The book on business communication by Krizan et al. provides a very extensive overview of the direct plan and its various aspects. The authors explain that the direct plan should be used primarily for positive or neutral messages that can “provide routine or unsolicited information” as well as “request information or action” and “respond favorably to requests for information or action” (Krizan et al. 196). For the negative messages, the direct plan needs to be used with caution, and only when specific conditions are met (Krizan et al. 229).
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In particular, the direct plan can be used for negative messages if the receiver is not expected to be upset by the information or is already aware of it (for example, response to a tragedy). Similarly, if the negative information has to be emphasized, the direct plan is applicable. Also, it is important to take into account that the cultural or other preferences of the receiver need to correspond to such directness; if this condition is not met, the goodwill of the receiver may be lost.
The authors insist that positive communication is prevalent in businesses, and in general, the neutral and positive tones are most likely to be encountered in everyday business. Also, Krizan et al. inform that a plan that is similar to the direct one is used for the “routine claim messages, adjustment messages, and social business messages” (196). Thus, the direct plan is likely to be the most frequently used one in business communication.
When describing the direct plan, Krizan et al. focus on the fact that is this case, the main idea of the text is placed at the beginning of the message, thus providing its direct overview and captivating the attention of the reader. The details are located after the main idea and can be used to support it or dwell on it and explain it. After providing this key message, the authors describe the elements of the direct plan.
They suggest planning out the message by answering the questions that are aimed at defining the key message and the details, the benefits that the receiver gets from attaining this knowledge, the means of appealing to the receiver, and the methods of making the message friendly to ensure the development and continuation of positive relationships (or at least to avoid damaging them). The outline of the direct plan can be split into four parts that include the opening (the key idea and the means of attracting the attention), the explanation (the details), the sales appeal (whenever appropriate; in the terms of the authors, this part could be described as the call for action), and the friendly close. Thus, the outline is consistent with the planning stage and includes all the crucial elements of the message while also providing all the means of fulfilling its aims.
Apart from that, the authors imply that other techniques of proper business communication (such as analyzing the receiver) are a part of the direct plan. Naturally, the message is expected to be concise and coherent. Finally, Krizan et al. amend that this kind of communication is better accepted when the receiver is in a positive mood while a negative one can make them less inclined to consider the information or fulfill the request (196).
The authors highlight the importance of communication in daily business and suggest studying the direct and indirect plans to ensure the most positive results.
Krizan, Buddy A. C., Patricia Merrier, Joyce P. Logan, and Karen Schneiter Williams. Business Communication. Australia: South-Western Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.