Determining the Purpose of Your Message: Inform, Persuade & Good Will

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  • 0:02 Purpose of Your Message
  • 1:04 Informative Messages
  • 1:51 Persuasive Messages
  • 2:49 Goodwill Messages
  • 4:31 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor
Jennifer Lombardo
Expert Contributor
Jerry Allison

Jerry holds a Doctor of Business Administration and a Master’s in Mathematics. He has taught business, math, and accounting for over 25 years.

Determining the purpose of your message is the first step in deciding what you want to say and how you want to say it. It is essential to choose whether to inform, persuade or offer goodwill via a message in the workplace.

Purpose of Your Message

Have you ever rambled on and on to someone and then at the end of the conversation the response was not what you wanted? Was the purpose of your message regarding informing, persuading or communicating goodwill? This lesson will explain how to select the correct purpose for a message: inform, persuade or goodwill. It is important to think about what you want to say and how you want to say it.

The first step is to decide exactly what essence of a message you want to convey. Once you have the goal selected, it is then easy to tailor the message in order to reach your audience. For example, Jill is a human resource manager for Fun Town Amusement Parks. She has been given three assignments for the day.

  • Provide job orientation for Harold, the new roller coaster operator.
  • Convince Stella, the star ride designer, to not leave Fun Town for a different job with their competition.
  • Offer a promotion to Tim by making him the new manager of snack concessions and also offer him congratulations.

Informative Messages

Jill's first task of the day is to provide new hire orientation for Harold regarding his new roller coaster operator job. Since she needs to convey routine health benefits, payroll information and job procedure knowledge, she has decided to create a message with the purpose to inform. This purpose can be used to communicate routine, repetitive, daily tasks, instructions, codes, steps and procedures in the workplace.

She will utilize a morning one-on-one meeting and then allow Harold to view webinars for additional training. The communication should be very clear, direct and easy to understand. Jill has also provided binders of printed information so the new employee can refer to it at any time. She can now move on to her second task of the day.

Persuasive Messages

A persuasive message occurs when a person attempts to convince an individual or group to take certain specific actions. An example would be to ask for a request for action in order to get an employee to do something. Jill's task is to convince Stella, the star designer, to not leave Fun Town for the competition. Jill has decided to take Stella to lunch and will communicate all of the key selling points and benefits to remaining with Fun Town.

Another key point of an effective persuasive message is that it tackles and solves any objections. Stella originally wanted to leave Fun Town for more money and prestige. Once Jill was able to analyze Stella's reasons for leaving, the battle was over. Stella was able to be persuaded to stay through an increase in salary, a new snazzier title: Senior Ride Designer, and all the candy she wants during the day. Jill was very happy to successfully close the deal and keep Stella with the company.

Goodwill Messages

Jill's last assignment of the day was to provide the good news to Tim that he was being promoted to Snack Food Concession Manager. Jill was excited to congratulate Tim in person so she headed to his stand to tell him. She also followed up with a positive goodwill message in an email as well outlining his new salary. Goodwill messages are used in the work place to show a sense of kindness and friendliness.

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Additional Activities

Determining the Purpose of Your Message

Internet Search

Find on the Internet Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech and listen to it thoroughly, possibly two or three times. Do you think this speech was an informative message, a persuasive message, or a goodwill message? What was specifically said in the speech that led you to this conclusion? Do you think the speech accomplished the purpose of the message? What specifically was the purpose of the speech?

Thought Exercise

Al B. Sure needs to convey several messages to people he knows today. Below is a list of things he wishes to communicate. Decide whether an informative message, a persuasive message, or a goodwill message would be appropriate.

1. His good friend, Dewey Chetam, is visiting the business where Al works, and Al would like to greet him and say "hi."

2. Al needs to leave work early tomorrow for a dentist appointment, and he needs to let his boss know.

3. Because he is already two days late with his rent, Al needs to call his landlord to get a couple more days to pay it.

4. Al's daughter Vera wants to go to a party, but Al wants to get her to understand this party might be dangerous to attend.

5. It is Al's wife's birthday, and he wants to call her and wish her a happy birthday.

6. Al needs to call his friend Ima Deere to let her know that his family will be attending the party next week.

Discussion

Consider each of the types of messages -- an informative message, a persuasive message, and a goodwill message -- and the tone of such messages. Are there emotions or tones that are more appropriate than other emotions or tones for each type? Again examining each type, are there emotions or tones that are completely inappropriate for this type?

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