- Business Memorandum Example Employee
- Business Letter Memorandum Example
- Examples Of Business Memos Format
Memo Format Example. Memos are often written on company letterhead. To start your memo drop down 1.5 inches from top of letterhead and add the 'To' field. Author note: a business memo should not exceed two pages. To: Name of Person and Title in Organization. From: Your Name Date: Month, Day, Year. The term 'internal memo' is actually redundant since a memo (or memorandum) is always an internal document. Memo Format Example. Memos are often written on company letterhead. To start your memo drop down 1.5 inches from top of letterhead and add the 'To' field. Author note: a business memo should not exceed two pages. Keeping in track of what is new in the market will keep you efficient of what you should do in your work or investments, the company memo template can make sure that all of the announcements, news and recommendations you should get in your business deals will be in your hand; it can be yours in a sample format where you can make any modifications you need.You may also see Credit Memo Template. A professional memo is made to address the following: to provide information – The introduction of a new policy or procedure at work is an example where a memo can directly answer. If a policy is complicated, a memo states the key points in the policy.
- Discuss the purpose and format of a memo.
- Understand effective strategies for business memos.
- Describe the fifteen parts of a standard business letter.
- Access sample business letters and write a sample business letter.
A memo (or memorandum, meaning “reminder”) is normally used for communicating policies, procedures, or related official business within an organization. It is often written from a one-to-all perspective (like mass communication), broadcasting a message to an audience, rather than a one-on-one, interpersonal communication. It may also be used to update a team on activities for a given project, or to inform a specific group within a company of an event, action, or observance.
A memo’s purpose is often to inform, but it occasionally includes an element of persuasion or a call to action. All organizations have informal and formal communication networks. The unofficial, informal communication network within an organization is often called the grapevine, and it is often characterized by rumor, gossip, and innuendo. On the grapevine, one person may hear that someone else is going to be laid off and start passing the news around. Rumors change and transform as they are passed from person to person, and before you know it, the word is that they are shutting down your entire department.
One effective way to address informal, unofficial speculation is to spell out clearly for all employees what is going on with a particular issue. If budget cuts are a concern, then it may be wise to send a memo explaining the changes that are imminent. If a company wants employees to take action, they may also issue a memorandum. For example, on February 13, 2009, upper management at the Panasonic Corporation issued a declaration that all employees should buy at least $1,600 worth of Panasonic products. The company president noted that if everyone supported the company with purchases, it would benefit all (Lewis, 2009).
While memos do not normally include a call to action that requires personal spending, they often represent the business or organization’s interests. They may also include statements that align business and employee interest, and underscore common ground and benefit.
A memo has a header that clearly indicates who sent it and who the intended recipients are. Pay particular attention to the title of the individual(s) in this section. Date and subject lines are also present, followed by a message that contains a declaration, a discussion, and a summary.
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In a standard writing format, we might expect to see an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. All these are present in a memo, and each part has a clear purpose. The declaration in the opening uses a declarative sentence to announce the main topic. The discussion elaborates or lists major points associated with the topic, and the conclusion serves as a summary.
Let’s examine a sample memo.
Five Tips for Effective Business Memos
Always consider the audience and their needs when preparing a memo. An acronym or abbreviation that is known to management may not be known by all the employees of the organization, and if the memo is to be posted and distributed within the organization, the goal is clear and concise communication at all levels with no ambiguity.
Professional, Formal Tone
Memos are often announcements, and the person sending the memo speaks for a part or all of the organization. While it may contain a request for feedback, the announcement itself is linear, from the organization to the employees. The memo may have legal standing as it often reflects policies or procedures, and may reference an existing or new policy in the employee manual, for example.
The subject is normally declared in the subject line and should be clear and concise. If the memo is announcing the observance of a holiday, for example, the specific holiday should be named in the subject line—for example, use “Thanksgiving weekend schedule” rather than “holiday observance.”
Some written business communication allows for a choice between direct and indirect formats, but memorandums are always direct. The purpose is clearly announced.
The words you choose represent you in your absence. Make sure they clearly communicate your message.
Business Memorandum Example Employee
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Memos are a place for just the facts, and should have an objective tone without personal bias, preference, or interest on display. Avoid subjectivity.
Letters are brief messages sent to recipients that are often outside the organization (Bovee, C., & Thill, J., 2010). They are often printed on letterhead paper, and represent the business or organization in one or two pages. Shorter messages may include e-mails or memos, either hard copy or electronic, while reports tend to be three or more pages in length.
While e-mail and text messages may be used more frequently today, the effective business letter remains a common form of written communication. It can serve to introduce you to a potential employer, announce a product or service, or even serve to communicate feelings and emotions. We’ll examine the basic outline of a letter and then focus on specific products or writing assignments.
All writing assignments have expectations in terms of language and format. The audience or reader may have their own idea of what constitutes a specific type of letter, and your organization may have its own format and requirements. This chapter outlines common elements across letters, and attention should be directed to the expectations associated with your particular writing assignment. There are many types of letters, and many adaptations in terms of form and content, but in this chapter, we discuss the fifteen elements of a traditional block-style letter.
