2 What is a Memo?Memo writing is something of an art form. A letter is not a memo, nor is a memo a letter.A memo is a short, to the point communication conveying your thoughts, reactions or opinion on something.A memo can call people to action or broadcast a bit of timely news.With memo writing, shorter is better. (but you still NEED to get your point across)
3 Purpose for Using a Memo Format The purpose for using a memo is to make requests or announcements.A copy of the memo is sent to everyone directly affected by the news it bears, and the final paragraph of the memo should clearly spell out what each person is expected to accomplish in relation to the memo. (The Call to Action)It may be as simple as notifying a team that a meeting time has been changed with a final paragraph reminding them to mark their calendar.
4 Structuring Your MemoAs with all business correspondence, learning how to write a memo involves proper structure including specific formatting and length.Memos are generally concise and consist of a page or less. Avoid rambling. It destroys the memo's effectiveness.
5 Structuring Your MemoThe structure should be easy-to-read and designed in such a way that the main points can be easily spotted.To accomplish this it is beneficial to use headings and lists rather than paragraphs where possible.Headings should be short, and should clarify what to expect in the text following each heading.
6 Length of MemoIf the information you plan to send is longer than a page, it may be better to consider sending the additional information as an attachment or a separate document.In such cases, the memo serves as a cover letter.
7 Memo Structure A general guide for is as follows: Header and Closing: Total of 1/4 of the memo total lengthOpening and explanation of task or announcement: 1/4 of the memoSummary and discussion: 1/2 of the memo
8 What to Include in the Heading The heading includes important particulars including who is receiving the memo. This may include a line of primary recipients as well as a CC line for those who should be informed but who do not have to take action.TO: Who the memo is being sent to. This includes TO: followed by name(s) and title(s)FROM: Who the memo is from. Place your initials next to your name as your official "signature."DATE: The date the memo is sent.RE: The subject of or reason for the memo.For an memo, the subject line works as the memo's subject line. Keep memo titles short.
9 Memo HeadingYour Name Your Address Your Town, Your State Zip Code/Postal CodeMemoTo: Name(s) of recipients CC: Name(s) of people receiving carbon copies From: Name of sender Date: Month, day, yearRe: Need for New Memo Format
10 Body of the Memo The body of the memo will include three components: Introduction: This is usually a short paragraph of two or three sentences that lets people know the reason for the memo.Recommendations or Purpose: This section gets to the meat of the message using key points, highlights, or conclusions. This may include facts, statistics, examples and reasons for the memo.Conclusion: The conclusion will make it clear what action needs to be taken and when it needs to be completed or reiterates the timely news included in the memo.
11 Sample Call To ActionThe call to action should be specific but does not have to be complex.The following examples show a variety of calls to action:Jerry, call me as soon as you have read the attached report.We need to implement the new product marketing plan sooner than discussed at our last meeting, because ABC company now has a similar one set to launch in July. Call me right away.An unexpected opening occurred in IT this morning because XX quit. We need to move quickly and select a new candidate. Get back to me ASAP with a list of potentials.
12 Edit Before You Send Your Memo While a memo is used as a primary form of correspondence within a business, editing is still a critical step. Be sure to proofread your memo before it is sent out check that it is not only professional but says what you want to convey.
13 Why Write a MemoMost business memos are written for one of three purposes:Persuading readers to do somethingCommunicating a directiveProviding technical information
14 Persuasive Memo Example Your Name Your Address Your Town, Your State Zip Code/Postal CodeMemoTo: Name(s) of recipients CC: Name(s) of people receiving carbon copies From: Name of sender Date: Month, day, yearRe: Need for New Memo FormatI've noticed we don't seem to be able to communicate important changes, requirements and progress reports throughout the company as effectively as we should. I propose developing one consistent memo format, recognizable by all staff as the official means of communicating company directives.While I know this seems like a simple solution, I believe it will cut down on needless , improve universal communication and allow the staff to save necessary information for later referral. Please talk among yourselves to determine the proper points of memo writingand return the input to me by 12 p.m. on September 30. I will then send out a notice to the entire staff regarding the new memo format.Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
15 Directive Memo Example Your Name Your Address Your Town, Your State Zip Code/Postal CodeMemoTo: All Staff (or names of specific recipients) From: Name of sender Date: Month, day, yearRe: New Memo Format Effective June 1In order to make interoffice communication easier, please adhere to the following guidelines for writing effective memos:Clearly state the purpose of the memo in the subject line and in the first paragraph.Keep language professional, simple and polite.Use short sentences.Use bullets if a lot of information is conveyed.Proofread before sending.Address the memo to the person(s) who will take action on the subject and CC those who need to know about the action.Attach additional information; don't place it in the body of the memo if possible.Please put this format into practice immediately. We appreciate your assistance in developing clear communications. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call me.Thank you.
16 Technical Memo Example Your Name Your Address Your Town, Your State Zip Code/Postal CodeMemoTo: Name(s) of recipients From: Name of sender Date: Month, day, yearRe: Update on the T-12 Phase Three testingAs we enter Phase Four of the T-12 testing, I wanted to provide a progress overview of the Phase Three testing.The body of the memo might include two-four paragraphs outlining the purpose of the memo. If this is a longer memo, each paragraph will have a subhead to help guide the reader through the document.Finally, the writer includes a summary paragraph, which features bullets highlighting the main points of each previous paragraph, and concludes the memo with a stated action required by the reader or writer.
17 Memo Practice OptionsInforming the staff there is a casual day and what the criteria isA change in plans for a group projectA special event that is taking place on March break informing the group going of some detailsYou will be away and you require some one to look after your pet while on vacation
18 Memo Practice OptionsSome one at your work has recently quit and you need to find a replacementCustomer service need to be improved at your workplace and steps that should be takenThe communal kitchen at work needs to be cleaned and staff need to claim (label their food) or it will be thrown outYour club or team needs to be informed about changes that are occurring