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Paper: 07, Business Communication

Module: 17, External Written Communication

Prof. S P Bansal
Principal Investigator Vice Chancellor
Maharaja Agrasen University, Baddi

Prof YoginderVerma
Co-Principal Investigator Pro–Vice Chancellor
Central University of Himachal Pradesh. Kangra. H.P.

Prof. IpshitaBansal
Paper Coordinator Department of Management Studies
BPSMV, KhanpurKalan, Sonipat

Dr. Mani Shreshtha


Content Writer Haryana School of Business
GJ University of Science & Technology, Hisar

Items Description of Module


Subject Name Management
Paper Name Business Communication
Module Title External Written Communication
Module Id Module No. - 17
Pre- Requisites Principles of Effective Writing, Organization Orientation
Objectives To get familiar with types of external written communication
Keywords Letters, Press Release, Tenders, Public Notices
QUADRANT-I

1. Module 17: External Written Communication


2. Learning Outcomes
3. Introduction
4. Business Letters
5. Press Releases and Public Notices
6. Inviting Tenders
7. Summary

1. Module 17: External Written Communication

2. Learning Outcomes:
By the end of this module, students will be able to
 familiarise themselves with various kinds of external communication
 communicate effectively outside the organization through written communication

3. Introduction:
On a daily basis every organization interacts with its external environment. This interaction is in
the form of exchange of information. The information is exchanged with various stakeholders
present outside the business entity. Examples of such stakeholders include customers,
intermediaries, suppliers, shareholders, media, government, and society in general. A poor
external communication largely impacts on the image of a business and hampers its future
prospects. When employees of an organization interact with people and entities present external to
their organization, they can choose both oral and written communication methods. For the
purpose of record keeping, legality, standardization, and specificity, written communication is
preferred over oral communication. In external written communication people and organizations
operating outside of the business are contacted using written communication tools. Opposite to an
internal communication, external communication is used to extend information to external
stakeholders and persuade them to act in a desired manner. Most common ways of
communicating with external stakeholders using written method are business letters, press
releases, and tenders etc. Each option is having a specific purpose to serve. Depending upon their
suitability to situation, a particular option is exercised over the other.

4. Business Letters:
Business letter is the most common and popular form of external written communication. Nicely
printed business letters put in attractive envelopes is also used as a persuasive strategy by the
organizations. Earlier postal letters have now changed its shape. With the advent of newer
technology business letters are now sent via email. Business letters can be of several types
depending upon the purpose for which it is written. In case of writing a business letter two broad
things need to be kept in mind. First, structure and layout of the letter and second, the context for
which letter is written. Context also decides the type of a business letter such as enquiry letter,
sales letter, good news letter, and bad news letter. Both the aspects of business letter writing are
discussed below.
4.1. Structure and Layout of business letter: In order to communicate the information effectively
through a business letter, the message of the letter must be organized properly. Business letter
writing must follow all the principles of effective writing such as clarity, conciseness,
completeness, courtesy, correctness, concreteness, and consideration. Apart from following
the writing principles it is important to understand the basic components of letter. Basic
components of a business letter are:
 Address: It is the starting point of a letter. It provides information about the sender of
the letter including name, designation, name of the organization and place of the
organization along with pin code. This address is followed by the details about the
recipient of the letter including name, designation, name of the organization and place
of the organization along with pin code. Next part of this component is to mention
date. The date has to be mentioned in a particular format like complete name of
month, date, and complete year (e.g. November 10, 2001).
 Title and Salutation: In order to standardise and remove ambiguity you can address
recipients as Mr or Ms. Also, Dear Sir or Dear Madam could be used for official
correspondence. If you are communicating with the recipient frequently then you can
use Dear Mr Raghu to give a personal and informal touch.
 Body of letter: Body of a letter is its main part. It can be further divided into three
sections. The first section points out towards the purpose of the letter and mentions
the reason for writing the letter. The second section convey the details and describe
the supportive information for section one. Finally, the last section discusses the
expected actions or reactions for statements made under the letter.
 Closing: Closing of a business letter is equally important. It is also known as
complimentary close where a single sentence followed by a phrase is mentioned. For
example, ‘Looking for an early meeting’ followed by ‘Yours Sincerely’. After a
complementary closing, Signature is marked and name of the sender is written. if the
sender wishes, he or she can add few more information like contact number or email
id.

