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Internal memos

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A memo is a short piece of writing with specific content sent within a company or law firm etc. Depending on its content, context and intended recipients, it can be informal, semi-formal or relatively informal. Memos can be used for various tasks, such as alerting colleagues to an important event, recommending a particular course of action, clarifying a point of law or outlining a case etc.

While memos used to be paper-based and circulated to the relevant parties, they are now more commonly sent by email. In fact, contemporary internal company emails are very similar in format to the older, paper-based memos.

When printed, internal memos are sometimes given the formal heading of ‘Memorandum’. However, as memos are often sent by eMail it is now quite common for memos to simply be given an appropriate subject line. It is usual to end a memo with your initials or with eg G. Finch rather than with your full name or signature.

The nature, relevance and importance of any one memo to a particular recipient will be implied by considerations such as: who sent the memo? to whom was the memo sent? what is the subject of the memo? what is the contents of the memo?

A memo should contain the following:

  1. A heading
  2. A subject line
  3. The context
  4. A main message
  5. An action close
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