Practicing Routine Communication: Writing a Direct Request

Instructors: Use this short case study to help your students practice writing routine requests. You might want to assign the activity as a small group project or as homework. Our suggested solution can be found at the end of this post.

You’d like to learn more about the hiring process for a social media expert and the kinds of benefits that individual could bring to your organization. You wonder where that individual might fit into the corporate structure—would the position operate out of corporate communications, marketing, customer service, or elsewhere? You also are unclear about qualifications for candidates, salary, and how a social media expert’s success would be evaluated.

Compose an e-mail inquiry to <>. Explain your situation and list specific questions for her to answer. Although she is likely to want to talk on the phone, make it clear you want your answers in writing so you can have a record of her advice to share when you report back to your CEO.

Suggested Solution

To:  Doreen Goodwin <>

From:  [Your name]

Subject:  Searching for Advice and Information About Social Media Experts

Dear Ms. Goodwin:

You have been recommended by HomeCenter CEO John Brauburger as a valuable source of information. I’m hoping you can help me learn more about social media experts, as my company is considering hiring one.

Answers to the following questions will assist me in deciding whether to suggest pursuing this issue:

  • How could a social media specialist benefit HomeCenter?
  • What salary range is appropriate for such a specialist?
  • What qualifications would we seek in such a specialist?
  • In which corporate areas do social media specialists typically work: corporate communications, marketing, customer support, or some other area?
  • How could we evaluate that person’s success on the job, once hired?

I’m sure many other questions could be asked, but I’d like to start with these. A written response before March 15 would enable me to report to our CEO.


Your name

[Your contact information]

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