AN ADVERTISEMENT FOR THE NEW FORD PUMA



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AN ADVERTISEMENT FOR THE NEW FORD PUMA



More than 6,000 famous advertising people from around the world gathered in Cannes at end of last month for 44th International Advertising Festival.

Many of those looking through 4,000-plus commercials were searching for multinational advertisers ideal: simple idea that crosses borders and appeals to people on same level in different markets. Unfortunately most of awards were for ads created specifically for local markets.

New Ford Puma campaign was created too late for this year’s festival, but expects to see it shine at 45th. Designed to launch Ford's new sporty coupe across Europe, it contains that instantly recognisable idea that those multinational agencies' clients seek.

Essentially, late, great Steve McQueen drives Ford Puma through streets of San Francisco in manner in which he drove 1960s Ford Mustang in his classic movie Bullitt. Footage from film, supplied by Warner Brothers, is combined through use of extraordinary computer technology with footage of Ford Puma. Car follows one of routes Mustang took in film.

As McQueen 'drives' around city, car receives admiring glances from passers-by ranging from traffic cop to attractive woman out walking. Finally he pulls into his garage where he parks Puma alongside original Mustang.

EYE CONTACT

In many Western societies, including the United States, a person who does not maintain ‘good eye contact’ is regarded as being slightly suspicious, or a ‘shifty’ character. Americans unconsciously associate people who avoid eye contact as unfriendly, insecure, untrustworthy, inattentive and impersonal. However, in contrast, Japanese children are taught in school to direct their gaze at the region of their teacher’s Adam’s apple or tie knot, and, as adults, Japanese lower their eyes when speaking to superior, a gesture of respect.

Latin American cultures, as well as some African cultures, such as Nigeria, have longer looking time, but prolonged eye contact from an individual of lower status is considered disrespectful. In the US, it is considered rude to stare – regardless of who is looking at whom. In contrast, the polite Englishmen are taught to pay strict attention to a speaker, to listen carefully, and to blink his eyes to let the speaker know he or she has been understood as well as heard. Americans signal interest and comprehension by bobbing their heads or grunting.

A widening of the eyes can also be interpreted differently, depending on circumstances and culture. Take, for instance, the case of an American and a Chinese the terms of a proposed contact. Regardless of the language in which the pr5oposed contract is carried out, the US negotiator may interpret a Chinese person’s widened eyes as an expression of astonishment instead of a danger signal (its true meaning) of politely expressed anger.

LETTERS AND DOCUMENTS

Secretaries write all kinds of letters for their boss, sometimes on their own initiative and at other times from dictation. However, the single most important letter is the one which gets them the job: letter of application, accompanied by a curriculum vitae/resume (Am). It is courteous to add a follow-up letter if your first letter resulted in an interview. We will start with these letters.

LETTERS OF APPLICATION are written to a prospective employer or, some­times, to an employment agency. Their primary purpose is to obtain an interview, but the letter also gives the employer an example of your communication skills and creates the first impression. Most applications are written in response to an advertisement for a specific job. Study the advertisement carefully and find out as much as you can about the organization to which you are applying. Make your letter the one that will be remembered when read. Be confident, enthusiastic and show that you have the qualifications necessary for the position. Your letter should be neat, well spaced and free of mistakes.

RESUMES/CURRICULA VITAE (CV) summarize work experience and qualifications. They allow the employer to see at a glance the extent of the applicant's education, training and practical experience. Like letters of applica­tion, they are designed to arouse the employer's interest and to lead to an interview.

Follow-up letters are not essential, but it is courteous to write one after an interview. The letter should thank the person you met for giving you the interview, and let him or her know that you find the job attractive. A skillful letter would pick up a point made at the interview and expand on it, as though the conversation were still continuing. The follow-up letter is usually written within a day or two of the interview. It is not a bad idea to restate your strongest qualifications, but do it subtly: overstatement can produce too strong a tone.

