Memorandum & Circular
Purpose of Memo
When you wish to write to someone within your own company, you will send a memorandum. Memos are used to communicate with other employees, may be located – whether in the same office, in the same building, or in a branch office many miles away.
Because the interoffice memorandum form was developed to save time, the formalities of an inside address, salutation, and complimentary closing is omitted. Otherwise, however, office memos and letters have a great deal in common.
Formality is omitted
The memorandum or ‘memo’ is a very flexible form used within an organization for communication at all levels and for many different reasons. It performs internally the same function as a letter does in external communication by an organization. It is used for reports, briefings or instructions, ‘notes’ and any kind of internal communication that is more easily or clearly conveyed in writing (rather than face-to-face or on the telephone).
Tone of Memorandums
Tone of Memorandums
In most companies and organizations, memorandums are written in the first person, just as business letters are. Informal writing style characterizes the memos. The tone of the memo is influenced by the position held by the writer in relation to that held by the receiver. Also, the topic under consideration plays an important part in determining tone. Obviously a person writing to a company official to report the results of a financial audit will be more formal than a person writing a co-worker about some routine matter.
An important factor is the personality of the individual receiving the memorandum. The president, for example, may insist on formality/ informality, whereas a peer might like an informal, impersonal tone. Therefore, the effective business writer must evaluate the position of the reader, the topic under consideration, and the personality of the reader when setting the tone of the memo.
Flow of Memo
A memorandum may be sent upwards, downwards or sideways in the organization. It may be sent from one individual to another, from one department to another or from one individual to a department or a larger body of staff. The channel will be the internal mail system of the organization, which may range from a bank of ‘pigeon holes’ for delivery and collection in person, to a desk-to-desk delivery system. Special ‘internal mail envelopes’, designed for re-use (allowing each recipient’s name to be simply crossed out and replaced with the next), are commonly used.
Memorandum format will vary slightly according to the degree of formality required and the organization’s policy on matters like filing and authorization of memoranda by their writer. Follow the conventions of ‘house style’ in your own organization. A typical format, including all the required elements, is illustrated below.
There are usually three main parts to a memorandum:
1. The heading
2. The subject and date
3. The message
Occasionally, when official approval or authority is required, the memorandum may conclude with a line for the signature of the person originating the correspondence.
The Heading: the heading of a memorandum is usually printed.
In the To and From sections, the business title of each person is often included, particularly when the memorandum is being sent to a person whose office is in another city. In the To section, a courtesy title – Miss, Mrs., Ms., Mr., Dr. – is sometimes included. However, in the From section, the writer does not use a courtesy title.
• You may find it necessary to write a persuasive or bad-news memo rather than take a direct approach
• You may like a step-by-step method to your request or bad news plan.
• Allow reader to complete reading the memo and come to the conclusion with you.
• Allow reader to see the reasoning that leads or supports to the idea you are conveying.
• Maintain goodwill.
Structure & Style (A5 memo)
• A memorandum, as the name suggests is an aid to memory of the reader.
• It is used for brief messages.
• These provide confirmation and record of the various plans, decisions & activities of the organization.
It may be used for
• Making informal reports
• Outlining new policies
• Giving briefings & instructions etc.
Why are memorandums written?
They are written to help to:
• determine responsibility
• clear up inconsistencies
• record needed information
Circular letters are:
- Used to send the same information to a number of people
- Extensively used in sales campaigns and for announcing important developments in business, such as extension, reorganizations, changes of address, etc.
A circular letter is prepared once and it may then be duplicated for distribution to the various recipients. Names, addresses and individual salutations may be inserted after duplication in order to personalize the letter.
Although circulars are being sent to many people, it is important to suggest an interest in the recipient by giving them a personal touch. Remember the following rules:
• Be brief – people will not read a long circular
• Make the letter as personal as possible by addressing each letter to a particular person, by name if you know it. Use Dear Mr. Atif Faheem instead of Dear Reader, Dear Subscriber or Dear Customer instead of Dear Sir or Madam. Never use the plural form for the salutation – remember, one recipient will read each individual letter.
• Create the impression of personal interest by using you, never our customers, all customers, our clients, everyone.
• Explain why you are writing with more care than you would if you and your topic were already known to the recipient through previous specific contact. Given some suspicion of circulars, these days, you will have to establish your own credibility – or another motive for reading on – fairly quickly.
• Express yourself in a way that is understandable and congenial to everyone in a wide audience with varying backgrounds and abilities.
• Don’t include detailed information or complex ideas.
• Make your letter more persuasive – not just to achieve its purposes, but to motivate the recipient to start reading it.
• Use word processing technology to personalize the circular to a very large extent.
Here is an example of circular.
Dear Mr. Ali
We are pleased to announce the opening of our new Higher Secondary Branch at the above address from the coming session starting from September 2.
Mr. Hassan has been appointed Principal, and with his 20 years experience in education we are sure that quality education will be provided.
Full admission fee is being wavered to students getting admission by August 25. A special 25% discount in monthly fee will be given to students getting admission on kinship basis. We hope our students will enjoy the same standard of education which is the hallmark of our education system.
Study this example too.
Dear Mr. Ali
To meet the growing demand for cosmetic products in this area we have decided to extend our business by opening a new department.
Our new department will carry an extensive range of cosmetic at prices, which compare very favorably with those, charged by other suppliers.
We would like the opportunity to demonstrate our new merchandise to you, and are therefore arranging a special window display during the week beginning from 2 June. The official opening of our new department will take place on Friday 3 July.
We hope you will visit our new department during opening week and give us the opportunity to show you that it maintains the reputation enjoyed by our other departments for giving sound value for money.