Respond to Rumors • Example Letters, Plus Guides and Samples
A carefully written memo in response to a rumor quiets further speculation and builds trust, but be careful not to alienate subordinates by using an accusatory, watchdog tone.
How to write this response letter:
- Acknowledge the rumor.
- Dispel the inaccurate information and present the facts.
- Close with a positive, business-as-usual remark.
Example Letter #1
Several employees have come to the personnel office to ask about the future of Doe Computers. Just to set the record straight, Doe is not closing its doors. While the last two years have seen losses, we are committed to finding a way to continue to do business in Springfield. As you may have heard, the merger with a neighboring corporation fell through in the last stages of negotiation. While the merger is no longer an option, we are exploring other promising avenues to keep Doe viable and to keep these jobs in Springfield. We appreciate the loyalty you have shown to Doe Computers, and we will keep you informed of further developments.
Example Letter #2
The word on the street is that I am going to be selling the company soon. This rumor could not be further from the truth. I have been discussing with John Doe, of the Doe Resource Group, the possibility of developing a partnership between our businesses. The primary difference is that we would be able to buy raw materials in larger, less expensive quantities. It is still some time before we would implement this partnership. There will be an official announcement by June 15. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.
Example Letter #3
This memo is in response to the rumor that there will be company cars for all the upper managers next year. Our policy on company vehicles remains exactly the same as it has always been: No company cars will be provided. Any changes in company policy will be accompanied by an official announcement, so there is no need for further speculation. Thank you.
Example Letter #4
Several people have asked me, to my surprise, when the shop will be moving. There will be no move, per se, but we are expanding into the space now occupied by Doe Hobby, directly to the south. This expansion will take place on January 5, and we will be closed on that day so the wall can be removed. Until that time I encourage you to concentrate on making the best of the season's sales potential.
Write Your Letter Step-by-Step
1 Acknowledge the rumor.
Sample Sentences for Step 1
- The rumor mill has been at it again.
- So many rumors are flying about that we are releasing the details of our new scheduling policy a little earlier than we had planned.
- I am writing this memo to present you with the truth about the company's rumored move to Springfield.
- At the meeting last week several of you expressed concern over the marketability of our new line of children's clothing.
- Just to set the record straight, there is no truth to the rumor that the impending merger will lead to the closing of the Springfield plant.
- Rumor has it that we will slash employee health benefits in conjunction with the merger.
Sample Phrases for Step 1
- all the information we have
- are releasing the details
- causing some distress
- changes are always difficult
- clear up some misunderstandings
- factual information regarding
- have expressed concerns about
- is very unsettling
- memo contains the
- must understand that
- no truth to the rumor that
- outline the details
- present you with
- rumor has it that
- rumors are flying about
- the truth about
- the rumor mill
- to set the record straight
- to dispel the rumors
- understand your concerns about
2 Dispel the inaccurate information and present the facts.
Sample Sentences for Step 2
- We understand your concerns about the impending changes, and I have asked all department managers to schedule meetings with their groups to discuss how the restructuring will affect each of you.
- Due to the increase in the number of full-time faculty members, we have fewer classes available to part-time instructors. While we value each of you and your contributions to the university, we will be able to retain only those part-time instructors who have taught in our department five years or more.
- With the explosive growth our firm has experienced this past year, we feel it is necessary to relocate to a larger facility. It is true that we are considering such a facility in Springfield, but we are considering other areas as well. We do not anticipate making a decision before June.
- Let me assure you that we have conducted numerous experiments to test the durability and resilience of these new fibers, with excellent results every time. Although it is true that the industry is moving toward natural fibers, these are very expensive. The new synthetic material is comfortable to wear and very durable, at a very affordable price. Our research indicates that it should become a top seller.
- I believe that I would be among the first to know if the company had plans to take such a step, and I assure you that I have no such knowledge.
- It is true that the pending merger will make it necessary to reevaluate all employee benefits, but there is no reason to believe that management will eliminate or even diminish health benefits.
Sample Phrases for Step 2
- all we know is
- although there may be some difficulty with
- any announcement would be premature
- can assure you that
- can give you no information concerning
- due to the changes in
- have not yet decided
- have not made a decision
- if the company had plans to
- is not true that
- is true that
- is most unlikely that
- it is necessary to
- may become necessary to
- outline the details of
- the impending changes
- understand your concerns about
- will schedule meetings
- will let you know
- will keep you informed
3 Close with a positive, business-as-usual remark.
Sample Sentences for Step 3
- Come to your meetings prepared with questions, and we will supply the answers.
- If you have any questions, I will be happy to discuss this new policy with you.
- We will keep you apprised of any new developments.
- I hope this will clear up your concerns about our product.
- You are welcome to discuss the matter with Mr. Doe when he returns.
- We will inform you of any changes as they occur.
Sample Phrases for Step 3
- a highly valued work-force
- am confident that you
- appreciate all you do
- are looking forward to
- are welcome to
- as soon as we know
- ask you to rally 'round
- changes for the better
- clear up your concerns about
- come prepared with
- hope that this will
- if you have any questions
- trust that this will answer
- uncertainty is difficult
- will be happy to
- will keep you apprised of
- will not leave you in the dark
- will keep you abreast of
- will keep you informed
- will release further information