Memos are usually written for one of the following reasons, explains Tony Rossiter, author of Effective Business Writing in Easy Steps:
- to provide a written record
- to give the reader background information for a specific visit or event
- to make a suggestion or proposal
- to give advice or make recommendations about a particular issue or problem
Interesting – I couldn’t help reflecting: the key characteristics of a good memo which Rossiter lists are remarkably similar to the key characteristics of good blog posts:
- they’re short
- they’re clear and concise
- they’re reliable, with information that is 100% accurate
- they’re reader-friendly
- they’re easy to read
To be effective, both blog posts and memos must clarify the issue (explain the need for action), provide “arguments” in favor of taking that action, based on essential facts surrounding the issue or topic.
You might like to do several things in your memo, Rossiter suggests (every one of these, our Say It For You content writers know, can apply to effective blog posts):
- draw attention to a track record of successful involvement in similar actions or projects
- acknowledge the expertise of the people who will be heading up the project
- suggest next steps (perhaps a planning meeting or further information-gathering)
In the case of a marketing blog post, that next step might be signing up for a newsletter, subscribing to the blog, downloading a paper, or clicking on a link to a landing page showing various product or service options.
A printed or emailed memo typically begins with a “to” (“to: managing director”, “to: all technical staff”, “to: all regional managers”… While a blog post relies on incoming online traffic, it’s crucial for the content writers to direct their message to a specific target audience.
When composing a blog post, it helps to remember the memo “meme”!