guidance and writing skill for a common office document
What are memos?
The term memo is short for ‘memorandum’. Their purpose is to give information in a brief form.
Memos can be seen as notes, very brief letters, or micro-reports.
A memo is usually very short – a few lines or paragraphs at the most.
Some memos are even distributed on slips of paper.
Organisations usually have a recognisable form and layout for all internal memos.
Most memos are notices which pass between colleagues, sometimes within departments or to other departments or other sites.
The Internet has become a very popular medium for the memo. This is probably due to its brief format. Email messages can be seen as electronic memos in most business instances.
Memos should have a main heading stating the subject of the message, and sub-headings which lead into the message sections.
Memos usually bear the generic heading ‘MEMO’ at the top of the page. This acts as an advanced organiser so that the recipient is in no doubt of the document type and function.
The information in a memo should be set out in order of importance, with the most important item listed first.
Remember that effective business communication operates on the ‘punchline first’ principle. [It is only in a whodunit story or a narrative joke that we appreciate the withholding of vital information.]
Memos – the content
A memo should always contain the following information.
- The subject of the memo
- The name of the sender
- The name of the recipient(s)
- The date of posting
- The message itself
Memos – types
There are various types of memo. These are the most commonly used.
An information memo provides information that is relevant to the recipient, or it replies with information that has been requested. The memo subject is stated in the title.
|Quote for Budget Projections
18 February 2006
J. Brown, Training Manager
You requested a quote from a printer to use in your budget projections on the current project.
The cost for printing 1000 brochures in the dimensions you cited will be approximately £2,000.
I obtained this information from Streamline Printers.
Though you did not ask about scheduling, the information manager of Streamline printers stated unequivocally that you must allow three weeks from the date of delivery of camera-ready copy.
A meeting announcement memo is one sent by an individual or department to other individuals, departments, or company representatives to advise them of a forthcoming meeting.
These usually contain the date and agenda of the meeting, although, they may simply announce the date.
|Meeting about Sundeal Hotels
21 March 2001
Members of the Executive Committee
D. Henderson, Chair of Neatfit
This meeting will consider a joint venture between Belsize Amusement Parks and Sundeal Hotels.
The meeting will be held on 26 March at 9.30 am.
The Board Room has been booked and refreshments will be served.
The meeting will include two sessions.
General session (10.00 am to 12.00 am)
- introductions of board members
- AAAP Presentation
- financial summary
- questions and discussion
Executive session (1.15pm to 4.00 pm)
- fiscal status Sundeal Hotels
- decisions and recommendations
Please confirm your attendance by contacting Mary Golding Ext. 234
The following documents are attached:
- AAAP Annual Report
- financial summary
- preliminary paper on Joint Venture
Update memos are notes which are transmitted between colleagues on a regular or frequent basis.
Because of the nature of the relationship of the authors, these are often quite brief and informal.
These are the sort of office communications that are now largely conducted via email messages.
|Help me out!
12 March 1999
Quick! I need a list of all our products containing Zinc.
Sorry to dump on you like this but it’s more than my job’s worth to miss the deadline. (Tues)
Let’s have a coffee later in the week.
19 December 2012
I went to the Steering Group meeting yesterday and the subject of the staff outing came up.
Could you let me have some ideas for a venue and flesh it out with a bit of detail?
Alton Towers was suggested but I’d prefer something more adult myself.
12 October 2013
Glad to tell you you’re on the interview panel for the new PA job.
Interviews start at 9-30 next Weds. I’ve sent you the CVs of those shortlisted and hope you have time to go through them in time.
Wear your best frock and put them through their paces.
See you then
© Roy Johnson 2014
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