Once the components of a business letter are clear, it is important to decide about the layout
of the letter. A layout of a letter is considered as the appearance of a letter. How the
information would be arranged in a letter is decided by its layout? Although it is totally the
decision of an organization regarding the appearance of a letter, still few widely accepted
styles are available. By observing business letters worldwide, few similarities of letter writing
styles can be observed. Few of the accepted letter layouts are indented, semi- indented,
hanging paragraph, full block, semi-block and modified block styles. On popularity, full
block and modified block style of layout are widely accepted.

The characteristics of a full block layout are that all the information on the letter is left
aligned and no punctuation related formalities are followed. Following is the sample and
example of full block layout:
Letter Head

Sender’s Address
Address Line 1
Address Line 2

Date: (Month Date, Year)

Receiver’s Name
Designation
Address Line 1
Address Line 2

Salutation: (Dear Sir/ Madam)

Subject: (Specific title line of the subject)

Body Paragraph Body Paragraph Body Paragraph Body Paragraph Body Paragraph Body
Paragraph Body Paragraph Body Paragraph Body Paragraph Body Paragraph Body Paragraph
Body Paragraph Body Paragraph Body Paragraph Body Paragraph Body Paragraph Body
Paragraph Body Paragraph Body Paragraph

Body Paragraph Body Paragraph Body Paragraph Body Paragraph Body Paragraph Body
Paragraph Body Paragraph Body Paragraph Body Paragraph Body Paragraph Body Paragraph
Body Paragraph Body Paragraph

Body Paragraph Body Paragraph Body Paragraph Body Paragraph Body Paragraph

Complementary Close: (Sincerely yours)

Sender’s Signature

Sender’s Name

Enclosures
Heera Retail Stores

29, Stone Lane


26th Street, Model Town
Madurai- 531008

Date: May 7, 2008

Mr. Ravi K Chowdhary


Sales Manager
TKC Pvt. Ltd.
Park Street
Kolkata- 471013

Dear Sir
Subject: Incomplete Delivery of the Order No. xxx/23/sg

We thank you for the prompt delivery of sports goods against order no. xxx/23/sg. As per my
information we have been dealing with you for last ten years. During these years you have
always fulfilled our orders and managed an ontime delivery.
Today, unfortunately, on opening the cartons we found 3 SS Cricket bats and 2 Yonex
badminton racquets missing. This has happened for the first time. May be there is some lapse at
the point of packaging of order.
Anyways, you are requested to look into the matter and complete the deficient order at the
earliest.
Hoping for a continuing fruitful relationship.

Yours faithfully

Raj kumar
(Raj Kumar)
Proprietor

Enclosure: Copy of purchase order

On the other hand, in a modified full block layout style the sender’s address, date,
complementary closing, signature, name of sender and designation are placed to the right of
the centre of the page. Rest of the information is presented in a block style. The example
presented above can be written as per the modified block layout in the following manner:
Heera Retail Stores

29, Stone Lane


26th Street, Model Town
Madurai- 531008

Date: May 7, 2008

Mr. Ravi K Chowdhary


Sales Manager
TKC Pvt. Ltd.
Park Street
Kolkata- 471013

Dear Sir
Subject: Incomplete Delivery of the Order No. xxx/23/sg

We thank you for the prompt delivery of sports goods against order no. xxx/23/sg. As per my
information we have been dealing with you for last ten years. During these years you have
always fulfilled our orders and managed an ontime delivery.
Today, unfortunately, on opening the cartons we found 3 SS Cricket bats and 2 Yonex
badminton racquets missing. This has happened for the first time. May be there is some lapse at
the point of packaging of order.
Anyways, you are requested to look into the matter and complete the deficient order at the
earliest.
Hoping for a continuing fruitful relationship.

