
b. To persuade
c. To negotiate
d. To collaborate
ANSWER: c; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 92; TYPE: concept

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5. An example of a specific purpose for a business message would be


a. to impart information to the audience.
b. to inform employees about the new vacation policy.
c. to persuade readers to take an action.
d. to obtain audience participation and collaboration.
ANSWER: b; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 92; TYPE: application
6. Most messages should not be sent unless they will
a. bring about a change.
b. increase your chances of being promoted.
c. please your boss.
d. do all of the above.
ANSWER: a; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 92; TYPE: concept
7. A message should be deferred or canceled if
a. your news is bad.
b. someone else wants to deliver it.
c. your audience is highly receptive.
d. the timing is wrong.
ANSWER: d; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 93; TYPE: concept
8. Audience analysis is relatively easy when you are communicating with
a. strangers.
b. co-workers.
c. large groups of people.
d. customers on a mailing list.
ANSWER: b; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 93; TYPE: concept
9. The primary audience for your message is made up of
a. all who receive it.
b. the key decision makers in the audience.
c. those people with the highest status.
d. those people who represent the opinions and attitudes of the majority.
ANSWER: b; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 93; TYPE: concept

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10. Messages should be especially detailed if


a. you expect a favorable response.
b. you are unsure about the audiences level of understanding.
c. you and your audience share the same general background.
d. all of the above are the case.
ANSWER: b; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 93; TYPE: concept
11. Educating your audience requires
a. providing as much information as possible.
b. giving only enough information to accomplish the purpose of the
message.
c. providing little information, as long as you indicate that youre open to
any questions that may arise.
d. gearing your message to the least informed segment of the audience,
even if they are not the key decision makers.
ANSWER: b; DIFFICULTY: difficult; PAGE: 93; TYPE: concept
12. If you face a skeptical audience, try to
a. be as straightforward as possible about stating your conclusions and
recommendations.
b. avoid stating your conclusions and recommendations.
c. use less evidence in support of your points.
d. introduce your conclusions and recommendations gradually with more
proof.
ANSWER: d; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 94; TYPE: concept
13. Which of the following is not an informal method of gathering information to
meet your audiences needs?
a. Reading reports and other company documents
b. Chatting with supervisors and colleagues
c. Conducting library research
d. Asking your audience for input
ANSWER: c; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 94; TYPE: concept
14. When meeting your audiences informational needs, you emphasize ideas
a. of greatest interest to the audience.
b. that are uncontroversial.
c. that will have the least impact on the audience.
d. that dont need supporting evidence.
ANSWER: a; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 95; TYPE: concept

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15. A good way to test the thoroughness of your business message is to check it
for
a. a main idea.
b. a purpose.
c. the who, what, when, where, why, and how.
d. accuracy.
ANSWER: c; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 95; TYPE: concept
16. If you make an honest mistake, such as giving incorrect information, the best
thing to do is
a. take no action.
b. blame someone else.
c. contact the primary audience immediately and correct the error.
d. start looking for a new job.
ANSWER: c; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 96; TYPE: concept
17. When choosing the appropriate medium for your message, your choices
include
a. oral media.
b. written media.
c. electronic media.
d. all of the above.
ANSWER: d; DIFFICULTY: easy; PAGE: 98; TYPE: concept
18. When you must reach a dispersed audience quickly, which media are most
effective?
a. Written media
b. Oral media
c. Electronic media
d. Presentations
ANSWER: c; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 99; TYPE: concept
19. Telephone calls are
a. considered an outdated medium by many businesspeople.
b. now acceptable only for external communication.
c. still a vital communication link for many organizations.
d. no longer practical when compared to e-mail.
ANSWER: c; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 100; TYPE: concept

