The Memorandum

Another type of business communication used is the memorandum. 
     What is the difference between a memorandum and a business letter? Business letters are written by an individual to another who is in another company or place of work. Usually, business letters are not for public consumption and shall only be read only by the addressee. Also, business letters can be written by a low-rank employee to anyone within the organization or company as well as outside of it.  On the other hand, a memorandum, is a communication addressed to other employees within an organization, thus, this is for public consumption. Also, a memorandum can only be issued by an authority within the organization addressed to his subordinates.  A memorandum from one company is not applicable to another.
     A memo (or memorandum, meaning "reminder”) is normally used for communicating policies, procedures, or related official business within an organization. It is often written from a one-to-all perspective (like mass communication), broadcasting a message to an audience, rather than a one-on-one, interpersonal communication. It may also be used to update a team on activities for a given project, or to inform a specific group within a company of an event, action, or observance.

The Purpose of a Memorandum

     A memo's purpose is often to inform, but it occasionally includes an element of persuasion or a call to action. All organizations have informal and formal communication networks. The unofficial, informal communication network within an organization is often called the grapevine, and it is often characterized by rumor, gossip, and innuendo. On the grapevine, one person may hear that someone else is going to be laid off and start passing the news around. Rumors change and transform as they are passed from person to person, and before you know it, the word is that they are shutting down your entire department.


     One effective way to address informal, unofficial speculation is to spell out clearly for all employees what is going on with a particular issue. If budget cuts are a concern, then it may be wise to send a memo explaining the changes that are imminent. If a company wants employees to take action, they may also issue a memorandum.  Any concern regarding changes in the company, departments, or offices must be known to the concerned personnel using a memorandum.  Issuing a memorandum at once will save time and effort than sending a transmittal letter to each and every department or employee.

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Last modified: Thursday, 13 October 2016, 4:42 AM