Memo is the short and popular form of memorandum. It is a written tool for internal communication. It rarely goes outside the organization. Memos are primarily written for exchanging information relating to the day-to-day functions of the organization. Some definitions of memo are quoted below:
Meaning of Memo
A. Ashley defined, “Memos are written internal communication which advise or informal staff of company policies and procedures.”
According to Lesikar and Flatley, “Memorandum is a form of letter written inside the business.”
In the opinion of Lesikar and Pettit, “Memorandums, of course, are the letters written inside the organization, although a few companies use them in outside communication.”
Generally, memos are written in the following grounds:
- Issuing order, instruction, advice, policy etc. to the subordinates.
- Informing any change of policy to the members of the organization.
- Giving or seeking suggestions, recommendations or explanations.
- Seeking help or information etc.
At last, we can say memos are the means of internal written communication and are exchanged between superiors and subordinates or between persons holding the same position in the organization hierarchy.
Features of Memo
Office memo is a written method of internal communication. It is used to exchange information within the organization related to organization’s day-to-day activities. As an independent method of internal communication, it possesses the following features:
- Nature: Memo is mainly a written method of internal communication. It is used to exchange information related to internal activities of the organization between the superiors and subordinates.
- Nature of the parties involved: Memo is generally exchanged among the various internal parties of the organization. No external party can be the part of memo.
- Definite structure: Memo is prepared by following a definite structure. Title, names of the sender and receiver, date, subject, body and sender’s signature are the various parts of memo.
- Types: On the basis of the destination, memo may be of three types namely, upward moving memo, downward moving memo and horizontally moving memo.
- Formality: Since memo is a method of internal communication, it is less formal. However, in preparing an upward-moving memo a minimum degree of formality should be followed as it goes from subordinates to the superiors.
- Conciseness: Memo is generally written concisely. Whatever the subject matter of a memo is, it is written directly and briefly.
- Mentioning a specific issue: An individual memo should contain only a single issue. If an individual memo contains more than one issue, they should be mentioned in separate paragraph.
- Expression of courtesy: Though memo expresses the message directly and concisely, it maintains courtesy and modesty in expressing the message.
- Nature of the message exchanged: The information exchanged through memo is related to the internal activities of the organization. It does not carry any personal information.
- Preserving information: Since memo is a written document, it can be preserved for future use if necessary.
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