A memo (sometimes known as a memorandum or "reminder") is used for internal communications within an organization about processes or official business.
A memo, unlike an email, is a statement sent to a big group of people, such as your entire department or the entire company. You may need to prepare a note to alert employees to impending events or to announce internal changes.
What is a memo's function?
A memo's objective is to draw rapid attention to a task, project, event, or problem that may have an impact on company or personal life.
The Elements of a Successful Memo:
A good memo:
- Catches the reader's attention.
- gives information, offers a suggestion, or requests action
- demonstrates your point of view or explains the advantages to the reader
- Next steps and deadlines are mentioned.
Always follow the four-step writing process while writing a memo: prepare what you want to say, compose a draught, rewrite the draught, and edit.
You may be required to write one of four sorts of memos, each with its unique set of requirements.
Information, problem-solving, persuasion, and internal organization.
Memorandum of Understanding:
- Used to provide or request information or help.
- The primary notion is presented in the first paragraph.
- The specifics are expanded in the second paragraph.
- The third paragraph specifies the required step.
- The opening paragraph of a memo offers a specific action to remedy a situation.
- The second paragraph examines the issue.
- The third paragraph presents a suggestion.
- Include not simply the good aspects when providing a referral.
- but also the disadvantages and how to overcome them
Memorandum on Persuasion:
- used to persuade the reader to do something they don't want to do
- must be taken
- The first paragraph starts off on a positive note.
- The idea is introduced in the second paragraph.
- The reader will gain from the third paragraph.
- The fourth paragraph specifies the required activity.
- A call to action concludes the fifth paragraph.
Proposal for Internal Memo:
- utilized to make recommendations to top executives
- The first paragraph explains why you're writing.
- The second paragraph describes the current situation and the writer's position.
- The third paragraph discusses the benefit (s)
- The fourth paragraph discusses and mitigates disadvantages (s)
- The fifth paragraph concludes with a request for action.
A memo has a different format than a letter and is more informal in look and tone. To make the information more readable, headings, lists, tables, and graphs are frequently employed.
There are two sections to every memo: the heading and the body.
The title is specifies who is writing to whom, when they are writing, and why. Include the following in the heading:
The sections that follow:
- Make a list of everyone who will be receiving the memo.
- includes the person's first and last name, as well as their titles or departments
- Official memo recipients, memos to superiors, or if everyone
- Nobody on the list knows anyone else.
- Use only if all recipients are familiar with each other's names and positions.
- each recipient's first initial and surname name
- They can be arranged alphabetically or by rank.
- If you can't fit all of the names in the To: section, utilize the
- "Refer to the distribution list"
- Add the term "Distribution" at the end of the memo and then list
- the individuals who will receive a copy of the memo
- Sort the names alphabetically, by rank, or by department.
- There is no complementary closing or signature line, but authors are listed in the same order as recipients.
- Their initials on the form: line.
- Use no abbreviations when listing the month, date, and year the memo was written.
- For months and days, avoid using numbers.
- identifies the letter's main subject
- should be as explicit and brief as feasible
Carbon copy or copy:
- Identifies those readers who should receive a copy of the memo for information or reference but are not expected to take the same action as the to: line recipients.
- "cc" can also be added at the bottom of the memo, after the distribution.
- list (if used)
The message is conveyed in the memo's body, which is divided into four sections:
- identifies the fundamental issue or concept
Facts and figures
- explains the facts or examines the subject or situation
- discusses the significance of or relevance of facts
- Memos do not have a complementing closing or signature line because they summaries the core concept and advise or request action.
- Memos usually conclude with a call to action.
How to write a Memo - Format & Template
Sample Memo Format / Template
Reason for the communication
Second Sentence - Main Body:
Any Instructions or information
What is required of the reader e.g. Confirmation, answers or feedback
How to compose a note Check out the video:
We've put together a quick video on how to write a memo that includes a simple step-by-step instruction to writing letters in a professional fashion, with proper etiquette and terminology.