Yours faithfully

Raj kumar
(Raj Kumar)
Proprietor

Enclosure: Copy of purchase order

4.2. Types of business letter: Once you gain clarity about structure and layout of the letter, the next
aspect of business letter writing is to understand the purpose of writing. Depending upon the
purpose of the letter, business letters can be classified into different categories. Please note,
the address part of each letter sample is deliberately omitted to avoid redundancy of
information. While writing a business letter you are suggested to include the address of
sender, date, address of receiver, and subject strictly as per the formats discussed above.
4.2.1. Sales Letter: A sales letter is one of the most commonly used business letter. Purpose of
sales letter is to persuade customers or other stakeholders to act in a desired manner.
Sales letters is like an advertisement in a letter form. Through sales letters potential
customers can be tapped individually and these are used as a part of direct marketing
campaign. A sales letter must discuss about the product and benefits offered to the
prospective customers. It also mentions the advantages for making a quick decision
about the purchase. These advantages could be availing discounts, free gifts, entry to a
contest, and a limited offer price deal. A sales letter must possess an attractive opening
to generate the interest of the reader followed by introduction of the product.
J&L Cosmetics Pvt. Ltd.

Dear Madam

Here comes an excellent opportunity to win wonderful prizes from J&L Cosmetics.
The only simple thing you have to do is to provide the names, addresses, and phone
numbers of 3 of your friends who use cosmetics.
That’s True! You heard it right. Just refer 3 of your friends by filling up enclosed
forms and you are straight away entitled to enter into a contest that could win you a
mega prize without paying a single paisa.
Grand Prize (1)
A free round trip for two to Sydney, Australia.

First Prize: (2)


One Year supply of J&L cosmetics to two lucky winners.

Second Prize: (20)


42” Sony Bravia LED television for next 20 lucky winners.

Consolation Prize: (100)


One month supply of J&L range of cosmetics to next 100 winners.

Just to remind you that products of J&L Cosmetics are the products of the times and
follow international standards as far as quality is concerned. We are glad to inform
you that number of satisfied customers of J&L Cosmetics has just doubled since last
one year and we are happy to have you as our privileged customer.

Also to put icing on the cake, each person you refer to us will get a special gift
hamper from our company. Please remember to refer only valid contacts to become
eligible for the mega prize. We have enclosed postage paid envelop with this letter
so that you don’t need to spend anything.

Hoping for a continuing fruitful relationship.

Yours faithfully

Ravish Singh
(Ravish Singh)
Chief-Manager: Marketing

Enclosure: Postage paid envelop and blank forms


4.2.2. Enquiry Letter: An enquiry letter is written when we are interested in gaining
information from other organizations. These kind of enquires are generally sought for
trading purpose. Letter of enquiries are also send at the time of entering into a new
business, looking for new suppliers, interesting in becoming an agent, making an instant
purchase etc. Such kind of letters must clearly specify about the information required,
the duration within which information is required, and the format in which it is required.
The broad areas of enquiries are related to asking for a catalogue, pricelist,
demonstration, personal visit, terms and conditions, scope for product modification,
warranties and mode of payment.

Diamond Sports

Dear Sir

We are into sales of sports goods since last 15 years and enjoy an excellent
reputation in the market. Kindly inform us if you can supply the following sports
goods in a months’ time.

Sr No Item Description Quantity


1 SS Cricket Bat- Regular Size 80
2 Yonex -350 Shuttle Cocks 75 boxes
3 Cosco- Tennis Balls (3 balls pack) 70 boxes
4 Cosco- Basket Balls (Size 6) 25

It would be helpful if you could mention their individual prices alongwith mode of
payment, discounts, and other terms and conditions.

We would appreciate an early response.

