Reasons Before News

When conveying bad news, if your audience is likely to be surprised and seriously disappointed, present the reasons before the “news.”  For example, instead of saying, “The annual company Labor Day picnic originally scheduled for Sept. 2 at Lincoln Park has been canceled,” write “Because repair work at Lincoln Park might present safety concerns to our employees and their families, the Labor Day picnic originally scheduled for Sept. 2 has been canceled.”

So what?

When your audience is likely to have an emotional response to “bad news,” discussing the reasons first helps to “build the case” and demonstrate that the decision was logical and reasonable.  When the audience understands the reasonableness of the decision, it is less likely to be disappointed in the outcome.