How to write a memo video link:
How to Compose a Memo:
Have you been given a task? Do you need to draught a Memorandum? Don't know where to begin? Our Examples and Samples Can Assist You! Writing letters might be tough or hard at times. Our video sample shows you how to compose a Memo and is intended to provide you some ideas for how to approach this activity. Save time by watching the video demonstration of the proper format and layout to follow while writing a Memorandum. You've now mastered the art of writing a business memo!
How to create an excellent business memo:
The next step after learning how to write a business memo is to learn how to write one effectively. The ideal business memo is simple to read and understand; it should be clear and succinct, confident and straightforward, but not robotic. Most business memos are only one page long, but they contain all of the required information in easy-to-understand language.
Here's how to put together a good business memo:
Make your subject line brief but precise.
Avoid email lines like "Upcoming Meeting" and instead use something more specific like "Notice of Date Change for Upcoming Marketing Department Meeting." Even busy readers perusing the document will comprehend what issue is being addressed in this manner.
Begin by stating your memo's key point.
What this message is about should be obvious from the opening sentence. If your message is lengthy, the first paragraph should serve as a synopsis of the stuff to come.
Maintain a constant awareness of your target market.
Customize your message's content to the priorities of your target audience. Consider what is most important to them and emphasize that feature early in your message to capture their attention. When writing messages for several teams, avoid jargon that only a few people understand.
Only include information that is relevant.
To demonstrate specific issues, some supporting information may be useful, if not required. It is always advisable to leave out a sentence or paragraph if you can do so without affecting the significance of your message.
Select the appropriate tone.
All memos should be confident and direct, but keep in mind the substance and audience when writing them. For example, sensitive HR issues require a more sympathetic tone than simple scheduling changes. Use Grammar’s tone detector when in doubt. It assesses the tone of your memo and determines whether it is acceptable for your message, ensuring that it is delivered efficiently and sounds just as intended.
Select the appropriate communication channel.
Sharing a memo by email versus putting it in a chat channel or on a private messaging platform has tiny but significant changes, so choose your channel carefully before delivering your message. An urgent message, for example, would be better served by Slack rather than an email that might not be read straight away.
Avoid making potentially perplexing or deceptive errors.
It's always crucial to proofread what you've written, no matter how simple the message, to avoid typos and other mistakes that could lead to a misunderstanding. Grammar can identify your tone and give word choice suggestions for clearer writing in addition to catching typos and grammar errors.
Conveying the correct information to the relevant individuals
The correct information should be conveyed as fast and efficiently as possible, a good memo boosts productivity. Good memo writing can also boost employee engagement since employees who are kept "in the loop" feel more connected to the organization.
Quickly improve your team’s business writing skills
Learning how to write a successful business memo takes some practice on an individual level, but it will help you and your team communicate and work more confidently and efficiently in the long run. However, you may not have the time to gradually enhance your business writing skills—so how can you and your team get started?
The team at Zippier faced similar challenges and implemented Grammar Business to increase consistency and improve communications across internal teams. Here’s how your organization can replicate their success:
Consolidate current communication standards into a single
Brand style guide for internal use. This will make it easier for everyone to understand how to use company-specific phrases. Meanwhile, explicitly stating situation-specific principles will aid in improving the quality of writing in a variety of domains, including memoranda.
Encourage team members to improve. Share your style guide with everyone on your staff, but also with people outside of your company. Even when interacting with different departments in your company, this will reduce the chances of misinterpretation.
Make the editing process more efficient. While you and your team should always make time to reread your own work, the corporate world advances at a breakneck pace. Using a virtual corporate writing tool like Grammar will help you and your team to quickly verify documents against a configurable style guide while also proofreading for spelling, punctuation, diction, and tone errors.
Remember that a well-written memo leads to successfully executed solutions; a poorly written memo might lead to miscommunications, major setbacks, or even failure. Investing in successful communication is an investment in the future of your company.
