Philip’s Story

During his co-op term, Philip helped to organize an informal conference. The week before the conference, his supervisor asked him to send out an email to all the participants to let them know the schedule of events. Because everyone was so busy getting ready for the conference, Philip’s supervisor didn’t have time to look over the email. Philip wrote:

Hi everyone,

We’re all looking forward to seeing you on Saturday morning for the conference. We have an exciting lineup of speakers ready to help your business apply design thinking to tough problems. We’re especially excited for our keynote speaker! Best of all, the entire event is catered by Cedar Feast House Catering, so get ready for some tasty treats. When you arrive, please check in and receive your welcome package and identification. There is also a welcome social on Friday night at 6 pm in the Starlight Room. If you signed up for the childcare services, please tell the front desk and they will take you to the childcare area. I’ve attached the full lineup of speakers to this email or you can visit our website here. If you have any questions, please contact me at 604-555-5555 or Thanks!

Philip and his coworkers were surprised when only a few people came to the welcome social and many claimed not to know about it. Can you see why?

It’s because the information about the social event was buried in the middle of the email. Many people simply read “see you on Saturday morning,” skimmed the rest of the email and overlooked the social. That’s the power of organization. Philip’s email was clear and had a positive tone, but because of the organization his message wasn’t delivered. We’ll come back to Philip at the end of the chapter.


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Business Writing For Everyone Copyright © 2021 by Arley Cruthers is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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