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8.3. Document for Analysis: Poor Direct Request

Your Task. Analyze the following poorly written message. List at least five weaknesses. If your instructor directs, revise the message using the suggestions you learned in this and previous chapters.

To:                               ExEngine Manager List

From:                      Paula Parker

Subject:                      E-Mail Problems



As ExEngine vice president, this note is being written to ask for your help and advice to address an urgent problem—the problem of excessive e-mail. If you will do me the favor of answering the questions below, I’m sure your ideas will assist us in the development of a plan that should benefit your staff, yourself, and our organization will be improved. Your replies in writing to these questions (preferably by May 5) will help me prepare for our supervisory committee meeting on May 10.

Although e-mail is a great productivity tool, I’m afraid that its use is becoming extremely excessive. For our organization it is actually cutting into work time. Did you know that one study found that the average office worker is spending 3 hours a day on e-mail? In our organization we may be spending even more than this. It’s exceedingly difficult to get any work done because of writing and answering an extraordinary number of e-mails coming in each and every day. Excessive e-mail is sapping the organization’s strength and productivity. I would like to have your answers to some questions before the above-referenced dates to help us focus on the problem.

Can you give a ballpark figure for how many e-mails you receive and answer on a personal basis each day? Think about how many hours the staff members in your department spend on e-mail each day. Approximately how many hours would you estimate? Do you have any ideas about how we can make a reduction in the volume of e-mails being sent and received within our own organization? Do you think that e-mail is being used by our employees in an excessive manner?

I’m wondering what you think about an e-mail-free day once a week. How about Fridays? I appreciate your suggestions and advice

Chapter 8: Positive Messages in developing a solution to the problem of controlling e-mail and making an improvement in productivity.

Paula Parker

Vice President, Operations



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