Companies find memos very good for disseminating information internally. For most organizations, writing a memo remains as relevant today as it was a decade ago. But do you know when and why to write a memo? Read along to understand more.
What is memo writing?
Memo writing is the use of an official document for internal communications within a business or organization. Business memo writing can be in physical form or electronic. You may send a memo as a paper, fax, or letter. Similarly, memos can be sent via email as a PDF attachment. Just like a business letter, a memo is a permanent communication account.
What is the purpose of a memo?
The main purpose of memos is to inform or bring attention to something. Such notifications can range from introducing new personnel, changing policy, to announcing an upcoming team-building activity, and more. Whatever the purpose, your memo should be brief and to the point.
What are the benefits of a memo?
A memo-writing format is a simple way to communicate internally, but it greatly benefits organizations using them. But just what are the benefits of using memos?
It’s a quick way to communicate
Since memos are confined to an internal organization, it is easily accessible to everyone within the company. It can be circulated through an email or placed on the notice board. The recipient of the memo can also give feedback quickly.
Unlike making calls or sending official letters, using a memo involves little to no expense. It comes cost-free if shared via email and other electronic media. If shared manually, it is just the printing cost of a single sheet of paper.
One thing about a memo is consistency. It applies the same format and uses a tone devoid of subjective or personal bias. As a result, when used to share the company's direction, the message is taken with a lot of keenness. Also, when messages are sent with the same consistency, there is little room for misinterpretation or confusion.
With memos, workers can read them during their free time or even as they head for a coffee break. It means there are fewer disruptions, unlike telephone calls and impromptu meetings, which need an immediate response.
Can reach many people
Memos are strategically placed on the notice board or sent as PDFs through email. Everyone can read them in the former, while emails can be copied to several individuals simultaneously. That allows the message to be sent quickly to a large audience.
How is a memo different from an email?
Emails and memos are two styles of communication that organizations use on a daily basis. An email is an electronic form of communication that requires an internet connection to send or receive. Emails are distinct from memos since the latter is mainly a physical document but can also be sent electronically as an attachment. It is also possible to reply to an email in a two-way process, which is not the case when you write a memo.
A subtle difference is also in how the two communication methods are styled. When writing a memo, starting with the company name and logo on the top is important. The rest of the memo text is structured similarly to an email with – an opening paragraph, a body, and a conclusion. The formatting may not be required for an email.
When to use a memo?
Wondering when to write a memo or when to use it? A memo is perfect for formal communication. Business memo writing is ideal for different scenarios and instances:
When creating lasting messages
A properly written memo acts as a source of information for future reference. It differs from an email, where the message can be lost in the inbox or may not be printed and filed. Writing a proper memo enables the sender and the recipient to keep records of the shared message. For instance, you could use a memo to write and maintain a record of communications with all the stakeholders of an organization or if you need a reference for the internal and external audits done for a client.
When formatting matters
A memo is a way to go if you wish to maintain the original formatting of an official document. If your communication contains a graph, pictorial illustration, or a specified font, that can only be captured well if shared through a memo instead of an email. Common memo-style writing may also include adding a different font to a text or using different colors to enhance the appeal. Other formattings required for a memo include adding a brand name and company logo.
When making company announcements
Why do businesses find writing a memo for work announcements ideal? From just the overview, memos are fast and brief. So, if an impromptu announcement is to be made, they become the go-to document. These can be many, including an abrupt resignation of the chief executive officer, introducing of a new work process, and many more. If you need to announce such happenings officially and quickly, memos become the ultimate choice.
When you need to communicate formally
Well, in an organization, the channels of communication can either be formal or informal. Informal channels mostly spread unverified information or rumors which may not be true. Such information could destabilize the organization and may cause unnecessary tension.
To dispel unnecessary speculations and tension, use memo format to communicate. One can create a doc as a go-to reference using an official formal tone. Also important in a memo is the sender's specification or the document's origin to show the official position.
When management changes a company policy
Whether it is for a specific department or the whole company, a memo could help communicate a new rule or policy of the management. Such communication can include why, how, where, and when the new policy takes effect. As such, a memo is a great way for the top management to clarify what the rest of the employees should expect in the new changes.
When management requests all employees
A memo report writing format is also useful in making requests by the management to its employees. It can include, for instance, asking them to attend a meeting or follow some work-related procedures. Sometimes, a request memo has instructions and recommendations for undertaking a particular task. Also in such a memo are the benefits or the impact that a certain course of action by the recipient of the memo could have.
To communicate complex information externally
While external correspondence often requires letters, a memo can equally serve the purpose. Just like letters, memos for external communication could start with an introduction or go straight into the subject of discussion.
To refresh and spice up things
You don't have to write memos because there is a need to. Sometimes it could be as simple as welcoming the staff from a short holiday or vacation. You could tell them how well they performed the previous year and what is expected for the current period. Or you simply write to wish them the best in hitting a complex goal. But ensure the communication is relevant so as not to dilute the impact of memos when you write them later.
When sending lengthy documents
Do you want to send that email to your senior about an issue, but Gmail keeps rejecting the file due to its size? It's time to adopt a memo instead. Writing a memo to your boss allows you to include as much information on a subject as possible. Using a memo, you can add detailed aspects that you can’t simply cover in an email.
Memo writing is a rewarding experience if you want to communicate faster and more efficiently. You may have noticed that memos never get old since the same style is used to date. It's because memos are very official, so the standards rarely change. Organizations also find memos good since they are cheap and less disruptive ways to communicate. Nevertheless, you want to write great memos that would make an impact. Memo writing examples can be found online to help you write with the correct format. However, you do not need to go through all that since you can use ready-made templates.