When should you send a memo?
The majority of the time, the objective of a memo is to inform. Memos, on the other hand, can sometimes include a call to action or a persuasive aspect.
A memo may be beneficial in the following situations:
- Notifying staff of any changes to corporate policies or procedures
- Giving an update on important initiatives or objectives
- Making a company announcement, such as a new hire or a promotion
- Reminding staff to finish a task
- Requesting that all staff participate
- Messages that employees will refer to multiple times, such as a thorough proposal or recommendation
Memos are also a good technique to deliver essential information to a large group of people within a company. Product updates, meeting schedules, procedure changes, policy additions, explanations of agreement conditions, and reminders are all examples of this. You can also send a memo if you wish your recipients to print or store the information contained in the message for future reference.
Memos will differ somewhat depending on the industry or situation. Some will need to be longer or shorter, while others will lack a chronology and have a lot of background material. Your memo's format should adapt to the message you wish to convey to your staff.
Launch Delay Memo
The purpose of below memo is to inform you that a product launch has been postponed. Because the new date is included in the introduction, no timeline or extended overview is required. This memo's format could be used in various place. What circumstances where a small but significant shift is taking We Like: The launch memo gives readers insight into the reasons for product launch delays, which can help consumers or staff feel less frustrated if they aren't informed. This approach could also be used for other date adjustments, promotions, milestones, or product launches.
There are some aspects of a firm that worry your employees but are not necessarily related to their employment. Memo below shows an example of an office kitchen refurbishment. It's a minor annoyance, but not one of major proportions. What we like: This memo illustrates a company's awareness of the impact renovations may have on employees, as well as respect and regard for their needs. This memo style could be used for other building notifications, such as work-from-home days or other widespread but minor announcements.
Memos can also be used to communicate events, theme days, or other entertaining activities for your staff. Because they don't require significant background information or specific details, community memos like this one are usually shorter.
What we like: Memo below provides clear directions for finding the event, which would have been less helpful if it had merely supplied the floor number. At the very least, such memos should provide a summary, date, and location.
Persuasion memos are intended to persuade readers to take action in response to a specific event or proposition, such as voting or signing a petition.
What we like: This persuasion memo places a premium on providing the reader with facts so that they can learn on their own and make an informed decision based on their discoveries.
The persuasion memo's primary components should include an overview of the work at hand, context for learning more about it, and a call to action which stresses the possible effect the reader can have.
Keep your memos short and sweet.
The major difference between a memo and an email is the size of the audience, not the level of sophistication. A memo can be short or complex, as long as it properly conveys your message and is relevant to the employees who will receive it. No matter which memo style you select, the message itself should be clear and succinct.
A business memo is a great approach to address a specific audience in a formal setting when you need to update your colleagues on essential information or make an announcement at work.
Watch the video below to see how to write a business memo:
The basics of a business memo
While business notes and emails may appear to be identical at first glance, they differ significantly. Memos are more professional than emails and are frequently used when you need to convey a more official message. They can also be printed and disseminated wherever the message is most effective. Memos can be sent to a single person or a group, so customize your message to your target audience's problems. Even if you have to address a harsh topic, be professional and polite, as you would in any business paper. In an official memo, you should avoid singling out anyone in particular, so stick to the facts and future goals.
Revision is essential for any excellent paper, as outlined in the Business Writing Essentials lecture. Cut extraneous information from your work, clarify your major ideas, and proofread for language and factual problems. Consider receiving feedback from a coworker before sending your memo to your target audience to ensure your message is successful and professional.
Now let’s look at a stronger example.
This is a huge improvement! The primary point is the first sentence in each paragraph, and the body is simple and unambiguous. There's also a strong subject line, and despite bringing bad news, the messaging remains professional.
Business memos are a great way to convey information among your colleagues, whether you're describing a new policy change or alerting personnel on a new practice. Memos will become more efficient and refined as you practice and study.
