Memos and E-mail messages are increasingly important forms of internal communication for most companies today.
Memos and E-mail messages have a number of characteristics in common:
- They begin with To, From, Date, and Subject,
- They cover just one topic.
- They are informal.
- They are concise.
Memos and E-mail messages use efficient standard formats. So that they can be acted on separately, memos and E-mail messages should discuss only one topic. Let’s say you send your supervisor an E-mail message requesting a copier repair. You also tack on a comment about an article you want to appear in the company newsletter. The supervisor may act on one item and overlook the other. She or he might also want to forward your request for a copier repair directly to the operations manager, but has to edit or rekey the message because of the second topic. Thus, memos and E-mail messages are most helpful when they cover just one subject. Because they replace conversation, these messages tend to be informal. They may include first-person pronouns, such as I and me, as well as occasional contractions, such as can’t or haven’t. The tone, however, should not become familiar or unbusinesslike. Moreover, memos and E-mail messages should not be wordy. Concise messages save time and often are more easily understood than longer documents.