Letters may serve to introduce your skills and qualifications to prospective employers, deliver important or specific information, or serve as documentation of an event or decision. Regardless of the type of letter you need to write, it can contain up to fifteen elements in five areas. While you may not use all the elements in every case or context, they are listed in Table 9.1 “Elements of a Business Letter”.
Table 9.1 Elements of a Business Letter
|1. Return Address||This is your address where someone could send a reply. If your letter includes a letterhead with this information, either in the header (across the top of the page) or the footer (along the bottom of the page), you do not need to include it before the date.|
|2. Date||The date should be placed at the top, right or left justified, five lines from the top of the page or letterhead logo.|
|3. Reference (Re:)||Like a subject line in an e-mail, this is where you indicate what the letter is in reference to, the subject or purpose of the document.|
|4. Delivery (Optional)||Sometimes you want to indicate on the letter itself how it was delivered. This can make it clear to a third party that the letter was delivered via a specific method, such as certified mail (a legal requirement for some types of documents).|
|5. Recipient Note (Optional)||This is where you can indicate if the letter is personal or confidential.|
|6. Salutation||A common salutation may be “Dear Mr. (full name).” But if you are unsure about titles (i.e., Mrs., Ms., Dr.), you may simply write the recipient’s name (e.g., “Dear Cameron Rai”) followed by a colon. A comma after the salutation is correct for personal letters, but a colon should be used in business. The salutation “To whom it may concern” is appropriate for letters of recommendation or other letters that are intended to be read by any and all individuals. If this is not the case with your letter, but you are unsure of how to address your recipient, make every effort to find out to whom the letter should be specifically addressed. For many, there is no sweeter sound than that of their name, and to spell it incorrectly runs the risk of alienating the reader before your letter has even been read. Avoid the use of impersonal salutations like “Dear Prospective Customer,” as the lack of personalization can alienate a future client.|
|7. Introduction||This is your opening paragraph, and may include an attention statement, a reference to the purpose of the document, or an introduction of the person or topic depending on the type of letter. An emphatic opening involves using the most significant or important element of the letter in the introduction. Readers tend to pay attention to openings, and it makes sense to outline the expectations for the reader up front. Just as you would preview your topic in a speech, the clear opening in your introductions establishes context and facilitates comprehension.|
|8. Body||If you have a list of points, a series of facts, or a number of questions, they belong in the body of your letter. You may choose organizational devices to draw attention, such as a bullet list, or simply number them. Readers may skip over information in the body of your letter, so make sure you emphasize the key points clearly. This is your core content, where you can outline and support several key points. Brevity is important, but so is clear support for main point(s). Specific, meaningful information needs to be clear, concise, and accurate.|
|9. Conclusion||An emphatic closing mirrors your introduction with the added element of tying the main points together, clearly demonstrating their relationship. The conclusion can serve to remind the reader, but should not introduce new information. A clear summary sentence will strengthen your writing and enhance your effectiveness. If your letter requests or implies action, the conclusion needs to make clear what you expect to happen. It is usually courteous to conclude by thanking the recipient for his or her attention, and to invite them to contact you if you can be of help or if they have questions. This paragraph reiterates the main points and their relationship to each other, reinforcing the main point or purpose.|
|10. Close||“Sincerely” or “Cordially” are standard business closing statements. (“Love,” “Yours Truly,” and “BFF” are closing statements suitable for personal correspondence, but not for business.) Closing statements are normally placed one or two lines under the conclusion and include a hanging comma, as in Sincerely,|
|11. Signature||Five lines after the close, you should type your name (required) and, on the line below it, your title (optional).|
|12. Preparation Line||If the letter was prepared, or word-processed, by someone other than the signatory (you), then inclusion of initials is common, as in MJD or abc.|
|13. Enclosures/Attachments||Just like an e-mail with an attachment, the letter sometimes has additional documents that are delivered with it. This line indicates what the reader can look for in terms of documents included with the letter, such as brochures, reports, or related business documents.|
|14. Courtesy Copies or “CC”||The abbreviation “CC” once stood for carbon copies but now refers to courtesy copies. Just like a “CC” option in an e-mail, it indicates the relevant parties that will also receive a copy of the document.|
|15. Logo/Contact Information||A formal business letter normally includes a logo or contact information for the organization in the header (top of page) or footer (bottom of page).|
Strategies for Effective Letters
Remember that a letter has five main areas:
- The heading, which establishes the sender, often including address and date
- The introduction, which establishes the purpose
- The body, which articulates the message
- The conclusion, which restates the main point and may include a call to action
- The signature line, which sometimes includes the contact information
A sample letter is shown in Figure 9.5 “Sample Business Letter”.
Always remember that letters represent you and your company in your absence. In order to communicate effectively and project a positive image,
- be clear, concise, specific, and respectful;
- each word should contribute to your purpose;
- each paragraph should focus on one idea;
- the parts of the letter should form a complete message;
- the letter should be free of errors.