Yours faithfully

J Ram
(Jeet Ram)
Partner

4.2.3. Reply Letter: Reply letters are written in response to a letter of enquiry. A reply letter
has much of its relevance as it can result into a sale. From the business point of view an
effective reply letter can convert an enquiry into order. Also, it shows the
professionalism on the part of receiver of enquiry letter to provide prompt and desired
information. Generally a reply letter is followed by a clarification and eventually an
order. While writing a reply letter it is important to provide exact and accurate
information about the queries mentioned in the enquiry letter. Try to provide detailed
information to avoid any kind of ambiguity.
Excel Sports Ltd.
[Exclusive Distributors (North India) for all leading Sports Brands]

Dear Sir

First of all we thank you for showing interest in dealing with our organization. We
are glad to inform you that our organization is into supply of sports related goods
since last 25 years. We are having an exclusive dealership for almost all prominent
sports brands.
As desired, following is the price of each item (inclusive of all taxes):

Sr No Item Description Quantity Price (INR) Availability


1 SS Cricket Bat- Regular Size 80 980 per piece Yes
2 Yonex -350 Shuttle Cocks 75 boxes 480 per box Yes
3 Cosco- Tennis Balls (3 balls pack) 70 boxes 240 per box Yes
4 Cosco- Basket Balls (Size 6) 25 560 per piece Yes

We also assure you the delivery of all required items within 30 days of receipt of the
order. If you order within next five days, we commit to offer you a discount of 7%
on the total billed amount. We accept payment strictly through cheques only. Apart
from that we expect full payment within a week’s time of the delivery of the order.

Wishing for a prosperous relationship.

Yours sincerely

Rajeev Jaiswal
(Rajeev Jaiswal)
Owner

4.2.4. Order Letter: When both the parties i.e. buyer and seller are interested in entering into a
contract, an order letter is written. From the buyer’s point of view, it is called as
purchase order and from the seller’s side it becomes a sales order. When both purchase
order and sales order are matching with each other a contract is created. As these letters
are having a legal binding once contract is created detail description of product, price,
quantity, mode of payment, time of delivery and specification has to be mentioned.
Diamond Sports

Dear Sir

Thank you very much for promptly replying to our queries. It is highly appreciable
that you have provided all the information asked for. We found your rates highly
competitive. We are also comfortable with your terms and conditions. Keeping all
these things in mind we wish to place an order as per the following description:

Sr Item Description Quantity Price (INR) Amount


No (INR)
1 SS Cricket Bat- Regular Size 80 980 per 78400
piece
2 Yonex -350 Shuttle Cocks 75 480 per box 36000
boxes
3 Cosco- Tennis Balls (3 balls 70 240 per box 16800
pack) boxes
4 Cosco- Basket Balls (Size 6) 25 560 per 14000
piece
TOTAL 145200

Terms and conditions as stated in our previous communication vide letter no.
xx/vbn/vbg

Kindly inform us the moment you dispatch the order.

Yours faithfully

J Ram
(Jeet Ram)
Partner

4.2.5. Complaint Letter: A complaint letter is written when there exist any error in the total
process of buying and selling. It happens when expectations of buyer and sellers are not
met after the transaction. A complaint can be written by a buyer as well as seller.
Reason for buyer writing a complaint letter could be delayed delivery of order, order not
in proper shape, wrong order delivery, and difference in terms and conditions as per
prior discussion. On the other hand, a seller can write a complaint letter regarding non-
payment, less payment, payment made under different mode, disagreement over claims
made by buyer. Letter of complaint must clearly mention the point of discord. It should
also mention the expected action to be taken by the other party. A letter of complaint
should use a polite language in order to prevent any kind of damage to the future
dealings.
Diamond Sports

April 6, 2004

Dear Sir

We are sorry to have to complain that our order no. sg/ss/dop dated February 16,
2004 for sports items under 4 categories, has not yet reached us. As per your
commitment it should have been delivered on March 27, 2004.
During our earlier correspondence we have clearly mention about the time bound
delivery. On the basis of your commitment of delivery of required goods, we have
further promised those items to our loyal customers. We hope you will understand
the kind of embarrassment we are facing due to this delay. It is the first time we are
dealing with you and expecting a better service from your side.
We request you to look into the matter on a priority basis and ensure the speedy
delivery of our order.
We strongly believe in creating long term business relationships.

