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Effective Memo Example

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Review formatting guidelines for writing an effective memo.

Date: Date of memo (example: January 1, 2010)

To: Person(s) to whom the memo is primarily addressed (examples: James Brown, Director of Communications or Estates and Litigation Department)

cc: Name of anyone else who receives a copy

From: Author of memo, usually followed by his/her handwritten initials

Subject: or Re: Concise statement of the memo’s topic (example: Enrollment in New Benefits Program)

Recipients of memos often read them in a hurry, so it helps to write short sentences and paragraphs. It’s also important to clearly explain the reason for the memo in the first paragraph. For example, if this memo informs employees that they must enroll in a new benefits program, the first paragraph would explain that the organization has decided to implement a new insurance program and that all employees need to enroll within the next thirty days.

The following paragraphs (if there are any) will include any accompanying or supporting information. In the benefits enrollment memo model, the second paragraph might explain the reason(s) for the change in benefits, and inform the readers of how the changes may (or may not) affect them.

A memo’s final paragraph should clearly state the specific action(s) that the readers need to take. This final paragraph might inform the recipients that they may enroll in person, by mail, or online, and include specific information about where and how to enroll (office locations, addresses, URLs, etc.). It would also remind the readers of the deadline as well as listing the contact information of benefits specialists, in case employees have questions or concerns. Finally, it would emphasize the benefits or positive outcome of the policy changes.

Attachments: If including reports, charts, or other accompanying information, always mention this at the bottom of the page.

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