We usually write a memo for one of the five reasons listed below.
- as a reminder
- accentuate a situation or incident
- to narrate a story
- anything should be documented
- to communicate data or instructions
For well than a century, memos have been a popular way to commute. This is due to the following benefits:
- They are an inexpensive means of mass communication. Their transmission is also quite affordable.
- Another benefit is its ease of use. They're straightforward to write and comprehend.
- Memos are usually short and to-the-point. They also have a large audience. As a result, they save a lot of time.
- They can also be used as proof in the event of a disagreement.
Q: Send a message to the accounting department requesting that they attend training to learn about the company's new software.
To: All Employees of the Accounting Department
From: Mr. XYZ, Head of Accounts
CC: Ms. ABC, HR Department
Date: 25 October 2018
Subject: Compulsory Training w.r.t to the New Software
As you are all aware, the company has recently implemented new accounting software. It was decided to modify our accounting procedure in order to make it more time and cost effective. On November 5, 2018, at 9 a.m., a training seminar will be held to familiarize the personnel with the new software. This is done to make switching between programmers as simple as possible. Attendance is compulsory of all department personnel.
Documents — research findings, financing requests, and legal issues – appear on the desks of corporate leaders on a daily basis. Someone who isn't in the loop or who is distracted by the current situation may have no notion what to do with the material. A transmittal memo's goal is to inform them.
A transmittal memo is written in the conventional business letter format. You send the memo together with a report or proposal, detailing what's in it and what needs to be done.
What is a Transmittal Memo?
According to Indeed, the objective of a transmittal memorandum is to introduce and clarify the material you're sending. It explains what the paper is, why you sent it, and possibly what they need to do in order to answer. The transmittal memorandum might warn someone about sensitive material or provide technical details. If you're reporting on debugging new software to someone who doesn't have an IT experience, for example, the transmittal memo's aim is to explain the report in plain English.
If you work for the same company as the addressee, you probably don't need to write a memo, according to Purdue University. A memo of transmittal for a research paper may not be required by your project manager. If you're seeking financing from outside your organization, you'll almost certainly need to give some explanation with your proposal.
According to Washington State University, a letter of transmittal for a proposal or report can include the following elements:
- The document's subject
- The backstory – when, by whom, and for what purpose was the paper authorized?
- Any other noteworthy events in the past, such as a deviation from the initial plan
- Recommendations and conclusions
- Any key players who contributed significantly
- Particularly interesting features
- The document's scope and restrictions
- advising the recipient on how to handle the document
- Make a list of any decisions that must be taken.
- Information about yourself
- Any queries you have, or any more information you require.
Transmittal Memorandum Drafting
A transmittal memo is not the same as an executive summary, which is a simplified version of whatever is in the proposal or paper. The memo isn't written to summaries what the receiver will read. A transmittal memo's goal is to identify and clarify what someone is about to read, not to provide specifics.
A transmittal memorandum should be kept short, according to MIT. The first paragraph explains why and what you're sending. If you need to add more information, do so in the following paragraphs. A single page is generally plenty; never make the memo longer than the text.
Write the memo in business style, including the recipient's address, your address, greetings, the letter's body, and a thank you to the reader for reading it. A memo of transmittal for a research article with a request for research funds, on the other hand, might sound more formal and serious.
Proofread the letter after you've finished writing it. You don't want any mistakes in spelling or typing to get through. You should also double-check that your writing is clear and concise, and that your name and contact information are included. Make any necessary changes, then print and send it along with the document.
You may be required to submit project updates or make suggestions to coworkers or other departments inside the organization as an employee. Writing an interoffice memorandum and sending it through email or fax is one option. This paper conveys information, highlights issues, or provides solutions to inquiries. Although it is less official than a business letter, it must nevertheless adhere to specific requirements and be formatted correctly.
Interoffice memos should be short and sweet. Speak directly to your readers, keep sentences brief, and match your tone to the intended demographic.
