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Follow-ups




Guidelines : Follow-ups

Follow-ups

Guidelines and Alternate Phrases

  • State immediately that the letter is a follow-up to earlier correspondence or an earlier commitment. Restate your original message and request for action.
  • I wanted to follow up on our earlier decision to….
  • As a follow-up to our phone conversation, I wanted to get back to you about our agreement to….
  • Identify the first communication by subject rather than by date alone. If an original letter or phone message was lost, misplaced, or misrouted, the reader may not know what you’re talking about.
  • Don’t imply the reader is negligent or incompetent.
  • Offer an excuse for your reader’s failure to reply–one that will allow him or her to save face for having failed to respond by the specified date or to acknowledge receipt of your request or message. Even a phrase such as, “Could you let me know the status of …” implies some progress.
  • Repeat all details–about who, what, when, where, why, how, how much–that were included the first time around. Don’t rely on past correspondence that may not have been received.
  • Avoid a nagging, whining, or threatening tone.
  • Emphasize the critical need for a response. If you can, find reader incentive for the action. If appropriate, use the if-I-don’t-hear-from-you-by approach; state your next action if no response is forthcoming.
  • Enclose a copy of the original letter only when the subject is too long or complicated to be repeated easily in the present reminder. Otherwise, doing so seems to be “proofing yourself” or documenting the reader’s failure to reply or comply.

Example 1: Follow-ups letter

Memorandum

TO:

FROM:

DATE:

SUBJECT: Production Staffing in New York

As we discussed in the staff meeting on October 2, we have three unfilled positions in our Production Department in New York, all three of which are critical to proceeding with the Sinclair project. The personnel budget will need to be increased by $88,000, as I have outlined it.

Could you please give me a call to let me know the status of the manpower request submitted September 26?

Example 2: Follow up letter examples

Memorandum

TO:

FROM:

DATE:

SUBJECT: Flyers for the Sales Convention

All information for the flyers to be distributed at the Arapahoe Convention next month is complete and ready for typesetting except the figures for special discounts for bulk film orders.

Have you had time to set up the special discount rates I mentioned in my June 5 memo?

The layout will have to go to the typesetter by Friday, June 18, at the latest. I do hope we can include your information before that date, because the flyer will be much more effective in drawing calls with that special discount rate in black and white before prospective clients.

     

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