This important piece of internal communication needs an editor’s guiding hand
Put aside your newsletter for a moment. Forget about your intranet site.
I need to talk about a piece of communication that might be more important than any publication. It’s urgent and it goes out daily, sometimes many times a day. It can hit all audiences, or only a select few.
That’s right. I’m talking about the infamous corporate memo.
Memos have become a symbol of corporate bureaucracy. I read them with a sense of dread, when I bother to read them at all. And when someone asks, “Did you get my memo?” I stammer and stutter and say I did but haven’t had a chance to read it.
If I can make one overly generalized statement about memos, it would be this: They need work. A lot of work.
I’ve looked at quite a few memos over the years, and what I found isn’t pretty. Memos have a lot of issues; among them:
• They’re way too wordy. A memo by its very nature is supposed to be brief, as in “here’s a quick update of what you need to know.” But most tend to use more words than are necessary, and memo writers tend to pile on more jargon and corporate-speak than any self-respecting editor would ever allow in her publication.