Writing an Interoffice Memorandum that Works
Internally and externally, employees share knowledge. Internal messages are frequently provided through memo or email. An interoffice memo, often known as a memo, is a document that can be used to swiftly transmit policy changes, reminders, and other private information to several departments within a company. Its purpose is to alert readers, draw their attention to problems, or remind them of key events, deadlines, or duties.
According to the University of Maryland Global Campus, memos are used by managers and staff to transmit essential information quickly. Employees may get a note from a company's human resources department, for example, reminding them of recent procedure changes. This document is comparable to an email, however it is formatted differently. It's usually shorter, more concise, and less formal than a letter.
According to Ashford University, the first step in drafting an interoffice memorandum is to choose your audience. Consider what you want to say and create a short introduction that summarizes the subject. Make sure your language and tone are appropriate for the target audience. A technical term used in the IT department may be unfamiliar to the sales or marketing departments.
As a general guideline, utilize clear, simple sentences and address the reader directly. Avoid including unneeded details. To describe the steps involved in a process or to highlight the essential elements, use bullet points. Before submitting your memo, make sure you use legible fonts and double-check your language and spelling.
How to Format a Memo
The use of the right interoffice memo format is critical for the document's success. Otherwise, you risk creating ambiguity and failing to communicate your message. Begin by writing the heading, which should include the names of the individuals to whom the memo is written, your complete name, the memo's subject, and the date. List the names of persons who will receive a copy if you're sending it via email. In the cc area, include this information
According to Texas A&M University, you should address those of greater rank by their titles. You can omit professional titles and use first names if you're sending the memo to your coworkers. When writing notes to staff who may not know who you are, provide your job title and department.
Consider including an introduction paragraph that summarizes the important ideas and provides some context for the topic. A memo from HR, for example, may be sent to employees informing them of a new office policy. In this situation, the first paragraph would explain why this decision was made and what steps will be performed as a result. The next paragraphs should provide succinct but comprehensive information on the topic at hand.
In business memos that are longer than one page, George Mason University recommends adding a summary of the important topics. Lists with numbers or bullets, headings, and other formatting elements improve readability and make it easier to communicate your message.
Finish with a short conclusion, no more than one or two phrases. Include a call to action that directs the reader to the next step. If required, include references at the bottom of the page. Some companies use pre-printed reminder forms, so inquire with your boss about it. Another alternative is to hunt for an interoffice memo example online or to download and customize a Microsoft Office template.
How to Write a Short Memo in an Office Environment
According to the University of Minnesota website, memo styles differ by company, but them all share comparable components. Long memos are permissible in some situations, such as when sending internal reports. When conveying internal requests or announcements, short memos are ideal. If you work in an office and need to write a quick memo, keep it to one page and make it easy to read.
A heading segment should include the names of the recipients and sender, the date, and the memo's subject. Even if you operate in a casual environment where everyone uses their first names, include the recipients' complete names in the memo. Include titles of higher-ranking individuals, such as human resources director or finance manager. If you're not confident the note will reach her if you just mention her name, you can add an identifying tag to it, such as "Customer Service Department." Subject lines like "Supplies" or "Phone Calls" should be avoided. Instead, keep the subject short and precise to the memo's purpose such as “New Requisition Procedures for Office Supplies.”
Use your first paragraph to introduce the topic of the message. You are just preparing the reader for what is to come in this section. "According to the findings of our most recent staff survey, a modification in our supply requisition process is required." Employees must currently request office supplies through their managers or supervisors. Employees may no longer be required to follow this practise as of the date of this letter."
Body Of Memo:
Get into the meat of your memo in the body paragraph. This section should be four to seven brief sentences long, or you can build a short bullet list to highlight specific themes, as this is a short memo. So that the document flows logically, your sentence transitions should be fluid. "Employees can now make the following requests for office supplies," you might say. Use bullets to describe the items they are permitted to seek, and then remind them that all other requests must be routed through their managers or supervisors.
