Analyzing Messages

COM/417 – Analyzing Messages

The first business related message that I have analyzed is an email chain from me to the head of business development at Single Platform. Single Platform is a startup, recently featured in Forbes, which gathers menu information from businesses. It then displays and distributes this information, leading to marketing exposure on the internet for Single Platform businesses.

Since I work at Menu Menu, the purpose of beginning the communications in this instance was to acquire Single Platform’s latest API data feed and ultimately begin a mutually beneficial partnership. The environment in which the communications takes place is my office, sitting at my computer using Microsoft Outlook.

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The message was contained within a series of back and forth emails using only words as content, but referencing the Menu Menu website which contains media such as images and consumer interaction. The message is technology oriented, as Menu Menu is seeking the approval of Single Platform to display their restaurant partner data, menus, hours or operations, and amenities information on the Menu Menu website using what is called an API.

What is an API? This is basically a data feed, usually of real-time data that can be sent from one data base to many different websites using a data key. Whoever is granted access to a data key is granted access to the information. Menu Menu must convince Single Platform that we are a worthy data partner, since Single Platform is very selective about where they choose to share their API data feed.

There was very little noise in this message. The only notable confusion was an initial question regarding the purpose for the data. Single Platform was unclear whether or not Menu Menu wanted to use the data for ordering or simply display purposes. Menu Menu has its own online ordering system, so we were looking to use the menu information for display purposes only.

The reason we wanted this was so that we could enhance our current menu listings and information for our members, who are looking for menu information. The technology and medium for the initial reach out message was appropriate. It accomplished the goal of data sharing and beginning a partnership with Single Platform.

If Menu Menu and Single Platform are pleased with each other’s initial performance and sees room for the partnership to grow, then a phone conversation or request to meet in person would be the appropriate environment for further communications.

The second business related message that I have analyzed is a job posting I placed on craigslist for a Regional Sales Representative. Although this is not a traditional message between two people, it is a single message with many recipients, making it an interesting message. The employment posting contained two main parts.

The first part has a header worded “The Successful Candidate” that includes a list of job requirements, such as advertising background a must, excellent oral and written communication skills, and energetic and professional. The second part of the message speaks about what the job entails and describes the compensation.

The header for the second part is called “The Job” and describes how they will engage local restaurant merchants, and compensation includes commission + 10% residual income, plus $100 signing bonus for each sale. I ended the soliciting message by saying that if you have earned $50K or more previously in an advertising sales role and want to take it up a notch (or two) we may be the vehicle.

I consider this to be an interesting message since the responses are so varied from the receivers or decoders, in this case the job seekers who are looking to land a job at Menu Menu. The technology and message were appropriate, especially since Craig’s List job postings can be edited, which was exactly what I needed to do to combat all the noise I received at first.

There was quite a bit of noise, as I did not include some pertinent details in the original message. I later updated the job listing, and answers to questions such as if we paid a base salary and commission or were the positions commission only were more clear and concise. My overall feedback to the receivers was a canned, thank you for your interest response.

This was the same general response if I responded by telephone or via email. The applicants that were selected for further interviews received a phone call and a brief telephone interview before being scheduled to come in and meet for an in person interview.

The third business related message is a message sent by my business partner to me using Active Collab, which is a project management and collaboration tool for planning, progress tracking and communication for businesses. The message and technology used were appropriate, the result was a clear and straightforward message, it stated: Send Quick Books Files to Russell task created in [admin] 2013 Taxes project.

The Active Collab environment in which the message exists is wonderful to use. The technology consists of software that resides on the Menu Menu server, and serves up the Active Collab internal website based tool. Projects and their tasks are easily navigated and completed using this internal communications tool. This message was sent using only words as content, without the need for additional supporting media such as images or video.

The message clearly indicates what is needed to be accomplished, which is to send the Quick Books tax files to our accountant named Russell. After receiving the message via an email alert, I responded to the message which created a Comment posted on “Book Tax Preparation Appointment” task alert and notified the sender of my response.

My response was a short and simple message that stated that I have now sent the tax files to Russell, and the task is complete. I then also marked the task complete in the project area, which is a clear message to the sender that what he wanted accomplished had been completed.

Responding to Single Platforms communications required direct and honest communications. My aim was to keep it simple and maintain a clear message. According to University of Phoenix Appendix A: Checklist of Common Problems That Occur (2006), “Much of the time, big words distance you from your audience and increase the risk of miscommunication.

Therefore, you should use simpler, more familiar words.” When responding, I used clear and easy to understand sentences, stating we will be using the data for display purposes only, to supplement our current menu data. Many times the email message responses were just a single sentence.

Single Platform also responded in simple, quick, and clear messages. Many times also in a single sentence like, I’ve attached a pdf that outlines our offering in more detail as well as our boilerplate agreement I’ll need signed and returned in order to get you a key.

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The content, media, and technology of the feedback during the course of these messages are appropriate for the purpose of forging a beneficial partnership, since both Single Platform and Menu Menu both utilize API technology. The audience is well equipped to receive the message via the email technology used, and is comfortable since email the main form of communication used by both Menu Menu and Single Platform.

References

Raffoni, M. (2009). Leaders: Frame Your Messages for Maximum Impact. Harvard Management Update, 14(1), 3.

University of Phoenix. (2006). Appendix A: Checklist of Common Problems That Occur. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, COMM 470 website.

University of Phoenix. (2006). Supplement: University of Phoenix Material: Appendix A. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, COMM 470 website.

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