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20. Which of the following electronic media would be best for sending a brief,
unambiguous message that does not require an immediate response?
a. videoconferencing
b. voice mail
c. videotape
d. CD-ROM
ANSWER: b; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 100; TYPE: concept
21. PDF is a
a. widely used format for sending documents electronically.
b. popular telephone connectivity service.
c. highly technical videoconferencing program.
d. type of voice-to-text translation software.
ANSWER: a; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 100; TYPE: concept
22. In part, media richness refers to
a. the cost of sending a message through a particular medium.
b. the popularity of a specific medium.
c. a mediums ability to facilitate feedback.
d. the difficulties involved with using a particular medium.
ANSWER: c; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 100; TYPE: concept
23. The richest communication medium is
a. a phone call.
b. a memo.
c. an e-mail.
d. a face-to-face conversation.
ANSWER: d; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 100; TYPE: concept
24. As a new supervisor, you need to introduce yourself to your team of ten
employees. The best medium for this type of nonroutine message would be
a. a face-to-face meeting.
b. an e-mail.
c. a memo.
d. a conference call.
ANSWER: a; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 100; TYPE: application

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25. Leaner media are best used for messages that


a. are routine.
b. are highly emotional.
c. are nonroutine.
d. require feedback.
ANSWER: a; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 100; TYPE: concept
26. A key advantage of oral communication is
a. the ability to plan and control the message.
b. the opportunity to meet an audience's information needs.
c. the ability to transmit highly complex messages.
d. the opportunity to get immediate feedback.
ANSWER: d; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 101; TYPE: concept
27. A written message is preferable to an oral one when
a. immediate feedback is desired.
b. the audience is large and geographically dispersed.
c. the message is relatively simple.
d. the information is controversial.
ANSWER: b; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 101; TYPE: concept
28. One of the drawbacks of using e-mail is
a. its high cost.
b. its slow speed.
c. its lack of privacy.
d. all of the above.
ANSWER: c; DIFFICULTY: easy; PAGE: 101; TYPE: concept
29. Which of the following is not a disadvantage of electronic media?
a. High cost
b. Potential for inadvertently creating tension and conflict
c. Tendency for employees to overuse them
d. All of the above
ANSWER: a; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 101; TYPE: concept

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30. In high-context cultures, _________________ media are often more effective


than _________________ ones.
a. leaner, richer
b. oral, written
c. foreign, domestic
d. none of the above
ANSWER: b; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 102; TYPE: concept
31. Which of the following formats is most formal?
a. E-mail
b. Memo
c. Blog
d. All are equal in formality
ANSWER: b; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 102; TYPE: concept
32. Which of the following is not an important factor to consider when choosing a
medium for your message?
a. Urgency
b. Cost
c. Gender of the audience
d. Confidentiality
ANSWER: c; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 102; TYPE: concept
33. Which of the following is an example of a message topic?
a. To get the board of directors to increase the research and development
budget
b. Competitors spend more than our company does on research and
development
c. Funding for research and development
d. The research and development budget is inadequate in our competitive
marketplace
ANSWER: c; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 104-05; TYPE: application
34. When you know your audience will be receptive to your message, it is
generally best to organize it using a(n)
a. complex approach.
b. indirect approach.
c. direct approach.
d. none of the above
ANSWER: c; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 106; TYPE: concept

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35.Whateverthelengthofyourmessage,youshouldlimitthenumberofmajor
supportpointstoroughly
a.two.
b.three.
c.six.
d.ten.
ANSWER:c;DIFFICULTY:moderate;PAGE:106;TYPE:concept
True or False
36. When allocating your time among the three stages of the writing process, you
should use about a fourth of the time for planning, half the time for writing, and a
quarter of the time for completing.
ANSWER: F; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 91; TYPE: concept
37. The three general purposes of business messages are to inform, to persuade,
and to collaborate.
ANSWER: T; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 92; TYPE: concept
38. If your message is intended strictly to inform, you control the message and
need little interaction with your audience.
ANSWER: T; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 92; TYPE: concept
39. If the general purpose of your message is to persuade, you will have little
control over your message but will have a maximum of audience interaction.
ANSWER: F; DIFFICULTY: difficult; PAGE: 92; TYPE: concept
40. Collaborative messages are high in audience participation but low in
communicator control.
ANSWER: T; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 92; TYPE: concept
41. There is no point in sending a message if its purpose is not realistic.
ANSWER: T; DIFFICULTY: easy; PAGE: 93; TYPE: concept
42. Once you have established your purpose, its best to consider whether it is
worth pursuing at this time.
ANSWER: T; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 93; TYPE: concept

