How to Write a Business MemoWritten by Linda Elizabeth Alexander
How to Write a Business Memo ©2002 By Linda Elizabeth Alexander
A business memo helps members of an organization communicate without need for time-consuming meetings. It is an efficient and effective way to convey information within an organization.
Use memos rather than letters when you are communicating within your organization, including members of your department, upper management, employees at another company location, etc.
Memos solve problems either by introducing new information to reader like policy changes or new products being introduced, or by persuading reader to take an action, such as attend a meeting, rinse coffeepot when empty, or change a current work procedure.
The writing style of a business memo is somewhat formal but it doesn't have to sound intimidating. Your aim in writing a memo is same as with other correspondence: You want to effectively communicate your purpose to your reader.
Memos are most effective when they connect purpose of writer with interests and needs of reader. When planning your memo, be sure to think about it from your reader's perspective: Pretend you are recipient and ask yourself:
1. How is this relevant to me? 2. What, specifically, do you want me to do? 3. What's in it for me?
Heading Segment Begin memo with a heading segment, following this format: (centered and bold heading) MEMORANDUM TO: (readers' names and job titles) FROM: (your name and job title) DATE: SUBJECT: (specifically what memo is about)
Make sure you address reader by her or his correct name and job title. Courtesy titles are not necessary but make sure you spell everyone's names properly and don't use informal nicknames.
Use a job title after your name, and hand write your initials by your name. This confirms that you take responsibility for contents of memo.
Be specific and concise in your subject line. For example, "computers" could mean anything from a new purchase of computers to a mandatory software class for employees. Instead use something like, "Turning Computers off at Night." This also makes filing and retrieving memo easy.
Begin your memo by stating problem--that is, what led to need for memo. Perhaps a shipment has not arrived, a scheduled meeting has been canceled, or a new employee is starting tomorrow.
Pumping Up The Emotional Side Of Gizmos, Widgets And Powdered Eggs.Written by Walter Burek
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Pumping Up The Emotional Side Of Gizmos, Widgets And Powdered Eggs.
Conventional wisdom has it that business-to-business advertising must be jam-packed with facts. But today, facts are not enough.
All advertising copy consists of two elements: What is said and how it's said. What is said is rational part of message -- claims and benefits that result from careful positioning and strategy. How it's said is emotional element -- look of advertising, and charm, humor, nostalgia, empathy, sense of security, beauty, or sense of style and quality that is conveyed.
Knowing when and how to use emotion is most important part of a copywriter's and art director's job. Because, whether we like to admit it or not, most purchase decisions -- greeting card or giant machinery, new car or new factory roof -- are made for emotional, not rational, reasons.
A Couple Of Definitions. We've been told that emotion is probably best defined by observation that emotions are feelings. How important is that? Very. Because feelings are everything in people's lives. They dictate where we live, who we live with, who our friends are, what we read, what we eat, what we drive, where we go on vacation, what we laugh at, what we cry about and what we want out of life. And they tell us what to buy, when to buy, where to buy, and who to buy from.
We've also been told that a definition of communication is interchange of ideas between two people. But, in advertising, we have to go beyond that. Our business must be interchange of feelings between two people. We have to make people really feel something about products and companies we advertise. Otherwise, they won't buy. And if they don't buy, we've failed. So, simple truth of matter is: The only advertising that works is advertising that makes somebody feel something. Four Thoughts, No Rules. Explaining how to use emotion in advertising is difficult, if not impossible. It all depends on situation and abilities of people involved. But here are some things that may help put subject in perspective.
Businessmen And-Women Are People, Too. Some will argue, especially in today's downsized work environment, that businessperson is besieged, harried and overworked. And all they have time for is facts. True, perhaps. But it is also true that they are being constantly being bombarded with information at every turn. Which means that if your advertising is going to be successful -- if it is going to stand out from clutter -- you better deliver it in an emotional envelope. Whether you're a man or woman, working man or working woman, prudent veteran, or a kid just out of school isn't important. Emotional advertising has a universal kind of communication that works. Warmth, humor, charm, flair -- these are things we all relate to, respond to. Emotional advertising transcends demographic position of reader or viewer. People in all walks of life respond to wit, to being talked to in a flattering and friendly way, to being liked. People like advertising that makes them feel good -- about your product, about your company, about themselves.