- Memos are brief business documents usually used internally to inform or persuade employees concerning business decisions on policy, procedure, or actions.
- Letters are brief, print messages often used externally to inform or persuade customers, vendors, or the public.
- A letter has fifteen parts, each fulfilling a specific function.
- Find a memo from your work or business, or borrow one from someone you know. Share it with your classmates, observing confidentiality by blocking out identifying details such as the name of the sender, recipient, and company. Compare and contrast.
- Create a draft letter introducing a product or service to a new client. Post and share with classmates.
- Write a memo informing your class that an upcoming holiday will be observed. Post and share with classmates.
- Find a business letter (for example, an offer you received from a credit card company or a solicitation for a donation) and share it with your classmates. Look for common elements and points of difference.
- Now that you have reviewed a sample letter, and learned about the five areas and fifteen basic parts of any business letter, write a business letter that informs a prospective client or customer of a new product or service.
Bovee, C., & Thill, J. (2010). Business communication essentials: a skills-based approach to vital business English (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Lewis, L. (2009, February 13). Panasonic orders staff to buy £1,000 in products. Retrieved from http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/markets/japan/article5723942.ece.
Writing Business Memos
WHAT IS A BUSINESS MEMO?
A business memo is a short document used to transmit information within an organization. Memos are characterized by being brief, direct, and easy to navigate. They are less formal than letters but should maintain a professional, succinct style. Often, the purpose of a business memo is twofold: to identify a problem and propose a solution. Other times, memos may provide or request factual information.
Business memos are designed to accommodate busy readers who want to find the information they need from the memo quickly and easily. In writing a business memo, you should structure your memo to accommodate three kinds of readers:
- Those who read only the executive summary
- Those who skim the entire memo for its key points and a few details they're interested in
- Those who read the entire document for the details that support its major claims or recommendations
Bear in mind that these readers may have different purposes in reading the memo. Often, readers need to make policy and action decisions based on the recommendations. Others may want to obtain specific information (evidence) needed to understand and justify policy and action decisions. Readers may also want to get a sense of your professional ability and judgment.
In determining the purpose and audience of your memo, ask yourself: Who is the intended recipient of this memo? What do I want the recipient to do after reading the memo? What information will the recipient be looking for in the memo? These kinds of questions will help guide your content, structure, and style choices.
HOW DO I WRITE AN EFFECTIVE BUSINESS MEMO?
As stated above, an effective business memo is brief, direct, and easy to navigate. The following five writing strategies help readers to navigate business memos easily and quickly:
- Present the main point first. This may be the single most important guideline about the structure and content of memos. Readers should quickly grasp the content and significance of the memo. If readers have a question or problem, they want to know the answer or solution immediately—if readers want more information, they can continue reading. In other words, supporting details should follow the main point or conclusion, not precede it.
- Maintain a professional, succinct style. The style of your writing should be appropriate to your audience: In this case, your audience is your boss, your coworkers, or both. So, your style should be professional, straightforward, cordial, and easy to read. To achieve such a style, use short, active sentences. Avoid jargon and pretentious language. Maintain a positive or neutral tone; avoid negative language if possible. In addition to making memos easier to read, a professional writing style also improves the writer’s credibility.
- Create a very specific subject line to give the reader an immediate idea of the memo's (or message's) subject and purpose. The subject line should orient the reader to the subject and purpose of the memo and provide a handy reference for filing and quick review. Suppose, for instance, that you were writing to request authorization and funding for a business trip. You'd avoid a general subject line like 'Publisher's Convention' or 'Trip to AWP Conference' in favor of something more specific like 'Request for funds: AWP conference.' The last example would tell the reader the subject and what she was being asked to do about it.
- Provide a summary or overview of the main points, especially if the memo is more than one page. Often referred to as an executive summary, the first paragraph of a long memo or message serves these functions:
- Presents the main request, recommendation or conclusion
- Summarizes then previews the main facts, arguments and evidence
- Forecasts the structure and order of information presented in the remainder of the memo
- Like the subject line, the executive summary provides a quick overview of the purpose and content of the memo. The reader uses it to guide both a quick first reading and subsequent rapid reviews.
- Use format features, such as headings, to signal structure and guide readers to the information they're seeking. Headings provide an outline of the memo, enabling the reader to quickly see what the major topics or points are and where to find them in the memo. Make headings parallel with each other and as specific as possible. Other format features that signal structure and guide readers include short paragraphs and blocks of text, lists set off by indentations, numbers or bullets, or generous use of white space to guide the eye.
STANDARD MEMO HEADING
Though the format for a memo may vary from one organization to another, the standard heading consists of a series of clearly labeled lines that convey key information about the memo’s contents and its distribution. The following are standard elements of a memo header:
Date: The date on which the memo is distributed
Business Letter Memorandum Example
To: The person(s) to whom it is primarily addressed
(sometimes with job title)
cc: Name(s) of anyone else who receives a copy
(sometimes with job title)
From: Name of the writer, usually followed by his/her
handwritten initials (sometimes with job title)
Examples Of Business Memos Format
Subject: or Re: Concise statement of the memo’s topic