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43. No matter how you feel personally about a situation, your communication
should reflect your organizations objectives.
ANSWER: T; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 93; TYPE: concept
44. When analyzing your audience, you should focus on the key decision makers.
ANSWER: T; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 93; TYPE: concept
45. As long as your message is clear, the size of your audience should not affect
your approach.
ANSWER: F; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 93; TYPE: concept
46. If you dont know who your audience will be, theres no point in trying to
guess what would be of interest to them.
ANSWER: F; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 93; TYPE: concept
47. If you expect your audience to be skeptical, you will need to provide more
proof and introduce your conclusions and recommendations more gradually.
ANSWER: T; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 94; TYPE: concept
48. One informal method for learning more about your audiences information
needs is to ask them directly for input.
ANSWER: T; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 94; TYPE: concept
49. When you get a vague request for information, the best way to handle it is to
provide all the information you can and allow the audience to pick and choose
what is useful to them.
ANSWER: F; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 95; TYPE: concept
50. Good communicators include only the information that their audience has
specifically requested.
ANSWER: F; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 95; TYPE: concept

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51. A helpful way to test the thoroughness of your message is to use the
journalistic approach: asking yourself whether you have covered the who, what,
where, when, why, and how.
ANSWER: T; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 95; TYPE: concept
52. Accuracy of information is less important in business communication than in
other types of communication.
ANSWER: F; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 95; TYPE: concept
53. Online sources generally require more careful evaluation than other media.
ANSWER: T; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 95; TYPE: concept
54. Messages can be unethical simply because certain details have not been
included.
ANSWER: T; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 96; TYPE: concept
55. If you provide inaccurate information in a business message, the best course
of action is to say nothing and hope that no one notices.
ANSWER: F; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 96; TYPE: concept
56. As long as your message is clear, the medium you choose wont really matter.
ANSWER: F; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 98; TYPE: concept
57. If you want to emphasize the confidentiality of a message, the preferred
medium would be a fax or a memo.
ANSWER: F; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 98; TYPE: concept
58. In todays fast-paced environment, traditional business messages rely
primarily on visual images, with occasional support from text.
ANSWER: F; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 99; TYPE: concept
59. Media richness refers to the relative costs of advertising in the various mass
media.
ANSWER: F; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 100; TYPE: concept

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60. Face-to-face communication is the richest medium.


ANSWER: T; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 100; TYPE: concept
61. Voice mail is a particularly effective medium for lengthy messages.
ANSWER: F; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 100; TYPE: concept
62. The main advantage of written communication is that the writer has an
opportunity to plan and control the message.
ANSWER: T; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 101; TYPE: concept
63. The biggest drawback to e-mail is that it is underutilized.
ANSWER: F; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 101; TYPE: concept
64. One advantage of e-mail is its high level of privacy.
ANSWER: F; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 101; TYPE: concept
65. Instant messaging has quickly become the best medium for sending complex
business messages.
ANSWER: F; DIFFICULTY: easy; PAGE: 102; TYPE: concept
66. The urgency of your message should help you decide what medium to use.
ANSWER: T; DIFFICULTY: easy; PAGE: 102; TYPE: concept
67. The best time to organize a message is after youve put a draft of it on paper
that way you know exactly what youre working with.
ANSWER: F; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 102-03; TYPE: concept
68. The topic and main idea of a message are basically the same thing.
ANSWER: F; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 104; TYPE: concept
69. Brainstorming is helpful when working alone but is not an effective way to
generate ideas if you are working with others.
ANSWER: F; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 105; TYPE: concept

