How to Write a Professional External Memo
Internal corporate memos address communication within the same company. They are less formal than business letters and typically more succinct. Memos vary widely from informing employees of a change in company practices to announcing an upcoming company picnic. Two types of memos exist: internal and external.
An external memo is a business-to-business communication between different companies. You can easily transform a standard internal memo into a professional external memo.
Recognize the difference between an internal memo and an external memo. Internal memos remain within the privacy of the corporation. External memos communicate business to a different company, usually in some way other than postal mail, and to a company somehow involved with certain business functions. Use the following as an example of a professional external memo. Company X, a mutual fund company, writes a memo for the employees of Company B, who participate in a certain retirement fund. Company X mails a large package of memos to Company B, whose mailroom employees distribute them via interoffice mail to all the memo recipients. This external memo by Company X communicates information to Company B's employees even though employees do not work for Company X.
- Internal corporate memos address communication within the same company.
- External memos communicate business to a different company, usually in some way other than postal mail, and to a company somehow involved with certain business functions.
Start writing your external memo. Open a word processing program. Type in all necessary contact information at the top of a blank document, such as company name, address, phone number and email address.
Double-space after the company information and type the word "Memo" or "Memorandum" in all caps. Double-space after the word "Memo" and create the header by typing in the following fields, making sure to double-space between them. To:, From:, Date: and Subject:.
- Start writing your external memo.
- Double-space after the company information and type the word "Memo" or "Memorandum" in all caps.
Complete the heading fields with pertinent information. For an external memo, include the position title with the name, and other external details, that would not be required for an internal memo. Instead of, "From: John Doe," type in "From: John Doe, President, Africa Division."
Type the body of your memo. Single-space the body text and double-space between paragraphs.
Distribute the memo externally.
- Many word processing programs have memo templates that you can use instead of creating your own.
- You can send memos via email as an attachment instead of sending hard copies.
- External memos save postage yet communicate in the same fashion as a written document.
- Memos do not need a salutation, such as "Dear Mr. Doe," since there is a "To:" field in the heading.
- Do not indent memo body paragraphs.
- At the end of the memo, do not use a complimentary close such as "Sincerely." You have already indicated the originator of the memo in the heading.