- Use Times Roman Numeral, Courier New, or Arial.
- Left justify memo and use 1-inch margin.
- Use correct headings (You may use caps, bold font, and double-space):
- Date: Write out month completely
- To: Reader’s names and job titles
- From: Your name and job title
- Subject: Be specific and concise
- Do not use salutation.
- Memo must be single-spaced (except for headings); leave a space between each paragraph.
- Do not indent paragraphs.
- No need to use complimentary close or signature block.
- Reference your sources (Links to an external site.)
- Bullets and Headings (PDF) download Bullets and Headings (PDF)
Scenario (Good News)
As the Sales Manager for ABC Corporation, it is my pleasure to announce to your department have been awarded a grant for outstanding sales. Determine the amount of the grant and the specific criteria for selection. Write a memo explaining this scenario to these employees. Use the direct approach.
Header: Begin your memo with the four standard memo heads (Date, To, From, Subject). The Subject should be the positive message.
Body/Discussion: Remember that memos do not begin with greetings or salutations. This is a direct approach announcement of positive news, so begin your first paragraph with the good news, and commend them for their achievement.
Provide details regarding the factors that led to the good news and any other details, including when the grant will be awarded, and any other relevant information.
The final paragraph is where you explain that the company looks forward to continuing the grant distribution in the future, commensurate with employee performance. Thank the employees again for their outstanding contributions, and conclude the memo by indicating how the reader may contact you if he/she has any questions.
Scenario (Bad News)
Due to Covid-19, ABC Corporation will have to lay-off or furlough some employees. Write a memo to the employees explaining this scenario. Use the indirect approach.
Header: Begin your memo with the four standard memo heads (Date, To, From, Subject).
Body/Discussion: Remember that memos do not begin with greetings or salutations. Use the indirect approach when announcing negative news. Use buffer.
Provide background context that will help them to understand the reason for the bad news. Use clear but positive language.
Avoid ending with negative impressions. Try to end with a message of hope and optimism. Conclude the memo by indicating how the reader may contact you if he/she has any questions.