Reiterate the important themes and include a call to action at the end of the message. You could include information that was not previously mentioned. "We ask that you only make requisitions as needed," for example. Then explain how employees can submit their own requests, such as by filling out the attached requisition form and emailing it to the purchasing department. If the memo is separated from the attachments, identify them at the bottom of the memo. As with a letter, do not end with a closing salutation such as "Sincerely."
Email is frequently used to send memos. If you need the readers to sign or initial the paper, a hard copy format is preferable. Instead of automatically sending the message to everyone in the company, consider who needs to receive it. To prevent sounding overly official or informal, keep the memo's tone neutral. You can write the names of other persons who will receive the message at the bottom of the page or in the heading. You can duplicate your boss and those employees' managers, for example, if the principal addressees are a few specific employees.
Memo Organization :( in context of direct & indirect strategy)
Professional communication forms are structured using both direct and indirect strategies.
- The direct organization strategy's goal is stated in the first paragraph (typically the first phrase), and supporting material is provided in the body.
- The indirect organization style begins with intriguing, attention-getting elements that do not immediately reveal the document's goal.
The goal of the communication is typically revealed in the body, sandwiched between supporting material. The direct technique is utilized for routine communication or good news, whereas the indirect method is used for persuasion, sales, or bad news communications. A clearly stated purpose is appropriate in positive news or routine messages, but it may appear abrupt or cruel in negative news or persuasive messages. It's critical to gradually build up to the goal when the audience isn't responding well to the message.
The last paragraph in both types of organizations offers action directions (such as deadlines or contact information) or a gracious closing message.
Format of Distribution
Memos may be issued manually using print media in companies where not all employees have access to email. Memos can be emailed as attachments to organizations with email access.
In companies where email reaches every employee (or every employee in the memo's audience), writers must select whether to send a memo or an email message to every employee (or every e\employee in the document's audience). In these cases, authors should consider three factors: the type of the message, the depth/number of information it provides, and the likelihood of it being printed for quick reference. These messages should be created in memo format and attached to an email message for speedy (and environmentally \friendly) distribution.
Two examples of formal report introductions:
A Straightforward Approach (assumes audience will favor or be neutral to your recommendations)
We have supplied regular repair service for all of our electric equipment since the company's establishment 25 years ago. This level of service has been both a selling point and a source of pride for our personnel. Our image, on the other hand, comes at a tremendous cost. Our repair firm lost $500,000 last year.
You asked me to research the advantages and disadvantages of ceasing our repair service because you were concerned about these losses. I've been studying the subject for the previous two weeks with the support of John Hudson and Susan Lefkowitz. I have concluded that we have been following an expensive, ineffective tradition.
We can significantly enhance our financial performance without jeopardizing our client reputation by exiting the electric appliance repair sector. This conclusion is based on three primary points that will be discussed in the pages to follow:
- We will almost certainly never be able to earn a profit in the repair industry.
- Customers no longer value service as a major selling element.
- Closing the service operation will cause only minor internal issues.
Indirect Strategy (assumes audience will be hostile to or resistant to your recommendations, or that you are much lower in the organizational power structure than the primary reader)
We have supplied regular repair service for all of our electric equipment since the company's establishment 25 years ago. This level of service has been both a selling point and a source of pride for our personnel. The repair company, on the other hand, has continually lost money.
You asked me to research the advantages and disadvantages of ceasing our repair service because you were concerned about these losses. I spent the previous two weeks researching the topic with the support of John Hudson and Susan Lefkowitz. The pages that follow give my findings for your consideration. Three fundamental questions are addressed:
- What are the scope of our losses, and what can we do to turn the company around?
- Would the discontinuation of this service have an impact on our electric appliance sales?
- What would the internal ramifications of closing the repair shop be?
In short, in the current business environment, Memos have become essential and important medium of communication within the businesses as well as use as an external source.