The standard letters generated for most manufacturing and service jobs break down as follows:

1 letters of inquiry, replies;

2 memos (memoranda), transmittals;

3 letters of complaint, positive and negative responses to complaints;

4 sales letters, orders and invoices;

5 requests for credit references, responses granting credit and refusing to grant credit;

6 statements/collection letters, follow-up collection letters.

Then there is the preparation and presentation of reports drafted by the boss, either written by hand, or dictated. Graphs and charts may also need to be prepared.

A LETTER OF INQUIRY is written to obtain information or to make a request. J A direct inquiry asks a company about its products or services. Be precise and polite in explaining what you need in the opening.

REPLIES. Good business and common courtesy require that you answer all letters even if you are unable to provide the information requested. Response letters should answer all questions as completely as possible and be sent without delay. Prepare your responses carefully.

A MEMO (RANDUM) is a note sent within a company. They range from the two-line note calling a meeting or passing on a telephone message, for example, to informal reports. Memos differ from letters by having the courtesies at the top of the page (To:, From:, Re:, Date:). Signatures may not be required. As with letters, memos provide people with a record for future references and the secretary will normally file copies.

A TRANSMITTAL should always be attached when you send information or material. A transmittal simply identifies what you are sending and gives your reason for sending it. Transmittals achieve two goals:

(1) they let the reader know that he/she has received everything you have sent along with specific instructions concerning what to do with it,

(2) they provide a record of where and when the material was sent and determine who is responsible for its care.

Always keep a copy of the transmittal for your files.

A LETTER OF COMPLAINT/CLAIM LETTER is written, so that the seller of goods and services will know that something has gone wrong and will take steps to correct the situation. Before you write a complaint, however, you might try to solve the situation by telephone. If the situation is a simple one and the solution is obvious, a phone call will probably bring the fastest results. If that fails or if the problem is complex, a letter is the most effective response.

A POSITIVE RESPONSE TO COMPLAINTS. If you never make a mistake you probably aren't working. Errors happen in the best companies. When you receive a just complaint from a customer, don't be afraid to admit the mistake. Accept the responsibility, then solve the problem. Familiarize yourself with your company's policy for handling complaints. Act promptly, find out what went wrong and then write the customer a thoughtful letter. The aim of your letter will be to restore the goodwill of the dissatisfied customer.

A PRO-ORGANIZATION RESPONSE TO COMPLAINTS. The customer is not always right. After having investigated the complaint you may decide that your company is not at fault and that the customer is not entitled to his/her requests. You'll have to write a pro-organization response. You reject the customer's request, maintain his/her goodwill and explain the organization's position politely. Find a way to make a small concession or gesture of goodwill, and always thank your client.

A SALES LETTER aims to create interest in your product or service. Always begin with a strong, compelling statement that will entice and keep your reader's attention.

Pay great attention to the tone of your sales letter. It should sound positive and convincing. You must create the initial desire for your product. Your sales letter should convince the reader that your product excels in every respect, that it has benefits surpassing all competition. Make the product sound great or your service desirable. However, in the rush to convince, don't forget to include a succinct summary of the facts. These letters are best when brief; if more information is needed, it is provided by accompanying literature.

AN ORDER is a common form of correspondence for obtaining equipment, services and supplies. You must give specific, detailed information in the order letter. It must contain:

(1) model and catalogue number, size, colour and description using correct numbers;

(2) quantity;

(3) price per item, the total price;

(4) specific shipping details (company, date, final destination);

(5) special handling or packaging details;

(6) payment procedures.

But if the order has legal standing, printed order forms are normally used. The supplier fills in the details of the contract, delivery, insurance and terms of payment.

INVOICES are normally typed onto a numbered pad of pre-printed invoices, or put in to the computer. One copy goes to the tax inspector. They are extremely brief, recalling only the main points of the contract, the individual amounts, the running total, the sales or value added tax, if any, and the final amount. They are not normally accompanied by a cover letter.