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70. In most cases, routine messages should be organized using the indirect
approach.
ANSWER: F; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 107; TYPE: concept
FillintheBlank
71. Step one of the writing process is ____________________, in which you
analyze the situation, gather information, select the right medium for the message,
and organize the information.
ANSWER: planning; DIFFICULTY: easy; PAGE: 90; TYPE: concept
72. The final step in the writing process is ____________________ your
message, which involves revising, producing, and distributing it.
ANSWER: completing; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 91; TYPE: concept
73. The three general purposes of business messages are to inform, to persuade, or
to ____________________ with the audience.
ANSWER: collaborate; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 92; TYPE: concept
74. In addition to having a general purpose, each business message has a (an)
____________________ purpose.
ANSWER: specific; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 92; TYPE: concept
75. During the planning step you need to analyze your ____________________,
including its size and composition, existing knowledge about the subject, and
probable reaction to your message.
ANSWER: audience; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 93; TYPE: concept
76. A good way to test the thoroughness of your message is to use the
____________________ approach and ask whether the message answers who,
what, when, where, why, and how.
ANSWER: journalistic; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 95; TYPE: concept
77. Speeches, presentations, and meetings are all examples of
____________________ media.
ANSWER: oral; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 98; TYPE: concept

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78. Media ____________________ is the ability of a medium to conveya


messageusingmorethanoneinformationalcue,facilitatefeedback,andestablish
personalfocus.
ANSWER: richness; DIFFICULTY: easy; PAGE: 100; TYPE: concept
79. Every medium has ____________________ that make it inappropriate for
certain messages.
ANSWER: limitations OR drawbacks; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 102;
TYPE: concept
80. Factors you should consider in choosing a communication
____________________ include formality, confidentiality, feedback, time, and
cost.
ANSWER: medium; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 102; TYPE: concept
81. Including ____________________ material is an organization problem that
frustrates your audience.
ANSWER: irrelevant; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 102; TYPE: concept
82. Yourentiremessagesupports,explains,ordemonstratesyour
____________________ ____________________ a specific statement about
the topic of your message.
ANSWER: main idea; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 104; TYPE: concept
83. The____________________ ofyourmessageistherangeofinformationyou
present,theoveralllength,andthelevelofdetailallofwhichneedto
correspondtoyourmainidea.
ANSWER: scope; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 105; TYPE: concept
84. No matter how long your message is, you should limit the number of major
support points to roughly ____________________.
ANSWER: six; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 106; TYPE: concept
85. An alternative to creating an outline of your message is to use a(n)
____________________ ____________________ similar to those used to show a
companys management structure.
ANSWER: organization chart; DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 109; TYPE:
concept
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Short Answer
86. Describe at least three of the tasks involved in developing an audience profile.
ANSWER: Developing an audience profile involves identifying your primary
audience and determining its size, geographic distribution, and composition. It
also requires gauging your audiences level of understanding, considering their
expectations and preferences, and forecasting their probable reaction to your
message.
DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 93-94; TYPE: concept
87. List at least four methods of gathering information to include in your message.
ANSWER: Strategies for gathering information include (1) considering other
viewpoints; (2) reading reports and other company documents; (3) talking with
supervisors, colleagues, or customers; and (4) asking your audience for input.
DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 94; TYPE: concept
88. How can the journalistic approach help you include all required information in
you business messages?
ANSWER: The journalistic approach enables you to check the thoroughness of
your message by seeing whether your message answers who, what, when, where,
why, and how.
DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 95; TYPE: concept
89. List at least three strategies to help ensure the accuracy of information you in
include in business messages.
ANSWER: Youcanminimizemistakesbydoublecheckingeverypieceof
informationyoucollect.Ifyouareconsultingsourcesoutsidetheorganization,
askyourselfwhethertheyarecurrentandreliable.Beparticularlycarefulwhen
usingsourcesyoufindontheInternet.Besuretoreviewanymathematicalor
financialcalculations.Checkalldatesandschedules,andexamineyourown
assumptionsandconclusionstobecertaintheyarevalid.
DIFFICULTY: difficult; PAGE: 95; TYPE: concept
90. Briefly describe how to meet an unfamiliar audiences informational needs.
ANSWER: When you dont know your audience, use common sense to identify
points of particular interest. Audience factors such as age, job, location, income,
and education can give you a clue.
DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 96; TYPE: concept

