Write a letter and a memo for different scenarios provided below. In real life, you would never fabricate details for your business communications, but for the purpose of this assignment, please invent any relevant details needed (such as names, actions and circumstances) to complete the writing activities.
Task 1: Business letter
You are the marketing communications manager at Blaze, a national newspaper that is published once per week. The latest edition had a half-page advertisement in it from Major Makeovers, an expensive beauty clinic. The advertisement included a picture of Jesus descending from the clouds. The text claimed: “He’s coming soon! Are you cleansed, prinked and looking good enough?” and offered a discounted, weekend, top-to-toe beauty treatment.
Major Makeovers often places advertisements in Blaze and the same is true of Saints Alive, a powerful, charismatic, country-wide church. The day after the makeover advertisement was published, you received an angry letter from Pastor Matthew Sykes. “The second coming of our Lord is not a joke,” he wrote. “Moreover, God does not judge people by their appearance. This advertisement insults our beliefs and the things we hold holy. You would not have published an advertisement mocking Mohammed, because Muslims would rise against you. Well, our response is to withdraw our advertisements from your paper. We also demand a public apology.”
The newspaper received five letters of complaint from other Christians and also, ironically, one from the Atheist Society. The latter complained that Blaze was pushing Jesus down their throats.
Write in your own name, as the marketing communications manager. Produce a full block or block modified 400-word letter, using open punctuation, addressed to Pastor Matthew Sykes. The letter should show that the newspaper is taking his complaint seriously, but should not compromise the paper’s commitment to freedom of opinion and speech. However, you must try to regain Saints Alive’s goodwill towards the paper and retain its advertising business for future editions.
Task 2: Memo
You are the branch manager of the Albany office of Property Plus, an estate agency which has offices in 12 North Island cities. A major problem has arisen with one of the properties under your care. The tenants used their rented house as a “P” lab and have apparently been cooking methamphetamine there for the last 18 months. This is grim news for the house owner and Property Plus.
The property manager, Ms Jinny Downs, who is your subordinate, did attempt to make two routine property checks during the tenancy, but she felt intimidated on the first occasion and was told not to enter the rear section of the house on her second visit “Because the baby is sleeping”. However, an anonymous tip-off by a member of the public to police led to a raid last night, the lab was discovered and the tenants arrested.
The property is seriously contaminated by the chemicals and cannot be lived in without substantial renovation and detoxification. The elderly property owner, Mrs Amanda Tonkin, whom you informed this morning, is devastated because this house was an investment for her retirement. She is also angry, because she entrusted her property to your agency. She is threatening to speak to the press, or better still, to air the matter on Fair Go or Close Up.
Write in your own name as the branch manager. Produce a confidential, 400-word memorandum to your boss, Mr John Volker, Property Plus National Director. Briefly describe the incident and your immediate response to it. Communicate your own responsibility, ethics, and efficiency in dealing with this problem and make some sensible suggestions about how the situation could be managed from now on. Various issues may be addressed: health and safety of Property Plus staff and future tenants; the potential for bad publicity and financial losses for the company as a whole if the matter is made public; damage control; how to avoid a repetition of this problem in other rented properties and so on.