If you’re happy and you know it… 

Writing Good News, Good Will, and Routine Messages


Good News:



1.      Opening: First things first, present the good news at the beginning.

(Identify the situation)

2.      Middle: present information in an orderly fashion. (answer all questions/concerns in the same order they were posed)

3.      Closing: info for further action, offer for additional assistance, expression of continued good will.  (“We look forward to your continued business in the future…”)



1.      Tone should be polite, positive, and audience centered.

2.      Be confident!  Phrases like “I hope” or “I trust” may show your reader that you are not certain about the offer or good.

3.      Remember to keep it professional, though warm, it is good news!


Good Will:



1.      Opening: state the most important idea, focus on good qualities of situation, include a friendly statement of goodwill.

2.      Middle: provide the details to explain the first statements.

3.     Closing: Restate important ideas, close with idea of future goodwill.



1.      Tone should be warm, positive, and audience centered.

2.      Be sincere, but do not gush.

3.     Sometimes, as with condolence messages, greeting cards and handwriting are not only acceptable, but preferable personal touches.


Routine Messages:



1.      Open with a direct statement of the request.  If it is complex, offer an explanation of the situation first.

2.      Middle: Justify, explain, and give details.  Show how the audience benefits from complying with your requests.

3.      Closing: Request a specific action, give contact info, give any deadlines, say “thank you.”



1.      Tone should be polite, undemanding, and personal.

2.      Assume your audience will react favorably to your request.

3.      Anger does not accomplish much.  Keep your feelings out of it by maintaining a professional tone.


Back to Assignment #5


Adapted from: Bovee, Courtland L and John V. Thill, eds. Business Communication Today. 6th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. 2000.