2. Business Memos
The two widely recognized categories of communication in the
business world are external communication and internal
Internal communication is essential for the internal functioning of
Typically internal communication include Business Memos.
Business memos solve
problems and act as
means of decision
3. Business Memos
Whether a person is a managing director in
a multinational company, a sales manager
in a small firm , or a junior executive in a
government department, all have to write
4. Purpose of Business Memos
As business memos solve problems and act as a means of decision
making, they serve many purposes. They may:
Request for information or additional resources
Contain proposals or requests for proposals
Explain policy statements
Contain office instructions or guidelines
Persuade the reader to take an action
Invite the reader to business meetings / conferences
Give feedback, suggestions, or recommendations
Be just polite reminders
5. Characteristics of Effective
Good memos share certain characteristics,
which include the following:
3) Unity of Theme
4) Informal Tone
A memo must be clearly written because an
unclear and vague memo will confuse the
reader, leading to delay and no action.
7. Unclear Memo- An Example
“ There is going to be a one-day program on a relevant topic related to value
education for some of our staff. The program will be organized by IIM,
Delhi in the last week of September. We need your support and
involvement in order to make the program successful.”
The reader of this memo is not provided with the answers to the
What is the exact topic of the program?
What is the exact date of the program?
Who are participants?
What kind of support does the reader need?
8. Revised version of the same memo:
“ On Saturday, September 29, 2012, the Value Education Cell of
IIM, Delhi will be organizing a one-day program on “Business
Values and Corporate Management” for the Management
Trainees of the Marketing Division . Kindly arrange
accommodation for three persons in the Guest House from
September 28 to September 30, 2012.”
Concise and direct memos are more effective.
A memo should contain only essential
Avoid unnecessary explanations, repetitions,
wordy expressions, and amplification.
Ensure that the memo makes its point with the
fewest possible words
10. Unity of Theme
A memo which does not have unity of theme,
distracts the reader and ceases (terminates) to be
An important way of ensuring unity in a memo is
to make sure that it deals with only one topic.
A single topic is developed , and related ideas are
11. Informal Tone
Although a memo is a formal business document,
its tone is usually informal and conversational.
As the writer is likely to be familiar with the
reader, personal tone may be used in memos.
A very formal tone might sound intimidating.
12. Parts of a Memo
Standard memos contain four parts:
13. Parts of a Memo - Heading
The heading segment of a memo includes four
1) The recipient's name and designation
2) The sender’s name and designation
(Name and designation of the recipient)
(Name and designation of the sender)
(Complete and current)
(Topic of the memo)
14. Examples of Heading Segment
Mr. Avinash Gautam
S Ravi Chand
October 3, 2012
SALES SUMMARY FOR THE YEAR 2012
Sales Summary for the Year 2012
15. Examples of Heading Segment
All Sales Managers
October 3, 2012
Sales Target for the Year 2012-2013
Assistant Registrar (Accounts)
October 3, 2012
AUDIT OF PROJECT ACCOUNTS
16. Parts of a Memo - Opening
Most memos begin with a short paragraph describing the problem
that led to the need for the memo and the basic “purpose” of the
“Here is a summary of the measures the Campus Security Department
is taking to ensure that only authorized people are allowed into
the administrative offices.”
“As you requested, here is a copy of the annual sales report for our
new product ‘Mint Candy’, launched in December 2012.”
17. Parts of a Memo - Body
The body of the memo contains the message of the
It describes, explains, and discuss the central idea of
the memo and includes all the details that support
the senders’ ideas.
The body may contain a brief statement of the key
recommendations the sender has reached.
18. Parts of a Memo - Closing
Memos should be closed with a courteous ending, stating
what action the reader is required to take.
Thus , the closing of a routine memo may contain action
information seeking action oriented response specifying the
action that the reader is required to take.
“Please send your recommendations to me by October 5, 2012 so that
we are able to complete the project by the end of November,
19. Optional Parts of a Memo
A few optional elements may be used in memos, as per
These elements include:
reference ( response to other memos, notices, reports and
attachments ( lists, diagrams, pictographs, tables, and other
sources of data)
distribution lists / c.c (persons who might be receiving
copies of the memo)