If you're contacting a few co-workers about getting together for lunch, an email or brief phone message is probably sufficient. But if you need to send multiple co-workers information about an upcoming meeting, share the most recent sales figures, or forward recent policy changes, use a standard business memo. Don't send it to folks who don't need the memo, but don't leave out a co-worker who should receive it: You might also want to include your boss or another department head if the info is relevant to him.
Decide which co-workers need to receive the memo, then make sure you have the correct spelling of their names, along with their correct titles and email addresses. Type this information on the "TO" line of your memo, listing the names and titles one under the other: TO: John Doe, Sales Manager Jane Smith, Project Manager Ann Jones, Graphic Designer
Use only a department name in the "TO" line if you're sending your memo to each person in a single office or department, as follows:
TO: All Sales Department Personnel
Only use this form of address if you truly intend for the memo to go to each person in that department. If you only want to send it to specific members of a department or branch, use the individual name/title format.
Put your name and title on the memo's "FROM" line, followed by the "DATE" line and the date of the memo. The last line in the header is the "SUBJECT" line: Use this to notify the memo's recipients exactly what the memo covers. Keep it short and sweet, but specific enough so addressees can grasp right off the bat what the memo discusses. A vague title such as "Sales" doesn't give the recipients much information about what's to follow. Instead, focus their attention with a phrase such as "March Department Store Sales Figures," or "Salesperson of the Month for July."
Write the body of your memo using concise, informative paragraphs. The first should introduce your subject, with subsequent paragraphs providing the discussion. Your final paragraph should summarize the topic in the memo.
Include in your closing paragraph specific instructions for follow-up actions. Otherwise, your readers might be left with a big "so what?" about why you sent the memo in the first place. If the memo is about an upcoming meeting, give the time, date and location of the meeting and request their attendance. If you need them to prepare a report, provide sales figures, or contact their customers, tell them exactly that, along with a time frame within which you want the actions accomplished.
Proofread your memo before you push the "send" button. In addition to the usual review for spelling and grammar, double-check to ensure you have the correct email addresses. The last thing you need is for a co-worker to get the memo when it wasn't intended for him.
As a national security analyst for the U.S. government, Molly Thompson wrote extensively for classified USG publications. Thompson established and runs a strategic analysis company, is a professional genealogist and participates in numerous community organizations.Thompson holds degrees from Wellesley and Georgetown in psychology, political science and international relations.