Conduct some cultural research on a country you would like to visit (or perhaps have already visited) and would like to do business with. Create a hypothetical scenario in which you are a businessperson with interests in establishing relationships abroad. Compose a persuasive letter to a potential business partner in that country, where you’ll convey proper respect for elements of culture & business ethics. You want to sound as natural as possible when expressing that you’ve done some research on beliefs and customs. Focus on audience benefits—how will the partnership help them expand or improve their business or bottom line?
Writing the Letter
Once you’ve made a plan, conducted research, and begun to organize your draft, read about the do’s and don’ts of writing for an international audience. You might also consider conducting further research on what to consider and what to avoid (this is one thing our textbook doesn’t cover in much depth).
If you ever plan to work for a company that does business outside of the US, it is a good idea to develop good oral and written communication skills with a global audience in mind. As workplace communication has become more expansive, employees are expected to learn about gender relations, hierarchical systems and terminology, cultural dimensions, and etiquette of the countries with which they maintain business relationships. So that you can have an authentic learning experience, I urge you to use this assignment to explore a new country that you may be interested in but aren’t necessarily familiar with.
Research & Rationale
Start by reading EBC Ch. 1-4 to 1-5 (p. 15-23), focusing on 1-5c, “Successful Written Communication With Intercultural Audiences.” Then conduct cultural, business, & logistical research on the country, region, and company with which you want to do business. Use your findings–and your creativity & business sense–to build a realistic, persuasive scenario with the goal of persuading your target audience to accept your proposal or offer of partnership. To appeal to your audience, you will also want to find out how your audience scores on the Geert-Hofstede country comparison tool in terms of individualism & collectivism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity, long-term orientation, and indulgence.
I also recommend these other useful sources:
Use your research to make audience-aware choices in your writing, and include these findings in your rationale page. Essentially, explain to me how you used your research to make specific choices in your writing. Tell me what you found out (or perhaps already know) about the business customs of the country you want to work with, how they might be different from what you’re used to, and how you’ve used your knowledge to write a persuasive letter.
Lastly, provide a brief References list (article/website names & links are fine, or you can use APA format) at the bottom of your rationale page; 3 sources minimum.
Even though you’re creating a hypothetical scenario in which you represent a company you probably don’t work for in real life–perhaps you even play an executive role–you should place yourself and this proposal letter in a real-world context, meaning you should acknowledge the global pandemic. Some ways to do this are as follows:
- Conduct research on a company in the US that is currently thriving and can help a business abroad while gaining something in return. You would then “represent” the US company and reach out to the business abroad to offer this opportunity.
- Conduct research on how businesses in the US and your chosen country are adapting, and make a proposal that is directly related to solving a problem stemming from the crisis (see the Eko Health letter sample below).
- Conduct research on how businesses in the US and your chosen country might collaborate to rebuild and prosper once a vaccine is widely available. (There are several projections as to when this might happen, but I advise you not to be overly optimistic or assume one will be available before 2021.)
Format in block style, with paragraphs flush to the left margin and no indents; maintain one space between paragraphs. Use the sample letters below, and in almost all EBC chapters for reference.