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Business Writing:. Memos, Email, IM. Overview. Memos: Review of Organization and Format Emails—a special form of memos Instant Messaging (IM). Characteristics of Successful Memos. Headings: Date, To, From, Subject Single topic Conversational tone Conciseness Graphic highlighting.

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Business writing

Business Writing:

Memos, Email, IM



  • Memos: Review of Organization and Format

  • Emails—a special form of memos

  • Instant Messaging (IM)

Characteristics of successful memos

Characteristics of Successful Memos

  • Headings: Date,To, From, Subject

  • Single topic

  • Conversational tone

  • Conciseness

  • Graphic highlighting

Organization of memos

Organization of Memos

  • Subject line

    • Budget Meeting June 3, 10 a m

  • Opening

    • Indirect (ineffective)

    • Direct (effective)

  • Body

  • Closing

This is to inform you that we must complete the annual operating budgets shortly. Over the past two months many supervisors have met to discuss their departmental needs.

All supervisors and coordinators will meet June 3 at 10 a.m. to work out the annual operating budgets for their departments.

Formatting hard copy memos

Formatting Hard-Copy Memos


TO:Rob Montaine

FROM:Heidi Chan


Welcome to Multimedia, Rob! I’m pleased to be able to answer your questions about stationery for memos in the organization

Please examine the enclosed samples and call me if you have additional questions



1 25” side margins

Jagged right edge

2 blank lines here

Memo example

Memo Example


TO:Kim Johnson, Corporate Communications

FROM:Tim Rudolph, CEO


Please draft a policy outlining appropriate e-mail use for employees.

Our company needs such a policy because I have received reports of misuse including offensive statements, pornography downloads, and even gambling. Here are a few points that the policy should cover:

  • E-mail is for business only.

  • E-mail messages may be monitored.

Business writing

  • No pictures or other attachments should be sent without valid reason.

  • E-mail should not be used to discuss personnel matters.

Please submit a draft to me by October 1 so a policy can be completed by November 1. Call me at 836-3155 if you have questions.



  • Memos: Review of Organization and Format

  • Emails—a special form of memos

  • Instant Messaging (IM)

Prevalence of email

Prevalence of Email

  • In an average work day, how much time do you spend reading and sending email

  • messages?

    • a. 10 minutes

    • b. 20 minutes

    • c. 2 hours

    • d. None

Email special memos

Email: Special Memos

  • Include a salutation

  • Use word-wrap

  • Double space between single-spaced paragraphs

  • Use complete sentences with upper and lowercase letters

  • Include a signature block

Smart e mail practices

Smart E-Mail Practices

Content, Tone, and Correctness

  • Consider composing offline

  • Be concise

  • Don’t send anything you wouldn’t want published

  • Don’t use e-mail to avoid contact

  • Resist humor and tongue-in-cheek comments


  • Limit any tendency to send blanket copies

  • Never send “spam”

  • Consider using identifying labels (FYI, ACTION)

  • Use capital letters ONLY for emphasis or titles

  • Don’t forward without permission

  • Reduce attachments

Smart e mail practices1

Smart E-Mail Practices

Reading and Replying to E-Mail

  • Scan all messages before replying to any

  • Print only when necessary

  • Acknowledge receipt

  • Don’t automatically return the sender’s message

  • Revise the subject line if the topic changes

  • Provide a clear, complete first sentence

  • Never respond when you’re angry

  • Check response before hitting “Send”

  • Assume that all emails are monitored

Big brother is watching

Big Brother IS Watching!

  • 25% have terminated employees for e-mail misuse

  • 55% retain and review messages

  • 86% let the employees know their email is being monitored

  • 84% have email policies

  • 20% had email subpoenaed

  • 13% had workplace lawsuits triggered by employee email

AMA/ePolicy Institute Research



  • Memos: Review of Organization and Format

  • Emails—a special form of memos

  • Instant Messaging (IM)

Email and im

Email and IM

  • Google blends instant messaging with e-mail

  • IM not just for teenagers and college students

  • Biggest benefit to project work teams

  • "Instant messaging could well be the dial tone of the future — albeit a silent one.",4621,324452,00.html

Instant messaging in business

Instant Messaging in Business

  • Pro: Saves time and effort

    • DO: Keep messages concise and simple

  • Pro: Improves customer service

    • DO: Create separate work/social buddy lists

    • DO: Use an identifiable username

    • DO: Update your status throughout the day

  • Pro: Enables persistent connection

  • Con: Security risks

    • DO: Be aware of virus and related security risks

    • DON’T: Share personal data or information via IM,4621,324452,00.html

Im in business

IM in Business

  • Con: Creates new legal risks

    • DO: Adopt a user policy for instant messaging

    • DON'T: Use instant messaging to communicate confidential or sensitive information.

    • DO: Be aware that instant messages can be saved.

    • DON'T: Compromise your company's liability, or your own reputation.

  • Con: Decreased productivity

    • DON'T: Allow excessive personal messaging at work.

  • Con: Limited interoperability between IM systems

What is your position

What is Your Position?

  • With your teammate, create a company policy that covers both email and IM

  • Draft a memo in Word format (can format manually or use a Word template)

  • Apply proper memo formatting and organization guidelines

  • Submit as attachment to email by Wednesday, March 27

    • [email protected]

    • [email protected]

Go forth

Go Forth

and Communicate Clearly and Responsibly

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