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I received a phone call from someone who introduced herself as the president’s assistant about a week after sending the message. She acknowledged that the leadership team had received the letter and had talked about it at some length. The president gave it to her and asked her to look into the situation. She had reviewed our phone calls and other documentation (when they say, “This call may be recorded for quality- control purposes....” believe it; she had been reviewing those recordings, which documented our calls to the company).

Over the course of several weeks, as she reviewed files and made phone calls, the situation was corrected. Eventually, I received a letter from one of the VPs, in which she indicated new steps the company was taking to assure such a situation did not happen again generally. She also indicated the action they had taken with the assistant to work with us closely to address any and all bills that were erroneously sent to us.

Even as we received new bills for services other than those mentioned in the letter, we maintained contact with the assistant to address any bill we perceived had not been properly handled, and she responded to each situation directly. The president’s assistant is now our direct contact within the company.


What seems to be an entirely “print” business document/message can be considered to be multimodal, depending on certain attributes of the format of the message as well as the media associated with delivery. The rhetorical effectiveness of these messages can be affected by decisions regarding such format and delivery.

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