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91. Briefly define media richness, and provide at least one example of a rich
medium and a lean medium.
ANSWER: Media richness is the value of a communication medium in a given
situation. It is determined by a mediums ability to convey a message by means of
more than one informational cue, facilitate feedback, and establish personal focus.
Face-to-face conversation is the richest medium, while unaddressed documents
such as posters and signs are the leanest.
DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 100; TYPE: concept
92. Describe at least two disadvantages of using electronic media for business
messages.
ANSWER: Despite the speed convenience of electronic media, they are not
without problems. These media help companies get input from a wider variety of
people but people also tend to overuse them, leading to message overload. They
can also lack privacy, and their use is so popular that it can diminish employees
productivity.
DIFFICULTY: difficult; PAGE: 101; TYPE: concept
93. Briefly explain the difference between the topic of a message and the main
idea.
ANSWER: The topic of a message is its broad subject, condensed to one idea. In
contrast, the main idea is a specific statement about the topic.
DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 104; TYPE: concept
94. In preparing a letter to a vendor regarding a missing part of your order, would
the direct or indirect approach be preferable? Briefly explain your choice.
ANSWER: In this case, the direct approach would be best because the audience is
likely to be receptive to the message. The indirect approach should be used when
the audience will probably react with skepticism or resistance.
DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 106-07; TYPE: application
95. Briefly distinguish between the deductive and inductive approaches to
organizing business messages.
ANSWER: The deductive, or direct, approach starts with the main idea and then
provides supporting evidence. The inductive approach builds a case with
supporting evidence before presenting the main idea.
DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 106-07; TYPE: concept

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Essay
96. What are the four tasks involved in planning business messages?
ANSWER: Planning business messages involves (1) analyzingthesituationby
definingyourpurposeanddevelopingaprofileofyouraudience, (2) gathering
informationthatwillmeetyouraudience'sneeds,(3)selectingtherightmedium
todeliveryourmessage,and(4)organizingtheinformationbydefiningyour
mainidea,limitingyourscope,selectingadirectoranindirectapproach,and
outliningyourcontent
DIFFICULTY: difficult; PAGE: 90; TYPE: concept
97. Explain each phase of the three-step writing process.
ANSWER: The three-step writing process includes planning, writing, and
completing the business message. Planning involves analyzing the situation,
gathering information, selecting the right medium for your message, and
organizing the information. Writing the message involves adapting to your
audience and composing your message. Completing a business message includes
revising, producing, proofreading, and distributing it.
DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 90-91; TYPE: concept
98. List at least three helpful questions to ask in evaluating the purpose of a
message.
ANSWER: Once you have determined the specific purpose of a business
message, you can decide whether that purpose merits the time and effort required
for you to prepare and send the message. In order to test the purpose of a
message, one should ask (1) Willanythingchangeasaresultofthismessage?(2)
Ismypurposerealistic?(3)Isthetimeright?and(4)Isthepurposeacceptableto
myorganization?
DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 93; TYPE: concept
99. How can your audiences level of understanding help you determine the
appropriate amount of information to include in a business message?
ANSWER: If audience members do not share your general background, your
message will likely need to include an element of education. Youshouldtryto
includeonlyenoughinformationtoaccomplishthespecificpurposeofyour
message.Ifthemembersofyouraudiencehavevariouslevelsofunderstanding,
gearyourcoveragetoyourprimaryaudience(thekeydecisionmakers).
DIFFICULTY: difficult; PAGE: 93; TYPE: concept

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100. Briefly describe at least three factors to consider when choosing media for
business messages.
ANSWER: Anumberoffactorscanhelpyoutodeterminethebestmediumfora
businessmessage.Oneismediarichness,whichisamediumsabilitytoconvey
amessagethroughmorethanoneinformationalcue,facilitatefeedback,and
establishpersonalfocus.Anotherisformality,sinceyourmediachoicegoverns
thestyleandtoneofyourmessage.Itisalsoimportanttoconsidermedia
limitations,sinceeverymediumhasdrawbacksthatmakeitinappropriatefor
certainmessages.Themediumyouchoosealsoinfluencesyouraudiences
perceptionsofyourintentionsasasender.Urgencyandcostareotherimportant
factors.Finally,itisvitaltoconsideraudiencepreferenceswhendecidingwhich
mediumtouseforamessage.
DIFFICULTY: moderate; PAGE: 100-01; TYPE: concept

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