Memo is short for Memorandum. It is a simple way to communicate important information within an organization. Writing a clear, well organized memo is a valuable business skill.
Memos are used to communicate information and get results by focusing on one clear call to action.
Here are 10 tips for writing a memo that will get the action you want.
1. Audience needs: Think of the audience and their needs. This is essential in the call-to-action. For example, tell your readers how they will benefit from attending an extra meeting or how they will increase productivity by following your ideas.
2. Audience level: Consider the education, background, and company status of your readers, and write to the level that matches their needs.
3. Tone: A business memo is somewhat formal, but it's less formal than a business letter. It will not help you to address a group of co workers in a very formal manner. It's fine to have a friendly tone, but still be business-like. Match your style and tone to your audience.
4. Common language: Make sure everyone understands you. If you work in a technical field, be careful about using jargon that some readers may not understand. You may want to write different versions of the same memo to people in different departments.
5. Informative subject line: This explains simply and clearly what the memo is about. Similar to a subject line in an email message, the subject line is crucial to getting people to read your memo.
6. Write the bottom-line first: The first sentence or two should give the main point. Do not add extra information leading up to the point. Remember, this is not a story, it's a business document.
7. Clear and concise: Check for extra wording; keep the memo to one page or less, and use attachments or separate summaries for additional information. Keep the memo structure simple and logical. Limit paragraphs to one idea.
8. Factual: Use a neutral or positive tone. Avoid emotionally-charged words.
9. Conclusion: If needed, add a conclusion to reaffirm or summarize the main points.
10. Formatting: Use the standard format outlined in many guides, or follow your company's guidelines.
There are many aspects to writing an effective memorandum, using the correct format.