At the department’s Communication Day celebration earlier this week, many graduating seniors were honored for their accomplishments as communication majors.
For example, Sarah Laramie won the Excellence in Communication Award and received a big hug from Dr. A memoAn abbreviation for memorandum; normally used for communicating policies, procedures, or related official business within an organization. A memo’s purpose is often to inform, but it occasionally includes an element of persuasion or a call to action.
One effective way to address informal, unofficial speculation is to spell out clearly for all employees what is going on with a particular issue. While memos do not normally include a call to action that requires personal spending, they often represent the business or organization’s interests.
A memo has a header that clearly indicates who sent it and who the intended recipients are. In a standard writing format, we might expect to see an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Memos are often announcements, and the person sending the memo speaks for a part or all of the organization. Some written business communication allows for a choice between direct and indirect formats, but memorandums are always direct. Memos are a place for just the facts, and should have an objective tone without personal bias, preference, or interest on display. While e-mail and text messages may be used more frequently today, the effective business letter remains a common form of written communication. Letters may serve to introduce your skills and qualifications to prospective employers, deliver important or specific information, or serve as documentation of an event or decision.
The date should be left justified and placed immediately below (or two lines below) a personal address, or two lines below a letterhead logo. Like a subject line in an e-mail, this is where you indicate what the letter is in reference to, the subject or purpose of the document.
This is your opening paragraph, and may include an attention statement, a reference to the purpose of the document, or an introduction of the person or topic depending on the type of letter. If you have a list of points, a series of facts, or a number of questions, they belong in the body of your letter. An emphatic closing mirrors your introduction with the added element of tying the main points together, clearly demonstrating their relationship. Leave three or four blank lines after the close, then type your name (required) and, on the line below it, your title (if applicable). If the letter was prepared, or word-processed, by someone other than the signatory (you), then inclusion of initials is common, as in MJD or abc. Just like an e-mail with an attachment, the letter sometimes has additional documents that are delivered with it. As mentioned in Step 1 above, a formal business letter normally includes a logo or contact information for the organization in the header (top of page) or footer (bottom of page).
Memos are brief business documents usually used internally to inform or persuade employees concerning business decisions on policy, procedure, or actions. Letters are brief, print messages often used externally to inform or persuade customers, vendors, or the public.
Find a business letter (for example, an offer you received from a credit card company or a solicitation for a donation) and share it with your classmates.

Now that you have reviewed a sample letter, and learned about the five areas and sixteen basic parts of any business letter, write a business letter that informs a prospective client or customer of a new product or service. Faculty in the Department of Communication and Philosophy are so proud of the communication majors who will walk across the outdoor stage on Fiske Quad. Keene State College is a member of the University System of New Hampshire and the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges.
If budget cuts are a concern, then it may be wise to send a memo explaining the changes that are imminent. They may also include statements that align business and employee interest, and underscore common ground and benefit. An acronym or abbreviation that is known to management may not be known by all the employees of the organization, and if the memo is to be posted and distributed within the organization, the goal is clear and concise communication at all levels with no ambiguity. While it may contain a request for feedback, the announcement itself is linear, from the organization to the employees.
If the memo is announcing the observance of a holiday, for example, the specific holiday should be named in the subject line—for example, use “Thanksgiving weekend schedule” rather than “holiday observance”. It can serve to introduce you to a potential employer, announce a product or service, or even serve to communicate feelings and emotions. The audience or reader may have their own idea of what constitutes a specific type of letter, and your organization may have its own format and requirements. Regardless of the type of letter you need to write, it can contain up to sixteen elements in five areas.
If your letter includes a letterhead with this information, either in the header (across the top of the page) or the footer (along the bottom of the page), you do not need to include it before the date. An emphatic opening involves using the most significant or important element of the letter in the introduction. You may choose organizational devices to draw attention, such as a bullet list, or simply number them.
Closing statements are normally placed two lines under the conclusion and include a hanging comma (as in “Sincerely,”). This line indicates what the reader can look for in terms of documents included with the letter, such as brochures, reports, or related business documents. Just like a “CC” option in an e-mail, it indicates the relevant parties that will also receive a copy of the document.
This can make it clear to a third party that the letter was delivered via a specific method, such as certified mail (a legal requirement for some types of documents).
Share it with your classmates, observing confidentiality by blocking out identifying details such as the name of the sender, recipient, and company.
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. The unofficial, informal communication network within an organization is often called the grapevineThe unofficial, informal communication network within an organization, often characterized by rumour, gossip, and innuendo., and it is often characterized by rumour, gossip, and innuendo. Date and subject lines are also present, followed by a message that contains a declaration, a discussion, and a summary. The memo may have legal standing as it often reflects policies or procedures, and may reference an existing or new policy in the employee manual, for example. We’ll examine the basic outline of a letter and then focus on specific products or writing assignments.
This chapter outlines common elements across letters, and attention should be directed to the expectations associated with your particular writing assignment.

While you may not use all the elements in every case or context, they are listed in Table 9.1 "Elements of a Business Letter". A comma after the salutation is correct for personal letters, but a colon should be used in business. Readers tend to pay attention to openings, and it makes sense to outline the expectations for the reader up front.
Readers may skip over information in the body of your letter, so make sure you emphasize the key points clearly. 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. On the grapevine, one person may hear that someone else is going to be laid off and start passing the news around. For example, on February 13, 2009, upper management at the Panasonic Corporation issued a declaration that all employees should buy at least $1,600 worth of Panasonic products. The discussion elaborates or lists major points associated with the topic, and the conclusion serves as a summary.
There are many types of letters, and many adaptations in terms of form and content, but in this chapter, we discuss the fifteen elements of a traditional block-style letter. The salutation “To whom it may concern” is appropriate for letters of recommendation or other letters that are intended to be read by any and all individuals. Just as you would preview your topic in a speech, the clear opening in your introductions establishes context and facilitates comprehension. If your letter requests or implies action, the conclusion needs to make clear what you expect to happen. Rumours 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.
The company president noted that if everyone supported the company with purchases, it would benefit all.Lewis, L.
If this is not the case with your letter, but you are unsure of how to address your recipient, make every effort to find out to whom the letter should be specifically addressed. It is usually courteous to conclude by thanking the recipient for his or her attention, and to invite them to contact you if you can be of help or if they have questions. They are often printed on letterhead paper, and represent the business or organization in one or two pages. For many, there is no sweeter sound than that of their name, and to spell it incorrectly runs the risk of alienating the reader before your letter has even been read. This paragraph reiterates the main points and their relationship to each other, reinforcing the main point or purpose. Shorter messages may include e-mails or memos, either hard copy or electronic, while reports tend to be three or more pages in length. Lastly, avoid the use of impersonal salutations like “Dear Prospective Customer” if you can, as the lack of personalization can alienate a future client.

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