Types of Memos

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  • 0:01 Why Memos?
  • 0:17 Memo Types
  • 3:15 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shawn Grimsley

Shawn has a masters of public administration, JD, and a BA in political science.

Memos are one of the most common documents produced for internal organizational communications because of their versatility. In this lesson, you'll learn about different types of memos. A short quiz follows.

Why Memos?

Memos are one of the most widely used means of internal written communication in an organization when the message is too complicated for a simple email or when confidentiality is important. You can use memos for a variety of purposes. Let's take a quick look at some of the more common types of memos.

Directive Memos

You may write a memo to give a directive. A directive memo is simply a memo that provides instructions or directions on how to proceed given a certain circumstance. For example, you may compose a directive on how employees should seek reimbursement for expenses related with business travel to a conference held across the country.

Status Memos

Another common type of memo you may draft is a status memo, sometimes called a progress report , which simply explains the status or progress of a particular assignment or project to a supervisor. For example, the project manager of a construction site may provide a weekly status report on the construction of an apartment complex he's managing for the company. A status memo will include the progress to date and what's left to be done.

Field Report & Trip Report Memos

If your employment sometimes involves working offsite, you may end up penning field report memos. These memos are often composed to document meeting clients offsite, inspecting offsite projects, or testing products offsite. For example, a marketing professional may go out in the field to test a new type of soda at various supermarkets in the anticipated target market for the new beverage. After the field test of the new soda, the employee will outline the outcome of the field test of the new soda and provide any relevant recommendations based on it.

Another common memo is a trip report memo. You may prepare this trip report memo to describe the events and outcome of a business trip. For example, you may go to a professional seminar that focuses on developments in your company's industry. Your trip memo may summarize the purpose of the seminar and what was learned at the seminar that may be of use to the organization. These memos may also be used to document expenses related to the trip.

Response Memos

You write a response memo in response to an inquiry. For example, your supervisor may ask you to research a new regulation that may apply to the company. You will write a response memo that will restate the question and then answer the question.

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