Explained! How To Write A Memo?
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The world is going digital and most of the tasks in offices are now carried out with the help of the latest digital tools. However, when it comes to internal communication, it is the humble memorandum that most managers bank upon.
In short, we call it a memo. Writing a memo is becoming a lost art, and many professionals seem to struggle with it. This is why I have come up with a step by step guide that answer the question – how to write a memo.
How To Write A Good Memo?
Let us first understand what the use of a memo is. A memo or a memorandum is the most useful way of issuing instructions and reminders. It may be circulated using email or, in rare cases, put up on the employee portal of the company. Though it started in the form of a printed hard copy, but this form of memos are rare and irrelevant today.
A good memorandum template would consider the following –
- Author Identification
A memorandum must be clear and concise. It is a classic mode of corporate communication that is always brief and to the point. However, brief does not mean just ‘a few lines’, and it is entirely possible that a memo might run into few pages or more. The idea is that is must eliminate any extraneous material.
The memo characteristically has a specific, defined purpose. A memo is not only sent but can also be sought for modification of some aspect of the business that may entail some risks. Thus, it is quite common for the subordinates to seek a memo to protect themselves.
It may happen that the audience of a memo is not adequately described, but it is imperative that the author is. The memo must include the name of the author and their official designation within the organization that allows them to issue the memo.
The Perfect Memo Template
Let’s delve deeper and address the question – how to write a professional memo.
An ideal sample memo format would include the following –
At the top will be the word – Memorandum. This should be accompanied by the name and address of the company and other relevant details. These details add authenticity to the memo.
As you are learning how to write a business memo, keep in mind that the names of the recipients are an essential part of it. Typically, memos are intended to address only a few people, and the recipients provide the secrecy level of the contents.
Like any other official document or communication, it is important to add date in the memorandum.
This would describe the purpose of the memo and state the objectives of the exercise.
Are There Any Online Memorandum Examples?
It is not that a memorandum must have a unique or defined format. Memos constitute internal communication and do not constitute a legal document. As such, if you write clear instructions and specify recipients, date, and contents, it fulfils the purpose. If you get stuff, we recommend using a snipping tool to capture images of memos that you run across from coworkers, online examples, etc and adding them to an app like Evernote so that the next time you need to write an app, you will have some inspiration to draw from.
But if you are looking for some inspiration, then a casual Google search would throw up several memo examples.
Here are some memorandum examples that can help you get going.
Special Types Of Memos
If you have been struggling with the question how to write a legal memo, you can find your answer by consulting the legal framework of the jurisdiction.
Usually, a legal memo requires the names of the plaintiff and defendant as well as specifies the Case Number and the court at which it is being heard. If you want to know how to write a legal memorandum, keep in mind that an affidavit may also be needed with each such memo.
Often one hears from busy executives that they do not know how to write a policy memo. A policy memo has to be authored or issued by a senior executive but is usually drafted by someone working for him/her.
A matter or memorandum concerning a business policy is of great importance as it affects the future direction of the entire organization. Special attention must be paid to ensure that the phrases used are not misleading or ambiguous in any manner.
Salient Points to Keep In Mind
- Explain the context
- Think of the readers
- Break it up
A good memo must have a clear introduction to offer context. All the recipients might not be acquainted with what is being discussed, hence a little bit of context helps.
For example, someone from sales might not have a complete understanding of an issue regarding return inwards in accounting.
Set the tone with an intro that is no more than a fifth of the whole content but has enough information to bring everyone on the same page.
Is the memo reader a senior executive familiar with business jargons or a shop level sales assistant with less exposure to those typical terms? The language and content in the memo has to be tuned to the recipient, their level of understanding and exposure.
Making a memo overly technical is as much a mistake as trying to oversimplify a complex issue.
Figure out the audience, understand them, and then set out to write the memo.
The structure and flow of the memo must be broken down into the following suggested sections, problem statement, possible outcomes, suggested outcomes, and a section where inputs are sought.
Each of these sections is of vital importance. Since a memo is in writing, it may set the wheels in motion that may later be tough to roll back.
The larger the business organization and the bigger the gap between a CEO and a junior VP (quite literally), higher are the chances of confusion.
This is why most of the bigger organizations have expert memo drafters who use their vast experience to create the most suitable communication lines.
To: Team Leaders of Outbound Calling Teams
From: John Deer, Sr. VP Corporate Sales, Delta Communications
CC: Sally Darlington, Associate VP Human Resources, Delta Communications
Date: 15th Feb 2020
Subject: Training regarding new CRM software
We have introduced a new CRM software user interface designed by Zen Plus. This is an additional layer on the PHP based systems that are currently in use.
We are going to focus on the complete transition of all teams to the new UI between March and April 2020.
There will be comprehensive training and certification before any employee is allowed to go live using the new UI.
The trainees would be given instruction at the end of each working day for two hours, and the entire module would last nine hours, excluding certification.
Adequate compensation would be provided as per the prevalent terms and conditions for this duration.
Kindly cooperate with HR and comply with training schedules.
Of course, there are endless variations as you go through the answers to the question how to prepare a memo. Much of it would vary as per the business, purpose, and the audience. However, the above points are always prevalent and practiced widely throughout the business world.
If adhered to, it provides clear and crisp communication that makes all assignments simpler.