There are different strategies and techniques to discuss when writing good news and bad news letters. In good news letters, a writer conveys good news to the recipient. The first paragraph (introduction) provides the topic of the good news (reason for the letter). The second paragraph (discussion) provides the details of the good news and the third paragraph (conclusion) calls for action.

Bad news letters use the indirect approach and start with a neutral idea while providing supporting facts and evidence. The second paragraph presents the reason for the bad news letter. The third paragraph ends with a neutral closing. Tact and courtesy are required when writing a bad news letter. The writer of a bad news letter should pay attention to the tone and structure throughout the letter to avoid problems in the future. Writers must avoid offending the reader.

All writing is a form of persuasion. A writer tries to persuade his reader to understand his point of view. Attention to wording is essential in a bad news business letter to avoid breaking the code of ethics. An example of a reason for a bad news letter is:

A company I work for has been advised to reduce labor cost by all possible means. The only option I have is to terminate all temporary positions within the company. This decision requires you to write bad news letters to each of the temporary employees, firing them and explaining to each the reason for the termination. I must be careful to use tact and courtesy throughout the letter and make it clear that your job performance was excellent and did not influence my company’s decision. When writing to the employee, I must offer severance pay and write a letter of recommendation to assist the employee with the job search. Also, medical benefits must be extended for a short time after termination. In addition, I am letting the employee know that with his proven qualifications and skills, I am sure that he will find another position in the near future. End on a calm and cheerful note.

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