Types of Memo in Business Communication

Memo is an important means of written communication within the organization. It can move vertically or horizontally. Vertical movement takes place in two ways, such as downward direction and upward direction. Tone of memo depends on its direction.

Various directions of memo are discussed below:

Downward Moving Memo

Memo that passes from superiors to subordinates or from top to down the organization hierarchy is called downward moving memo. Downward moving memo carries orders, instructions, policies and information form superiors to subordinates. It is the most widely used memo in all organizations.

Upward Moving Memo

When memo moves from lower level to upper level or from subordinates to superiors, it is called upward moving memo. Through upward moving memo, subordinates convey their suggestions, opinions, recommendations, requests, responses, reports, problems etc. to their superiors.

Horizontally Moving Memo

The memo that is exchanged between persons holding the same position in the organization hierarchy is called horizontally moving memo. Generally, requests, actions, programmes etc. exchanged through horizontally moving memo.

Types of Memo

Differences Between Memo and Letter

Both memo and letter are the important means of written communication. Memo is sued for internal communication while, letter is used for both internal and external communication.

Though they are similar in many respects, still there are a number of dissimilarities.

The major differences between them are discussed between:

Use –

  • Memo: Office memo is used is internal communication. Its does not go outside the organization.
  • Letter: Letters are used both in internal and external communication.

Scope –

  • Memo: The scope of memo is limited within the organization.
  • Letter: Its scope is relatively wider than memo.

Types –

  • Memo: Office memo may be formal or informal.
  • Letter: Letter may be personal, official, demi-official and so on.

Formality –

  • Memo: Office memo does not require inside address, salutation and complementary close.
  • Letter: Letter requires company address, salutation and complementary close along with other parts of it.

Presentation of Message –

  • Memo: Memo describes message without using any ornamental word.
  • Letter: In some letters, ornamental words are used to express courtesy.



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