Inquiry Email Assignment

In this introductory assignment, you are being asked to compose a brief email to someone you have identified as a potential interview participant for the Workplace Communication Report, which we will begin formally during the third week.

First, identify someone who communicates in a workplace that you are interested in and that is relevant to your own professional training. You can certainly contact relatives, family friends, and associates, although do not make your participant decision solely based on how easy it is for you to access your participant. Students in the past have written fine reports based upon the experiences of professional mentors, former bosses, and current employers. Other students have used this assignment to make new contacts in a company or industry that they are interested in joining after they graduate.

Your inquiry email will explain why you are contacting the research participant and what will be expected of them. Within the next two to three weeks, you will need to schedule a time that you can interview them, either face-to-face (the ideal format) or virtually (using Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom, etc.); if finding a “synchronous” time is impossible, you can hold the interview as an email conversation, though you may end up taking more of your participant’s time that way. An additional benefit of the face­ to-face interview is that you will be able to take photographs and collect samples of your participants’ communication materials.

As you begin to draft your inquiry email, review these following persuasive tips:

• Check your own email address as well as your signature line (you may want to create a signature line if you don’t current have one).
• Subject line (your subject line is important, as it will prompt your reader to either open your email or discard it; make sure your subject line is informative enough so that you reader has a sense of what to expect).
• Respectful salutation (Use Dear XXX: for more formal business contacts)
• Introduction, which states your main purpose
• Brief contexUbackground of the reason why you are reaching out to that particular person. (An important persuasive moment: Why did you choose him or her?)
• Specific explanation for the research you hope to do, and any other context that is necessary for the reader to make a decision.

• Inducement (How can you show the benefits of responding to your inquiry? <link is hidden> you would be happy to share with them your report or acknowledge their help)
• Actionable point (What should your reader expect to have to do? When are you hoping to conduct the interview? How long will it take? How are you going to conduct it? How is your reader meant to get back to you?)
• Respectful close

Obviously, if you are writing to a close family member or friend, you wouldn’t need to write a formal inquiry email. For the purpose of this assignment, please do write to them as if they were a formal professional contact; you can then decide to contact them about the interview any way that you choose

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