MCM301 GDB Solution Spring 2012

How to effectively convey disappointing news in a letter


In your professional life, you will face a variety of situations when you will have to write a letter to convey any disappointing news to your reader. In such situations, your success will depend on how effectively you communicate the refusal in an inoffensive way.


Read the below given scenario carefully and critically evaluate the poorly written body of the letter. The letter body is not effectively communicating the negative or bad news. Identify why it is not the effective way to communicate bad news and discuss which approach and ways will be more effective to convey this bad news.



“A drama producer working in any famous TV channel receives an invitation for a workshop from XYZ University. This University arranges this workshop on drama production for its students of mass communication yearly and invites the same producer to deliver a special lecture on drama production. Unfortunately, producer is unable to attend the workshop this year due to his other professionalcommitments. Now he has to write a letter of refusal to that invitation”.


Letter Body:

Unfortunately I would not be able to attend the workshop as I am occupied in my other professional commitments this year. I am engaged in some outdoor productions scheduled abroad for our TV play that is to be on aired by this month which is taking all my time. I express my regret for not being guest speaker at University’s upcoming workshop.

Idea Solution:

The above way of communicating is not the effective way as it is using Use indirect language for refusal and directly Concentrate on facts. The writer should Open with a buffer. Continue with a logical, neutral explanation of the reasons for the disappointing-news. Follow with a clear but diplomatic statement of the disappointing-news (emphasizing any good news and de-emphasizing the bad), and Close with a positive, forward-looking statement that is helpful and friendly.