Terms of payment are generally within 30-90 days. Technically, this has legal force, but is often ignored. A statement/collection letter should automatically be triggered when payment has not been received.

A STATEMENT/COLLECTION LETTER is collecting payment on overdue accounts. A common procedure is simply to reissue the bill, along with a reminder that payment is overdue. The message should suggest that perhaps the customer has overlooked the previous bill. But you must always be careful in the tone of the collection procedure or you may lose a valuable customer. Usually two reminders are sent. If these standard reminders do not bring a response from the customer, write a collection letter.

You should have two objectives in mind writing a statement/collection letter:

(1) to obtain payment,

(2) to retain the customer's goodwill and future business.

A FOLLOW-UP STATEMENT/COLLECTION LETTER. When your first statement letter goes unacknowledged, it becomes necessary to make collecting the funds your primary goal. You ask for payment directly and you might even suggest that the customer call your office in an effort to come to some settlement. Your second collection letter should appeal to the customer's sense of obligation and the wish to maintain a good credit rating.

A REQUEST FOR CREDIT REFERENCES. It is a standard procedure to obtain credit references from individuals or companies planning to establish an account with you. To do this, it is often necessary to request information about a potential client's credit. In many countries, this is done by sending a routine enquiry to a credit agency or to the prospective client's banks. Where the company is embarking on what it hopes will be a longstanding commitment, enquiries are more varied and will include getting in touch with suppliers and other companies. The handling of this information, however, requires tact and confidentiality.

RESPONSES GRANTING AND REFUSING CREDIT. After you have deter­mined the credit rating of a potential customer, you'll have to write a positive or negative letter.

A response granting credit doesn't have to elaborate on the procedure that you went through to establish the customer's credit. Instead, welcome the reader as your client. Briefly outline the credit terms and define your company's billing procedures.

A refusal to grant credit is much more difficult to write. Begin your letter by thanking your reader for the interest he/she has shown in your company. Then give your reason for your refusal clearly and tactfully. Be honest, but remember, that one day he/she may become a desired customer. If there are any favourable aspects of the reader's financial situation, refer to them. This shows that you have considered all the information and taken a personal interest in future dealings. It is best to state the credit refusal in the opening paragraph. End your letter with a positive, confident tone. Maintain a factual, business like approach throughout.

REPORTS. The key to successful reports is organization. A long report doesn't indicate hard work, but rather as an inability to be succinct. Open with a brief summary of all important findings and conclusions. Introduce the purpose of the report. The body of the report states facts, analyses them, draws conclusions and ends with recommendations.

GRAPHS AND CHARTS. One picture is worth a thousand words, many authors say. Graphs and charts are particularly necessary when dealing with numeral and comparative data. If you thoughtfully employ graphs and charts in your reports, you can often clarify important points and save yourself a lot of writing.

Besides strictly business letters, secretaries often write official notices, private invitations, letters of congratulations for all sorts of occasions and letters of condolence. Secretary generally begins the day opening and sorting the post.

 

 

CONTENTS

 

UNIT 1. MAKING CONTACTS …………………………………………………1

 

UNIT 2. BUSINESS TRAVEL …………………………………………………..10

 

UNIT 3. MEETINGS. NEGOTIATIONS. DEALS. …………………………….17

 

UNIT 4. COMPANY STRUCTURE ……………………………………………...25

 

UNIT 5. MARKETING. GIVING A PRESENTATION ………………………..30

 

UNIT 6. ADVERTISING ………………………………………………………….37

 

UNIT 7. MONEY ……………………………………………………………….…44

 

UNIT 8. EMPLOYMENT ………………………………………………………...53

 

UNIT 9. CULTURES IN BUSINESS ……………………………………….…….64

 

UNIT 10. BUSINESS CORRESPONDENCE ……………………………………70

 

ADDITIONAL READING ……………………………………………………….77

 

CONTENTS……………………………………………………………………….96

 



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