It’s one of the most commonly used forms of business communication: the memo. 

A memo, short for memorandum, is generally a short message for internal business communication. 

Companies send memos to send messages on policies and procedures to a large group of people.  It could be about something small like a company picnic or a bigger announcement like a restructuring of teams.

But sometimes people just ignore your memos. Why is that? The answer is simple: your memos are just too long and rambling. 

Writing a memo that people don’t ignore is a skill. Let’s look at how to write a business memo that impresses your readers.

How To Write A Memo

Drafting a memo seems simple. But is your memo creating the desired impact that you hoped for? There are several key pointers to remember on how to write a memo that persuades and impresses your readers. Here are a few ways.

  1. Informative Subject Line:

The subject line is the first thing that any reader notices. Your subject line should be informative so that readers exactly know what they’re about to read.

  1. Active Voice:

Always remember that the purpose behind writing a memorandum is to send a message you couldn’t communicate in person. Keep it casual, write in an active voice and maintain a conversational tone by using words like ‘we’ and ‘you’.

  1. Avoid Jargon:

Keep it short and simple. Internal communication techniques like writing a memorandum are meant for readers who’re usually on a tight schedule. So avoid any jargon that might confuse your readers who are most likely to skim over the memo.

  1. Short Paragraphs: 

Your memo should be to the point. Keep the paragraphs short. Try highlighting the keywords because it helps to skim with ease.

  1. Double-Check: 

Always proofread for errors after you’ve finished drafting a memo. Double-check all the names, details, and specifics of the project/topic being communicated. Take some time to read your memo before you send it out.

Harappa Education’s Writing Proficiently course will teach you how to write effectively through tried-and-tested methods. The Pyramid Principle will guide you to highlight important points in your memos and back them up with reasonable arguments.  

Format Of Memo Writing

Memos depend on the situations and readers. Your memo content and language might vary but there’s a standard format of memo writing. Here’s a basic skeleton that’ll show you how to write a memo for effective business communication:

 

MEMORANDUM

TO: <the name of the recipient or addressee>

FROM: <your name and title>

DATE: <the date of sending the memo>

SUBJECT: <the subject line should reflect the main topic>

BODY: <It’s better to get straight to the point and write in short sentences. Your introduction should clearly state the purpose of your memo. If there are multiple topics, highlight each briefly in this paragraph.

●      Important action item no. 1

●      Important action item no. 2

●      Important action item no. 3

Add a small concluding line. Include a request for any action you need people to take after reading this memo.>

CLOSING: (this is optional)

<Thank You,

[Your Name]

[Contact Details]>

ATTACHMENT: <Include any relevant image, chart or graph your reader may need.>

Examples Of Memo Writing

Here’s one of the common examples of a memo in business communication that’ll help you understand the format of memo writing better. This is a memo for a team meeting:

To: The Marketing team

From: Sheetal Sinha, Marketing Head

Date: June 9, 2020

Subject: Big Indian Sale Meeting

Let’s meet in the conference room on Monday, June 15 at 10.00 am. Let’s discuss and plan the best ways to market this year’s Big Indian Sale. 

Please come prepared with your presentations. We’ll start finalizing the plan after everybody presents their ideas. Thank you and looking forward to our meeting.

Regards,

Sheetal

This example shows that memo writing brings precision and clarity to your written communication, all while maintaining a professional tone.

Conclusion

Over the years, old-fashioned printed memos have been replaced by email and the tone has become less formal. But the memo still remains a key form of business communications tool. So next time you write an office memo, remember to keep it short and simple.


Explore topics such as What is a Memo, Types of Memos, Meeting Agenda, How to Write a Report & Report Writing Structure from our Harappa Diaries blog section and learn to write proficiently.

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