Yours faithfully

J Ram
(Jeet Ram)
Partner
4.2.6. Positive News Letter: Under the category of positive news letters, all messages which
are conveying pleasant information to the receivers are covered. These messages are
also known as good news letters. While writing such letters a direct approach is
adopted. Positive news could be in the form of acknowledging orders, approval of credit
requested, granting of favours, letter of appointment, and letter of appreciation. While
creating such messages the best news has to be conveyed in the very first paragraph
along with an expression of pleasure. The second paragraph should answer all the
queries with complete details and the final paragraph could mention the personal
opinion of the sender.

DND Pvt Ltd

Dear Mr Kumar

In reference to your application and subsequent interview, I am glad to inform that


you have been selected for the post of Junior Engineer. Please accept my heartiest
congratulations. I wish you all success for your new assignment.
Please do confirm your convenient date of joining by July 7, 2005.

With best wishes.

Yours sincerely

Vijayan
(P Vijayan)
Manager- HR

4.2.7. Negative News Letter: Just opposite to the positive news letters, all messages carrying
unpleasant information are conveyed through negative news letters. These messages are
also known as bad news letters. The purpose of a negative news letter is to convey the
bad news without hurting the relationship. The receiver of the information must
consider you fair and reasonable. The reasons for writing a negative message could be
refusing the desired information, rejection of a proposal, inability to fulfil order,
refusing adjustment or a claim, and declining requests for favours. It is suggested to use
an indirect approach for conveying such messages. At the beginning of the message a
pleasant or neutral thing to be conveyed that gives a cushion to the reader to handle the
negative part. Then explain the reason regarding your inability to fulfil the desired
information or request. You can also suggest few alternative ways to get the desired
information. In the end always remember to close the message on a positive note. This
will keep the doors open for future dealings.

Starlight Industries Ltd

Dear Sir

We express our gratitude to you for timely providing us the names and addresses of
two guarantors. We are glad to inform you that both of them opined very high about
your firm and having full faith in its progress.

However, we regret to inform you that we are not in a position to fulfil your order
on credit. As we are dealing with you for the first time and it is against our company
policy to execute a new dealing on credit. We are also in a process to find an
alternative solution to the issue.

We feel sad for not supporting you at this point of time. We hope that you will
understand rationality of the decision and in future provide us an opportunity to
serve you better.

Yours sincerely

Shivam Parker
(Shivam Parker)
Manager- Sales and Marketing

5. Press Releases and Public Notices:


On many occasions an organization has to communicate with the external stakeholders to provide
information or clarification related to a particular matter. This kind of written correspondence is
done to project the company image. A person possessing the authority to do so prepares a press
release. A press release has to be drafted in an understandable format. While preparing a press
release must possess few characteristics such as newsworthiness, clarity, brevity, appropriate
heading, carries the company image. Once the press release is ready, it is sent to the newspaper. It
is at the discretion of the Editor of newspaper to publish the matter as it is or with some
alterations. A sample of a press release:
Source:http://www.allsearch.ca/index.php?page=search/images&search=thomas+and+cook+india&type=images

A public notice is regarding an important announcement related to an issue. The purpose of a


public notice is to inform all the people concerned with a given issue. A public notice must get an
instant attention of a reader. Just like a press release it must possess characteristics like brevity,
mentioning important information, and a suitable heading. A sample public notice is as follows:

Source: http://tmr.in/tmr_notice_original.php/66
6. Inviting Tenders:
Many especially large companies also use a special written communication i.e. invitation to
tender and bid. It is a special kind of notice. Tenders actually seek submission of estimates from
interested parties for completion of advertised work. As per the guidelines, any party fulfilling the
norms can respond to such communication for further processing. While drafting a tender
invitation utmost care has to be taken. It must follow the format and guidelines prescribed for
such kind of communication. A sample of tender notice is as follows:

Source: http://www.dailyshippingtimes.com/tender-notice.php

7. Summary:
In external written communication people and organizations operating outside of the business are
contacted using written communication tools. Most common ways of communicating with
external stakeholders using written method are business letters, press releases, and tenders etc.
Each option is having a specific purpose to serve. Depending upon their suitability to situation, a
particular option is exercised over the other. Business letters can be of several types depending
upon the purpose for which it is written. In case of writing a business letter two broad things need
to be kept in mind. First, structure and layout of the letter and second, the context for which letter
is written.

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