Project 1: Communicating in Difficult Situations

This first project will involve communications in difficult situations. If you work for a government agency:

  • A citizen has asked for help in understanding some complex administrative rule in your area. Your challenge is to explain that administrative rule—or some tricky part of it—as clearly as possible.
  • You must deny a request from a citizen for an exception to an administrative rule.
  • A citizen has a complaint involving administrative rules in your area. You must explain that the situation about which the citizen is complaining does not constitute a violation.
  • You must communicate to a citizen that her or his operations are in violation or out of compliance with certain administrative rules.

If you work for a business:

  • A customer has written asking help understanding a complex product or with a warranty or licensing policies.
  • A customer has written to complain about an allegedly faulty product or service and to request compensation. You must reject that claim but try to keep the customer's business.
  • A customer has written to complain about an allegedly faulty product or service and to request compenation. You must grant that claim but at the same time defend your company's integrity.
In all these situations, your challenge is to be clear and understandable, to explain things as clearly as possible. responding to a citizen or customer inquiry (complaints will come soon enough!). Here are some options:

You can find administrative code at these two sites (and you can try other states, counties, cities):

To do this project, please describe the real or hypothetical situation, the citizen or customer inquiry, and other details so that your instructor can review your correspondence intelligently. (You can make this description page 1 of the document you send or hand in.)

For the actual letter or e-mail, use the format that you would be expected to use in the organization.

If you are not in a position to find a real or realistic situation to use for this project, ask your instructor for help. You may be able to get scenarios from others in class as well.

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