A memo is one of means of communicating in a work environment and a major personnel instrument deployed by the management of an organisation to reach out to its internal publics- the workers.
Writing a good memo cannot be over-emphasized because of its importance in the communication process, as well as getting the end-users to act according to the message passed on.
So, what is the best way to write a memo?
Like any other form of writing, it is necessary you ascribe a heading to your memo.
Memo should be addressed to the intended recipient(s). They are specific document which address a particular recipient(s).
Copying other recipient(s), who should be informed about the memo is also a necessity. In case a memo is meant for a department, a copy can be sent to other departments allied to it, as well.
The source of the memo should be identified. This is written in the ‘From’ section of the memo. In fact, the only way one give credence to a memo is to credit it to a source.
It should be dated. Time is of essence therefore, a memo too should also bear the date when it was written and dispatched.
A memo should have a Definite Heading. A specific phrase at the top of the memo helps whoever reads it understand the subject matter or issue contained in it.
Format the Heading. A well written memo has each line of ‘From’ ‘To’ ‘Date’ ‘Subject’ well-spaced out, filled and capitalized.
A memo sample may appear like this:
TO: Name and job title of the recipient
FROM: Your name and job title
DATE: Complete date when the memo was written
SUBJECT: (or RE:) What the memo is about (highlighted in some way)
When constructing the heading, be sure to double space between sections and align the text.
You may choose to add a line below the heading that goes all the way across the page. This will separate the heading from the body of the memo.
Writing the memo
Consider the audience: Considering who your audience is will influence your tone, level of formality, the audience priority, and even possible questions.
Avoid Salutation: A memo does not need any salutation such as ‘Dear Sir/Madam’. Just go straight to the matter you need to address.
Introduce the Main Issue: This captures the attention of the recipients when a due context is created and introduction of the issue is made, as it is expected of the source of the memo. This should take a paragraph only.
“As of July 1, 2015, XYZ Corporation will be implementing new policies regarding health coverage.
Provide a Background to the Issue: This, however, should be brief, but must be included to give an insight to the matter or issue on which the memo is based.
Support your cause of action: This is important because you need to let your recipients understand why they should abide by what decision is arrived at and the consequence for a lack of response. The benefits also should be communicated, as this can trigger favourable reaction.
Suggest the line of action expected of the readers: Without this, the memo has not achieved one of its functions, which is to enforce action.
Close with a warm and positive summary: At the end, summarize what has been said in the memo once again but in short lines. This helps to register a strong impression of the issue and the importance of prompt action.