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UpWrite Press understands the importance of writing skills in business: We're business people just like you. On this blog you'll find tips to improve your writing, along with topics of interest to our staff.

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    Using the BEBE Formula

    Thursday, August 30, 2007

    Last time we talked about the S-E-A formula for writing good-news messages. There's also a formula that will guide you through the sometimes difficult task of delivering bad news. That formula is called B-E-B-E, or "bee-bee." It stands for "Buffer, Explanation, Bad news, and Exit."

    Let's first look at Buffer. In your introduction, simply state your reason for writing. Make your language neutral, and let the reader know the general purpose of your message. Don't immediately launch into the bad news.

    Next, in the body of your message, give an Explanation along with the Bad news. State the bad news calmly and factually. Tell what has been done and what needs to be done.

    Finally, make your Exit in a positive but realistic way. Throughout your message, maintain a calm, professional tone, avoiding accusation or inflammatory language.

    That's all there is to it. The bottom line is to be as considerate as possible toward your reader—after all, he or she is the one receiving the bad news! The BEBE formula will help you get your point across in a quick, relatively painless professional manner.

    You can learn more about organizing messages on pages 42-44 of Business and Sales Correspondence, part of the EZ Series of business writing materials from UpWrite Press.