Original Post of Permission Memo Draft by Kyle Pesek:
The rhetorical usages of verbiage such as stakeholders and investment strategies were aimed at appealing to the financial world that executives and contract administrators seem to share across our company. By stylistically choosing to remain impersonal yet professional throughout the Permission Memo, I intend to align this request with the standard format that the company board typically expects from presentations. To this effect, what may seem as confusing wording to the average layperson would be seen as inappropriately simplified and not incorporating sufficient high-level considerations. This assignment made me consider what sort of delivery style and specific wording would be the most effective for individuals with such influence across our operations if I were in their position to make such judgement calls. However, the knowledge that these decision-makers ultimately value hard data informing reasonable projections will necessitate that the quality of the research matches and fully supports the rationale for the Report as presented in this Permission Memo.
This request is intended for the Alliant Energy utility Board of Directors in seeking approval for a study into the long-term climate savings according to scenarios based on different degrees of renewable energy and storage technologies incorporation across the Midwest electrical grid. As part of our general corporate trend to limit greenhouse gas emissions and raise efficiencies wherever possible, this request would provide greater insight into whether our corporate investment and generation portfolio in the decades ahead should be aggressively or passively pursuing this strategy. The ongoing decommissioning of our coal and natural gas power plants will continue as the reserves for these fuels continue to deplete over the next century and costs would otherwise rapidly inflate for our ratepayers if proactive investments are not made into infinitely replenishable and environmentally responsible alternatives in the present day. In order to foster greater alignment between both internal and external stakeholders, this study will provide analytical data and figures to support the decision of exactly how dedicated our operations need to be to implementing corporate policies and utility generation practices that are truly sustainable over the coming generations. Our current commitment to wind and solar generation is a commendable start, but this research better allows Alliant to position itself against the uncertainties of a market continuously impacted by climate change through the ultimate findings and recommendations of this proposed Report.
Who is the writer’s audience?
The audience is the Alliant Energy utility Board of Directors
What is the issue/question the writer is presenting?
The issue is “long-term climate savings according to scenarios based on different degrees of renewable energy and storage technologies incorporation across the Midwest electrical grid”. The question is: should “corporate investment and generation portfolio in the decades ahead be aggressively or passively incorporating renewable energy and storage technologies”?
How will the writer propose a solution that will convince an audience the issue/question is valid and important?
The writer explained that the issue is important because of the corporation’s goals to limit greenhouse gas emissions and increase efficiency. Reminding the audience of the infinitely replenishable renewables versus the depleting fossil fuel reserves was convincing. Ultimately, though, focusing on inflated costs for ratepayers and greater alignment between internal and external stakeholders was the most convincing argument with the audience in mind.
Strengths: In accordance with the rubric, great job providing clear explanation of stylistic and formatting choices with respect to audience and purpose. It is smart to use the lingo, such as stakeholders and investments strategies, that the audience is already accustomed to. You did a great job of meeting the Board of Directors where they are at by incorporating sufficient, high-level considerations. I agree that focusing on how data informs projections is a smart route to take with the audience in mind. The structure and flow of the assignment effectively conveyed the argument. In the first sentence, you introduced the audience and the issue. Then, in the second sentence you presented the question. The rest of the memo is dedicated to convincing the audience that the issue/question are important. Your decision to focus on ratepayer and stakeholder response is brilliant.
Room for Improvement: In order to have proper use of Turabian Author-Date citations, I would include some in-text reference to the sources. Since the report’s aim is to bring certainty through providing data-grounded projections, I recommend not mentioning the “uncertainties of a market continuously impacted by climate change” as a way to convince the audience to approve the project. I recommend omitting that phrase from the memo. Additionally, you can more effectively convey your ideas and arguments by focusing on the transition between sentences as well as enhancing the grammar and diction. In order to enhance the flow of the argument and make it more clear, I also recommend making some sentences more concise.
Here are my edits:
This request is intended for the Alliant Energy utility Board of Directors. As part of our general corporate goals to both limit greenhouse gas emissions and increase efficiency, I seek approval to study the projected long-term climate savings from incorporating different degrees renewable energy and storage technologies across the Midwest electrical grid. My report will ultimately recommend whether we should be aggressively or passively incorporating renewable energy and storage technologies into our portfolio. If we do not make proactive investments into infinitely replenishable and environmentally responsible alternatives as fossil fuel reserves deplete, our ratepayers will inevitably experience inflated costs and we will lose stakeholder support. In order to foster greater alignment between both internal and external stakeholders, my report will provide data-informed recommendations of exactly how dedicated we need to be to implementing corporate policies and utility generation practices that are truly sustainable in the long-term.