Tell us about a negative message you’ve received/observed at work or in an organizational setting (feedback? layoff? customer/client complaint? other?). 

How was it handled?  What was its effect on you? Co-workers?  Customers? Was there some way it could have been handled better?  Delve into it a bit.

By the way, check out this tidbit: Research Shows Rude Behavior at Work Is Increasing and Affects the Bottom Line

In this discussion board, we will explore the AIDA model. The checklist on page 296 (A through D) is helpful.

Please write a 4-line persuasive message relating to a new product or service from your imaginary businesses.

A – Get the reader’s attention
I – Keep the reader’s interest by explaining or expanding the 1st line
D – Whet their desire by telling them “what’s in it for me?”
A – Motivate them to take action

  • With the AIDA model, you craft one or more messages to move recipients through four stages of attention, interest, desire, and action. The model works well for both persuasive business messages (such as persuading your manager to fund a new project) and marketing and sales messages.
  • Desire. Help audience members embrace your idea by explaining how the change will benefit them, either personally or professionally. Reduce resistance by identifying and answering in advance any questions the audience might have. If your idea is complex, you might need to explain how you would implement it. Back up your claims in order to increase audience willingness to take the action you suggest in the next section.
  • Action. Suggest the action you want readers to take and phrase it in a way that emphasizes the benefits to them or to the organization they represent. Make the action as easy as possible to take, including offering to assist, if appropriate. Be sure to provide all the information the audience needs to take the action, including deadlines and contact details.

The AIDA model is tailor-made for using the indirect approach, allowing you to save your main idea for the action phase. However, you can also use AIDA for the direct approach, in which case you use your main idea as an attention-getter, build interest with your argument, create desire with your evidence, and reemphasize your main idea in the action phase with the specific action you want your audience to take.

The AIDA model is ideal for the indirect approach.

When your AIDA message uses the indirect approach and is delivered by memo or email, keep in mind that your subject line usually catches your reader’s eye first. Your challenge is to make it interesting and relevant enough to capture reader attention without revealing your main idea. If you put your request in the subject line, you might get a quick no before you’ve had a chance to present your arguments:

Instead of ThisWrite This
Request for development budget to add automated IM response systemReducing the cost of customer support inquiries

The AIDA approach does have limitations:

  • It essentially talks at audiences, not with them
  • It focuses on one-time events, not long-term relationships

With either the direct or indirect approach, AIDA and similar models do have limitations. First, AIDA is a unidirectional method that essentially talks at audiences, not with them. Second, AIDA is built around a single event, such as asking an audience for a decision, rather than on building a mutually beneficial, long-term relationship.9 AIDA is still a valuable tool for the right purposes, but as you’ll read later in the chapter, a conversational approach is more compatible with today’s social media.